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Mechanical, Civil and Petroleum Engineering: Advances in Sensors and Measurement Methods of Multi-Scale Systems

A special issue of Sensors (ISSN 1424-8220). This special issue belongs to the section "Physical Sensors".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 June 2024 | Viewed by 19687

Special Issue Editor


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Guest Editor
Department of Architecture and Civil Engineering, City University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China
Interests: experimental and multi-scale mechanics; geomechanics; tribology and contact mechanics; material characterization, geo-energy and geo-resources; natural, polymer and biopolymer-based coatings; surfaces and interfaces; polymeric-based materials; cementitious materials; impact mechanics
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The analysis of complex systems often involves interdisciplinary collaborations of engineering and physical scientists from various backgrounds such as mechanical, civil, petroleum engineers, tribologists, earth scientists, and applied physicists. In an attempt to better understand the performance of engineering systems and provide optimum technical-economical solutions with minimum impact to the built and natural environment, enormous progress has been reported in experimental methods involving a wide range of scales, from non-distractive and distractive nano-to-microscale experimentation to the monitoring of large-scale systems which has simultaneously advanced various disciplines of science and engineering—for example, the rapid progresses in laboratory-based analysis of interfaces simulating, at a controlled environment, analogue fault movements and proppant–rock interactions, all the way to monitoring of large-scale problems such as granular flows, tunnels, or ground motion due to oil/gas production, and the multiscale analysis of the Mars and Lunar surfaces attempting to prepare humans for space explorations. These progresses have been highlighted especially over the last decade due to the significant reduction of natural resources, the urgent need to find environmentally friendly engineering solutions, and the global population increase which requires innovative solutions to be found in energy and land utilization.

This Special Issue serves as a platform to bring together engineering scientists, earth scientists, and physicists with the most recent advancements in experimentation, development of sensors, and instrumentation/monitoring methods in various areas which demand interdisciplinary collaborations and multiscale analyses, particularly in relation to natural resources, space exploration, and multiscale analyses of engineering systems, among others. Original contributions with newly developed methods and research outputs in the form of full-length papers, review articles with emphasis on state-of-the-art knowledge, and preliminary results/new ideas in experimentation which are promising for future research in the form of technical note/short communication are all welcome.

Topics of interest in this Special Issue include (but are not limited to) advances in sensors, laboratory setups, field measurement, and monitoring for: (i) natural resources; (ii) space exploration; (iii) land reclamation and ground treatment; (iv) structural health monitoring of engineering structures/systems; (v) multiscale laboratory testing (and physical model test) scaling down large-size engineering and natural systems; (vi) material characterization with emphasis in microstructure, surface, and interface mechanics and their role in the understanding of the behavior of large-scale problems; (vii) applications in offshore, marine, and ocean engineering/science; and (viii) image analysis techniques and AI applications.

Dr. Kostas Senetakis
Guest Editor

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Keywords

  • Nano/micro scale experimentation
  • Sensors
  • Field monitoring
  • Structural health monitoring
  • Space exploration
  • Engineering systems
  • Natural systems
  • Natural resources
  • Petroleum exploration
  • Resources
  • Multi-scale measurement

Published Papers (8 papers)

