European Archives of Oto Rhino Laryngology 2021-12-10

Does electrifying organic synthesis pay off? The energy efficiency of electro-organic conversions

Publication date 10-12-2021


The electrification of organic syntheses is a vividly growing research field and has attracted tremendous attention by the chemical industry.
This review highlights aspects of electrosynthesis that are rarely addressed in other articles on the topic: the energy consumption and energy efficiency of technically relevant electro-organic syntheses. Four examples on different scales are outlined. Electro-organic synthesis has experienced a renaissance within the past years. This review addresses the energy efficiency or energy demand of electrochemically driven transformations as it is a key parameter taken into account by, for example, decision makers in industry. The influential factors are illustrated that determine the energy efficiency and discussed what it takes for an electrochemical process to be classified as “energy efficient.” Typical advantages of electrosynthetic approaches are summarized and characteristic aspects regarding the efficiency of electro-organic processes, such as electric energy consumption, are defined. Technically well-implemented examples are described to illustrate the possible benefits of electrochemical approaches. Further, promising research examples are highlighted and show that the conversion of fine chemicals is rather attractive than the electrochemical generation of synthetic fuels.

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Role of titanium carbide and alumina on the friction increment for Cu-based metallic brake pads under different initial braking speeds

Publication date 01-12-2021


To understand the effect of abrasives on increasing friction in Cu-based metallic pads under different braking speeds, pad materials with two typical abrasives, titanium carbide (TiC) and alumina (Al2O3), were produced and tested using a scale dynamometer under various initial braking speeds (IBS). The results showed that at IBS lower than 250 km/h, both TiC and Al2O3 particles acted as hard points and exhibited similar friction-increasing behavior, where the increase in friction was not only enhanced as IBS increased, but also enhanced by increasing the volume fraction of the abrasives. However, at higher IBS, the friction increase was limited by the bonding behavior between the matrix and abrasives. Under these conditions, the composite containing TiC showed a better friction-increasing effect and wear resistance than the composite containing Al2O3 because of its superior particle-matrix bonding and coefficient of thermal expansion (CTE) compatibility. Because of the poor interface bonding between the matrix and Al2O3, a transition phenomenon exists in the Al2O3-reinforced composite, in which the friction-increasing effect diminished when IBS exceeded a certain value.

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Penetration and lubrication evaluation of vegetable oil with nanographite particles for broaching process

Publication date 01-12-2021


With increasing environmental concerns, the substitution of mineral oil-based cutting fluid has become an urgent issue. Using vegetable soybean oil as base fluid, nanofluid cutting fluids (NFCFs) were prepared by adding different weight concentrations of nanographite particles (NGPs), and their penetration and lubrication performances were studied. A novel simulated tool-chip slit with micrometer-sized geometry was manufactured to evaluate and quantify the penetration rate of the NFCFs by image analysis approach. Moreover, a large number of comparative experiments on the closed-type broaching machine were carried out to compare the performance of the proposed NFCFs and a commercial cutting fluid in terms of cutting force, workpiece surface roughness, and metal chip. It is found that there is an optimal NGP concentration in NFCF for practical cutting applications. When the concentration of NGP is 0.4 wt%, the broaching process lubrication exhibits an ideal mixed lubricate state, resulting in minimal friction resistance, and thus, both the cutting force and chip curling angle reach their corresponding best values. Moreover, the proposed NGP-based vegetable-oil cutting fluid exhibits excellent environment-friendliness and low-cost consumption in the minimal quantity lubrication (MQL) method; this demonstrates its potential for replacing the traditional broaching cutting fluid.

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Fundamental study on chaotic transition of two-phase flow regime and free surface instability in gas deaeration process

Publication date 01-12-2021


Deaeration is a process of eliminating aspirated air from liquid in hydraulic reservoirs to avoid cavitation in the downstream pump blades. The complex fluid dynamics associated with deaeration is investigated. The three-dimensional buoyancy driven chaotic behavior of gas-liquid interfacial two-phase flow is studied. Parametric study is executed to understand change in internal flow physics (bubble coalescence, disintegration, horizontal spread, bubble velocity etc.), strength of accelerating Rayleigh-Taylor instability, turbulent kinetic energy, amplitude of upward velocity near free surface, and rise in free surface level with the variation of parameters like incoming mixture flow rate, incoming volume fraction of air, liquid fill depth, and Atwood number. The computations show increment in cavitation, wavenumber and amplitude of upward velocity towards oscillating free surface with incoming flow rate (Re). Cavitation and free surface instability show incremental trend with volume fraction of incoming air forming a kink (cavitation reduces) due to bubble coalescence in a threshold range of volume fraction of incoming air. With the variation of Atwood number, initially cavitation reduces. But after a critical value (A*) of Atwood number, effect of bubble disintegration, and rise of cavitation become prominent, which is formulated with respect to incoming flow rate (Re). With liquid fill depth, cavitation shows a slight decrement with almost equal deaeration and constant wavelength of free surface oscillation at an increasing buoyancy driven upward velocity. Some glimpse of design solution to reduce the cavitation and enhance the deaeration is also studied and formulated to get better understanding.

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Correction to: Thermal hydraulic considerations of nuclear reactor systems: Past, present and future challenges

Publication date 01-12-2021


The article “Thermal hydraulic considerations of nuclear reactor systems: Past, present and future challenges” written by Guan Heng Yeoh, was originally published electronically on the publisher’s internet portal (currently Springer Link) on 08 April 2019 without open access. After publication in Volume 1, Issue 1, page 3–27, the author(s) decided to opt for Open Choice and to make the article an open access publication. Therefore, the copyright of the article has been changed to © The Author(s) 2020 and the article is forthwith distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits use, duplication, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made.

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An efficient three-dimensional foil structure model for bump-type gas foil bearings considering friction

Publication date 01-12-2021


This paper presents an efficient three-dimensional (3D) structural model for bump-type gas foil bearings (GFBs) developed by considering friction. The foil structures are modeled with a 3D shell finite element model. Using the bump foil mechanical characteristics, the Guyan reduction and component mode synthesis methods are adopted to improve computational efficiency while guaranteeing accurate static responses. A contact model that includes friction and separation behaviors is presented to model the interactions of the bump foil with the top foil and bearing sleeve. The proposed structural model was validated with published analytical and experimental results. The coupled elastohydrodynamics model of GFBs was established by integration of the proposed structural model with data on hydrodynamic films, and it was validated by comparisons with existing experimental results. The performance of a bearing with an angular misalignment was studied numerically, revealing that the reaction torques of the misaligned bearing predicted by GFB models with 2D and 3D foil structure models are quite different. The 3D foil structure model should be used to study GFB misalignment.

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A novel point source oxygen supply method for sleeping environment improvement at high altitudes

Publication date 01-12-2021


The hypoxic environment at high altitudes causes various sleep disorders. Diffuse oxygen enrichment is an effective way to alleviate sleep disorders and improve the built environment in high altitude areas. In this study, a novel point source local diffuse oxygen supply method was proposed to improve the sleeping oxygen environment. The oxygen supply performance was investigated by the computational fluid dynamics (CFD) method including the oxygen concentration and air velocity distributions. A sleeping experiment was conducted on the plateau to validate the CFD model. The occupied zone including the inhalation zone and the active zone was defined. The results showed that the oxygen concentration showed a rapid rise, then decreased slowly, and finally tended to be stable. The oxygen concentration after stabilization was remarkably influenced by indoor ventilation rate. The sleeping environment’s improvement was examined considering the oxygen enrichment efficiency, uniformity, stability and human comfort demand. The optimal strategies were recommended with a ventilation rate of 1 air change per hour, supplied oxygen concentration of 90%, and jet distance of 0.50 m. The study contributes to improving the oxygen environment and human sleep quality in an effective and energy-saving approach to the sustainable development of buildings in high altitude areas.

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Thermal comfort in winter incorporating solar radiation effects at high altitudes and performance of improved passive solar design—Case of Lhasa

Publication date 01-12-2021


The solar incidence on an indoor environment and its occupants has significant impacts on indoor thermal comfort. It can bring favorable passive solar heating and can result in undesired overheating (even in winter). This problem becomes more critical for high altitudes with high intensity of solar irradiance, while received limited attention. In this study, we explored the specific overheating and rising thermal discomfort in winter in Lhasa as a typical location of a cold climate at high altitudes. First, we evaluated the thermal comfort incorporating solar radiation effect in winter by field measurements. Subsequently, we investigated local occupant adaptive responses (considering the impact of direct solar irradiance). This was followed by a simulation study of assessment of annual based thermal comfort and the effect on energy-saving potential by current solar adjustment. Finally, we discussed winter shading design for high altitudes for both solar shading and passive solar use at high altitudes, and evaluated thermal mass shading with solar louvers in terms of indoor environment control. The results reveal that considerable indoor overheating occurs during the whole winter season instead of summer in Lhasa, with over two-thirds of daytime beyond the comfort range. Further, various adaptive behaviors are adopted by occupants in response to overheating due to the solar radiation. Moreover, it is found that the energy-saving potential might be overestimated by 1.9 times with current window to wall ratio requirements in local design standards and building codes due to the thermal adaption by drawing curtains. The developed thermal mass shading is efficient in achieving an improved indoor thermal environment by reducing overheating time to an average of 62.2% during the winter and a corresponding increase of comfort time.