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Research

19 pages, 7022 KiB  
Article
Detection Performance Analysis of Array Dielectric Dispersion Logging Based on Sensitivity Function
by Lianyun Cai, Shaogui Deng and Xiyong Yuan
Sensors 2023, 23(12), 5737; https://doi.org/10.3390/s23125737 - 20 Jun 2023
Viewed by 869
Abstract
Dielectric logging is a critical method for exploring and developing complex oil and gas reservoirs, such as tight reservoirs, low-resistivity contrast reservoirs, and shale oil and gas reservoirs. The sensitivity function is extended to high-frequency dielectric logging in this paper. The detection characteristics [...] Read more.
Dielectric logging is a critical method for exploring and developing complex oil and gas reservoirs, such as tight reservoirs, low-resistivity contrast reservoirs, and shale oil and gas reservoirs. The sensitivity function is extended to high-frequency dielectric logging in this paper. The detection characteristics of attenuation and phase shift of an array dielectric logging tool in different modes are investigated, along with the influencing factors such as resistivity and dielectric constant. The results show the following: (1) The symmetrical coil system structure makes the sensitivity distribution symmetrically distributed, and the detection range is more focused. In the same measurement mode, the depth of investigation (DOI) becomes deeper under high resistivity formation, and the sensitivity range oscillates outward when the dielectric constant becomes greater. (2) The DOIs of different frequencies and source spacings cover the radial zone between 1 cm and 15 cm. The detection range has been enlarged to include part of the invasion zones, improving the measurement data’s dependability. (3) With the increase in the dielectric constant, the curve tends to oscillate, and this behavior makes the DOI slightly shallower. Additionally, this oscillation phenomenon is obvious when the frequency, resistivity, and dielectric constant increase, particularly in high-frequency detection mode (F2, F3). Full article
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10 pages, 3290 KiB  
Communication
Plate Load Tests on an Unsaturated Sand–Kaolin Mixture with Varying Water Table
by Yi Tang, Chenghao Chen, Bin Qian, Jie Ren and Yunfei Guan
Sensors 2022, 22(6), 2161; https://doi.org/10.3390/s22062161 - 10 Mar 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1938
Abstract
Clayey sand is widely distributed and commonly encountered in geotechnical engineering practice. To understand its bearing capacity behavior under unsaturated conditions, plate load tests are performed on sand–kaolin mixture samples with varying water tables. The distributions of suction and volumetric water content with [...] Read more.
Clayey sand is widely distributed and commonly encountered in geotechnical engineering practice. To understand its bearing capacity behavior under unsaturated conditions, plate load tests are performed on sand–kaolin mixture samples with varying water tables. The distributions of suction and volumetric water content with depth are measured by vibrating wire piezometers and soil moisture sensors, respectively. It is shown by the test results that the bearing capacity increases when the water table in the soil sample drops. The influence of suction on the bearing capacity is found to be dependent on the height of the water table and the hydraulic loading history of the soil sample. The plate load test results are interpreted using bearing capacity equations. Good agreement is obtained between measured and calculated bearing capacities. This study provides a simple method to estimate the bearing capacity of in situ unsaturated soil foundations. Full article
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17 pages, 3447 KiB  
Article
Effect of Particle Size and Constraint Conditions on Single Particle Strength of Carbonate Sand
by Yong He, Guojun Cai, Lei Gao and Huan He
Sensors 2022, 22(3), 765; https://doi.org/10.3390/s22030765 - 20 Jan 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1861
Abstract
Carbonate sand is often encountered and utilized as construction material in offshore engineering projects. Carbonate sand particles, which are porous and angular, are found to be highly crushable under high stress conditions, whereas the mechanisms and controlling factors for the crushing of carbonate [...] Read more.
Carbonate sand is often encountered and utilized as construction material in offshore engineering projects. Carbonate sand particles, which are porous and angular, are found to be highly crushable under high stress conditions, whereas the mechanisms and controlling factors for the crushing of carbonate sand particles are not well developed. The crushability and particle strength of around 400 particles from three fractions (5–10 mm, 2–5 mm, and 1–2 mm) of carbonate sand from the South China Sea were investigated via grain-scale single particle crushing tests. Special emphasis was placed on the effect of external constraint conditions (i.e., coordination number) and intrinsic particle morphology characteristics on the particle strength of carbonate soil. The particle strength of carbonate sand was found to be around half of quartz sand in terms of characteristic stress. Negative correlations, which could be depicted by an exponential equation, were found between the particle size and particle strength. Due to elongated particle shape and tensile stress concentration, a higher coordination number may lower the particle strength, which contradicts what was reported for quartz sands. A series of seven fundamental particle dimensions and five particle shape descriptors was characterized, and the aspect ratio was found to be one of the more influential shape descriptors for particle strength. The results enriched the database for the analysis of highly irregular geomaterial and provided insights into controlling factors of particle strength and crushing mechanisms of the carbonate sand. Full article
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18 pages, 5315 KiB  
Article
Model Test Study on Deformation of Snowflake Shaped Steel Sheet Pile Based on OFDR
by Lei Gao, Zhongquan Xu, Quan Wang, Zhenlei Zhang and Ping Li
Sensors 2021, 21(21), 7062; https://doi.org/10.3390/s21217062 - 25 Oct 2021
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1924
Abstract
As a newly developed pile foundation, the snowflake shaped steel sheet pile is composed of three Y-shaped sections with an included angle of 120° and has a large specific surface area, which can give full play to the side friction of pile and [...] Read more.
As a newly developed pile foundation, the snowflake shaped steel sheet pile is composed of three Y-shaped sections with an included angle of 120° and has a large specific surface area, which can give full play to the side friction of pile and improve the bearing capacity of single pile. At the same time, the snowflake shaped steel sheet pile has a high strength, relatively few materials, and it has good prospects with engineering applications. In order to accurately grasp the mechanical characteristics of the snowflake shaped steel sheet pile, this paper carried out the model test of snowflake shaped steel sheet pile based on OFDR (optical frequency domain reflector) distributed optical fiber sensor technology. The results show that: (1) OFDR distributed optical fiber sensing technology can effectively monitor the strain of snowflake steel sheet pile; (2) under the vertical load, the strain of snowflake steel sheet pile decreases along the length of the pile; (3) the strain of the same section of snowflake steel sheet pile is different at different positions, the strain at the junction between web and web is basically the same as the junction between web and flange, and the strain of the pile shaft on the flange edge is larger. Full article
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12 pages, 3802 KiB  
Communication
An Improved Large-Scale Stress-Controlled Apparatus for Long-Term Seepage Study of Coarse-Grained Cohesive Soils
by Chenghao Chen, Shengshui Chen, Shiang Mei, Shaoyang Han, Xian Zhang and Yi Tang
Sensors 2021, 21(18), 6280; https://doi.org/10.3390/s21186280 - 18 Sep 2021
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1947
Abstract
Clay–gravel mixture has been widely used in high embankment dams and understanding its seepage characteristics is critical to dam safety. From the instrumental perspective, the realization of continuous pressurized water supply becomes a key technical challenge, significantly restricting the working conditions replicated in [...] Read more.
Clay–gravel mixture has been widely used in high embankment dams and understanding its seepage characteristics is critical to dam safety. From the instrumental perspective, the realization of continuous pressurized water supply becomes a key technical challenge, significantly restricting the working conditions replicated in previous seepage apparatuses. To this end, a novel water provision system, relying on parallel-disposed sensor-based pressure devices, was introduced, so that the application of an existing large-scale stress-controlled apparatus can be expanded to long-term seepage tests regarding coarse-grained cohesive soils. Constant-head permeability tests were conducted on original-graded clay–gravel mixtures to investigate their hydraulic properties, incorporating the influence of stress relaxation. Test results show that with 35% gravel content, the clay–gravel mixture is suitable for dam construction as the core material. The stress relaxation holds a marginal effect on the hydraulic conductivity of soil. The functionality of this improved apparatus is verified, especially under long-term seepage conditions. Full article
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21 pages, 12437 KiB  
Article
A Grain-Scale Study of Mojave Mars Simulant (MMS-1)
by Sathwik S. Kasyap and Kostas Senetakis
Sensors 2021, 21(14), 4730; https://doi.org/10.3390/s21144730 - 10 Jul 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2485
Abstract
Space exploration has attracted significant interest by government agencies and the scientific community in recent years in an attempt to explore possible scenarios of settling of facilities on the Moon and Mars surface. One of the important components in space exploration is related [...] Read more.
Space exploration has attracted significant interest by government agencies and the scientific community in recent years in an attempt to explore possible scenarios of settling of facilities on the Moon and Mars surface. One of the important components in space exploration is related with the understanding of the geophysical and geotechnical characteristics of the surfaces of planets and their natural satellites and because of the limitation of available extra-terrestrial samples, many times researchers develop simulants, which mimic the properties and characteristics of the original materials. In the present study, characterization at the grain-scale was performed on the Mojave Mars Simulant (MMS-1) with emphasis on the frictional behavior of small size samples which follow the particle-to-particle configuration. Additional characterization was performed by means of surface composition and morphology analysis and the crushing behavior of individual grains. The results from the study present for the first time the micromechanical tribological response of Mars simulant, and attempts were also made to compare the behavior of this simulant with previously published results on other types of Earth and extra-terrestrial materials. Despite some similarities between Mars and Moon simulants, the unique characteristics of the MMS-1 samples resulted in significant differences and particularly in severe damage of the grain surfaces, which was also linked to the dilation behavior at the grain-scale. Full article