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The effects of portable cooling systems on thermal comfort and work performance in a hot environment

Publication date 01-12-2021


There are some special spaces in which there is no air conditioning or the people are in move, thus exposing people to a hot environment. In this study, portable cooling systems were proposed and their effects on thermal comfort and work performance were investigated at an air temperature of 32 °C.
Four conditions were established: cool air towards breathing zone (A), chest and back cooling (B), combined cooling (C) and no cooling (D). Twenty-eight subjects were exposed to the four conditions in a counterbalanced order. During each exposure they performed tasks and made subjective assessments, while multiple physiological parameters were measured. Compared with no cooling (D), cool air towards breathing zone (A) and chest and back cooling (B) improved work performance by 17.5% and 19.25%, respectively, while decreased the subjects’ thermal sensation, skin temperature, and heart rate. When the two cooling systems were combined (C), larger improvements in thermal comfort and work performance were achieved than no cooling (D); the mean thermal sensation rating decreased from 2.4 to 0.7, work performance increased by up to 33%, and physiological parameters including skin temperature, pulse, heart rate and salivary alpha-amylase significantly decreased. The present results suggest that the proposed portable cooling systems could maintain thermal comfort and work performance in a hot environment, while potentially improve air quality for some special spaces.

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Does laser surface texturing really have a negative impact on the fatigue lifetime of mechanical components?

Publication date 01-12-2021


Laser surface texturing (LST) has been proven to improve the tribological performance of machine elements. The micro-scale patterns manufactured by LST may act as lubricant reservoirs, thus supplying oil when encountering insufficient lubrication. However, not many studies have investigated the use of LST in the boundary lubrication regime, likely due to concerns of higher contact stresses that can occur with the increasing surface roughness. This study aims to examine the influence of LST on the fatigue lifetime of thrust rolling bearings under boundary lubrication. A series of periodic patterns were produced on the thrust rolling bearings, using two geometrically different designs, namely cross and dimple patterns. Base oil ISO VG 100 mixed with 0.05 wt% P of zinc dialkyldithiophosphate (ZDDP) was supplied. The bearings with cross patterns reduce the wear loss by two orders of magnitude. The patterns not only retain lubricant in the textured pockets but also enhance the formation of an anti-wear tribofilm. The tribofilm generation may be improved by the higher contact stresses that occur when using the textured surface. Therefore, in contrast to the negative concerns, the ball bearings with cross patterns were instead found to increase the fatigue life by a factor of three.

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Black phosphorus quantum dots: A new-type of water-based high-efficiency lubricant additive

Publication date 01-12-2021


Black phosphorus quantum dots (BPQDs), obtained via a typical solution-based top-down method, were used as water-based lubricant additives. BPQDs exhibited remarkable friction reduction and anti-wear properties even at the ultra-low concentration of 0.005 wt%, which reduced the friction coefficient and wear volume of the base liquid by 32.3% and 56.4%, respectively. In addition, the load-supporting capacity of the base liquid increased from 120 N to over 300 N. BPQDs-based additives exhibited a relatively long lifetime at a relatively high load of 80 N. The performance of BPQDs considerably exceeded that of the BP; this may be attributed to their small and uniform particle size, good dispersion stability in water, and high reactivity at the frictional surfaces. The results of the surface wear resistance analysis demonstrated that a robust tribochemical film with a thickness of approximately 90 nm was formed on the rubbing surface lubricated with 0.005 wt% of BPQDs dispersion. Moreover, the film served as a direct evidence of the excellent tribological performance of BPQDs.

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Individual thermal comfort prediction using classification tree model based on physiological parameters and thermal history in winter

Publication date 01-12-2021


Individual thermal comfort models based on physiological parameters could improve the efficiency of the personal thermal comfort control system. However, the effect of thermal history has not been fully addressed in these models. In this study, climate chamber experiments were conducted in winter using 32 subjects who have different indoor and outdoor thermal histories.
Two kinds of thermal conditions were investigated: the temperature dropping (24–16 °C) and severe cold (12 °C) conditions. A simplified method using historical air temperature to quantify the thermal history was proposed and used to predict thermal comfort and thermal demand from physical or physiological parameters. Results show the accuracies of individual thermal sensation prediction was low to about 30% by using the PMV index in cold environments of this study. Base on the sensitivity and reliability of physiological responses, five local skin temperatures (at hand, calf, head, arm and thigh) and the heart rate are optimal input parameters for the individual thermal comfort model. With the proposed historical air temperature as an additional input, the general accuracies using classification tree model C5.0 were increased up by 15.5% for thermal comfort prediction and up by 29.8% for thermal demand prediction. Thus, when predicting thermal demands in winter, the factor of thermal history should be considered.