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24 pages, 8669 KiB  
Article
A Study on the Failure Behavior of Sand Grain Contacts with Hertz Modeling, Image Processing, and Statistical Analysis
by Siyue Li, Sathwik S. Kasyap and Kostas Senetakis
Sensors 2021, 21(13), 4611; https://doi.org/10.3390/s21134611 - 05 Jul 2021
Cited by 16 | Viewed by 3164
Abstract
The crushing behavior of particles is encountered in a large number of natural and engineering systems, and it is important for it to be examined in problems related to hydraulic fracturing, where proppant–proppant and proppant–rock interactions are essential to be modeled as well [...] Read more.
The crushing behavior of particles is encountered in a large number of natural and engineering systems, and it is important for it to be examined in problems related to hydraulic fracturing, where proppant–proppant and proppant–rock interactions are essential to be modeled as well as geotechnical engineering problems, where grains may crush because the transmitted stresses at their contacts exceed their tensile strength. Despite the interest in the study of the crushing behavior of natural particles, most previous experimental works have examined the single-grain or multiple-grain crushing configurations, and less attention has been given in the laboratory investigation of the interactions of two grains in contact up to their failure as well as on the assessment of the methodology adopted to analyze the data. In the present study, a quartz sand of 1.18–2.36 mm in size was examined, performing a total of 244 grain-to-grain crushing tests at two different speeds, 0.01 and 1 mm/min. In order to calculate stresses from the measured forces, Hertz modeling was implemented to calculate an approximate contact area between the particles based on their local radii (i.e., the radius of the grains in the vicinity of their contact). Based on the results, three different modes of failure were distinguished as conservative, fragmentary, and destructive, corresponding to micro-scale, meso-scale, and macro-scale breakage, respectively. From the data, four different classes of curves could be identified. Class-A and class-B corresponded to an initially Hertzian behavior followed by a brittle failure with a distinctive (single) peak point. The occurrence of hardening prior to the failure point distinguished class-B from class-A. Two additional classes (termed as class-C and class-D) were observed having two or multiple peaks, and much larger displacements were necessary to mobilize the failure point. Hertz fitting, Weibull statistics, and clustering were further implemented to estimate the influence of local radius and elastic modulus values. One of the important observations was that the method of analysis adopted to estimate the local radius of the grains, based on manual assessment (i.e., eyeball fitting) or robust Matlab-based image processing, was a key factor influencing the resultant strength distribution and m-modulus, which are grain crushing strength characteristics. The results from the study were further compared with previously reported data on single- and multiple-grain crushing tests. Full article
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21 pages, 9764 KiB  
Article
Field Test and Numerical Simulation on the Long-Term Thermal Response of PHC Energy Pile in Layered Foundation
by Guozhu Zhang, Ziming Cao, Yiping Liu and Jiawei Chen
Sensors 2021, 21(11), 3873; https://doi.org/10.3390/s21113873 - 04 Jun 2021
Cited by 17 | Viewed by 3240
Abstract
Investigation on the long-term thermal response of precast high-strength concrete (PHC) energy pile is relatively rare. This paper combines field experiments and numerical simulations to investigate the long-term thermal properties of a PHC energy pile in a layered foundation. The major findings obtained [...] Read more.
Investigation on the long-term thermal response of precast high-strength concrete (PHC) energy pile is relatively rare. This paper combines field experiments and numerical simulations to investigate the long-term thermal properties of a PHC energy pile in a layered foundation. The major findings obtained from the experimental and numerical studies are as follows: First, the thermophysical ground properties gradually produce an influence on the long-term temperature variation. For the soil layers with relatively higher thermal conductivity, the ground temperature near to the energy pile presents a slowly increasing trend, and the ground temperature response at a longer distance from the center of the PHC pile appears to be delayed. Second, the short- and long-term thermal performance of the PHC energy pile can be enhanced by increasing the thermal conductivity of backfill soil. When the thermal conductivities of backfill soil in the PHC pile increase from 1 to 4 W/(m K), the heat exchange amounts of energy pile can be enhanced by approximately 30%, 79%, 105%, and 122% at 1 day and 20%, 47%, 59%, and 66% at 90 days compared with the backfill water used in the site. However, the influence of specific heat capacity of the backfill soil in the PHC pile on the short-term or long-term thermal response can be ignored. Furthermore, the variation of the initial ground temperature is also an important factor to affect the short-and-long-term heat transfer capacity and ground temperature variation. Finally, the thermal conductivity of the ground has a significant effect on the long-term thermal response compared with the short-term condition, and the heat exchange rates rise by about 5% and 9% at 1 day and 21% and 37% at 90 days as the thermal conductivities of the ground increase by 0.5 and 1 W/(m K), respectively. Full article
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