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Correction to: From indoor exposure to inhaled particle deposition: A multiphase journey of inhaled particles

Publication date 01-12-2021


The article “From indoor exposure to inhaled particle deposition: A multiphase journey of inhaled particles” written by Kiao Inthavong, was originally published electronically on the publisher’s internet portal (currently Springer Link) on 22 October 2019 without open access. After publication in Volume 2, Issue 2, page 59–78, the author(s) decided to opt for Open Choice and to make the article an open access publication. Therefore, the copyright of the article has been changed to © The Author(s) 2020 and the article is forthwith distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits use, duplication, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made.

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An exploration of frictional and vibrational behaviors of textured deep groove ball bearing in the vicinity of requisite minimum load

Publication date 01-12-2021


In case of lightly loaded radial ball bearings, failure mechanisms other than fatigue such as smearing of raceways due to increased frictional torque and vibrations often prevail. Hence, attempts have been made herein for reducing the frictional torque and minimizing the vibrations of a radial deep groove ball bearing employing surface textures at the inner race. Nanosecond pulsed laser was used to create texture (involving micro-dimples having different dimple area density) on the inner race of test bearings. Using an in-house developed test rig, frictional torque and vibrational parameters were measured at different speeds and light loads (i.e. in vicinity of 0.01C, where C is dynamic load capacity of radial ball bearing). Significant reduction in frictional torque and overall vibrations were found in the presence of micro-dimples on inner race at light loads irrespective of operating speeds. Even without satisfying the minimum load needed criteria for the satisfactory operation, substantial reduction in smearing marks was found on the races of textured ball bearings in comparison to conventional cases.

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Improvement of the lubrication properties of grease with Mn3O4/graphene (Mn3O4#G) nanocomposite additive

Publication date 01-12-2021


Although grease can effectively lubricate machines, lubrication failure may occur under high speed and heavy load conditions. In this study, Mn3O4/graphene nanocomposites (Mn3O4#G) were synthetized using a hydrothermal method as lubricant additives. The lubrication properties of compound grease with Mn3O4#G nanocomposite additive under heavy contact loads of 600–900 N (3.95–4.59 GPa) were investigated. First, the nanocomposites were dispersed into L-XBCEA 0 lithium grease via successive electromagnetic stirring, ultrasound vibration, and three-roll milling. Compound grease with additives of commercial graphene (Com#G) was also investigated for comparison. Tribological test results revealed that the trace amounts of Mn3O4#G (as low as 0.02 wt%) could reduce the coefficient of friction (COF) of grease significantly. When the concentration of Mn3O4#G was 0.1 wt%, the COF and wear depth were 43.5% and 86.1%, lower than those of pure graphene, respectively. In addition, under the effect of friction, the microstructure of graphene in Mn3O4#G nanocomposites tends to be ordered and normalized. Furthermore, most of the Mn3O4 transformed into Mn2O3 owing to the high temperature generated from friction. Using the Ar gas cluster ion beam sputtering method, the thickness of the tribofilm was estimated to be 25–34 nm. Finally, the improvement of the lubrication properties was attributed to the synergistic effect of the adsorbed tribofilm, i.e., the graphene island effect and the filling effect of Mn3O4#G.

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A low-to-high friction transition in gradient nano-grained Cu and Cu-Ag alloys

Publication date 01-12-2021


A unique low-to-high friction transition is observed during unlubricated sliding in metals with a gradient nano-grained (GNG) surface layer. After persisting in the low-friction state (0.2–0.4) for tens of thousands of cycles, the coefficients of friction in the GNG copper (Cu) and copper-silver (Cu-5Ag) alloy start to increase, eventually reaching a high level (0.6–0.8). By monitoring the worn surface morphology evolution, wear-induced damage accumulation, and worn subsurface structure evolution during sliding, we found that the low-to-high friction transition is strongly correlated with distinct microstructural instabilities induced by vertical plastic deformation and wear-off of the stable nanograins in the subsurface layer. A very low wear loss of the GNG samples was achieved compared with the coarse-grained sample, especially during the low friction stage. Our results suggest that it is possible to postpone the initiation of low-to-high friction transitions and enhance the wear resistance in GNG metals by increasing the GNG structural stability against grain coarsening under high loading.

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Exploring the role of −NH2 functional groups of ethylenediamine in chemical mechanical polishing of GCr15 bearing steel

Publication date 01-12-2021


Ethylenediamine with two −NH2 functional groups was used as a critical complexing agent in chemical mechanical polishing (CMP) slurries for a high carbon chromium GCr15 bearing steel (equivalent to AISI 52100). The polishing performance and corresponding mechanism of −NH2 functional groups were thoroughly investigated as a function of pH. It is revealed that, when polished with ethylenediamine and H2O2-based slurries, the material removal rate (MRR) and surface roughness Ra of GCr15 steel gradually decrease as pH increases. Compared with acidic pH of 4.0, at alkaline pH of 10.0, the surface film of GCr15 steel has much higher corrosion resistance and wear resistance, and thus the material removal caused by the pure corrosion and corrosion-enhanced wear are greatly inhibited, resulting in much lower MRR and Ra. Moreover, it is confirmed that a more protective composite film, consisting of more Fe3+ hydroxides/oxyhydroxides and complex compounds with −NH2 functional groups of ethylenediamine, can be formed at pH of 10.0. Additionally, the polishing performance of pure iron and a medium carbon 45 steel exhibits a similar trend as GCr15 steel. The findings suggest that acidic pH could be feasible for amine groups-based complexing agents to achieve efficient CMP of iron-based metals.

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Dynamic model and response characteristics of liquid desiccant air-conditioning system driven by heat pump

Publication date 01-12-2021


The liquid desiccant air-conditioning system is considered as an energy-efficient alternative to the vapor compression system. The dynamic response characteristics of the system under variable cooling load play an important role in the air temperature and humidity control performance of the system. However, the dynamic response characteristics have not been fully revealed in previous studies. Thus, a dynamic model for a heat pump driven liquid desiccant air-conditioning (HPLDAC) system is established to investigate the dynamic response characteristics of the system in this study. Subsequently, experiments were conducted to validate the accuracy of the dynamic model. The simulation results show a good agreement with the experimental data. The simulation results reveal that evaporating water from the solution is a time-consuming process, compared to adding water to the solution. It spends a long time for the HPLDAC system to decrease the high relative humidity of supply air to a low value, which limits the air temperature and humidity control performance of the system. The upper band for the water replenishing value opening (Δφup) is a crucial parameter to improve the limitation. When Δφup decreases from 1.0% to 0.25%, the time consumed to reduce the supply air relative humidity to the new lower set value can be saved by 30.6%.

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Analysis of microclimate characteristics in solar greenhouses under natural ventilation

Publication date 01-12-2021


The solar greenhouse is a typical greenhouse type in northern China. It provides a favorable environment for the growth of various plants and extends cultivation periods for almost a whole year to achieve a high yield. However, indoor environmental control is primarily based on growers’ experience, and the objective test data required for the complex climate control and management of greenhouses are lacking.
The present study used three greenhouses in northwest China as research objects: one greenhouse with mature plants (GH-M), one greenhouse with young plants (GH-Y) and one greenhouse without plants (GH-E). Field tests were performed to investigate microclimate characteristics, such as indoor air temperature, relative humidity, and solar radiation under natural ventilation. The results showed that the maximum temperature difference reached approximately 8.2 °C in the vertical direction, and semiempirical equations for the normalized temperature distribution were obtained. The soil temperature remained constant at a certain depth (0.4 m). The distribution of the relative humidity and solar radiation was analyzed. The current study is helpful for growers to develop better greenhouse climate control strategies for management practices.

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Erratum to: Study on dynamic variation of dew point temperature at attached air layer of radiant ceiling cooling panels

Publication date 01-12-2021


Radiant ceiling cooling panels require an accurate and sensitive control system to avoid condensation; this is achieved by adjusting the temperature of radiant ceiling panels in adequate time. This study investigated a prediction model for the dew-point temperature of the attached air layer of the radiant ceiling cooling panels. When the number and position of people indoors change, the model can predict the change in dew-point temperature of the attached air layer for the purpose of adjusting the panel temperature in time to prevent condensation. The influence of different factors on the air dew-point temperature was investigated in this study. The relationship between the main influencing factor and the predicted dew-point temperature of the attached air layer was obtained, and experimental data were used to verify the simulation model. The results show that the distance from the person to the attached air layer, as well as the number of people, have a great influence on the dew-point temperature of the attached air layer. The prediction model of the air dew-point temperature takes the form of a negative exponential function. The distance from the person to the attached air layer is most affected by the prediction model’s increase rate of the air dew-point temperature and value of the stable time.

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