374 research outputs found

    Helium additions to MIG shielding gas - an economic option?

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    An investigation has been carried out to establish the technical and economic benefits of adding two levels of helium to a normal shielding gas. Technically no adverse issues were established using the two levels of helium, and the most significant positive one was the highly beneficial effects on travel speed increase and heat input decrease. Although helium gas carries a significant cost premium, the economic evaluation showed that overall this was a beneficial approach as the man-hour reduction associated with the welding process dominated the process cost effects

    Evaluation of gas metal arc welding with alterating shielding gases for use on AA6082T6

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    Studies have been carried out to determine the effects of implementing alternating shielding gases for 6082T6 aluminium alloy welding. Alternating shielding gases is a newly developed method of supplying shielding gases to the weld area to enhance the efficiency of the standard Gas Metal Arc Welding (GMAW) process. This method involves discretely supplying two different shielding gases to the weld zone at a pre-determined frequency which creates a dynamic action in the weld pool. Several benefits have been identified in relation to supplying shielding gases in this manner including increased travel speed, reduced distortion, reduced porosity and, in the case of specific alternating frequencies, marginal improvements in mechanical properties. All in all, this method of shielding gas delivery presents attractive benefits to the manufacturing community, namely the increased productivity and quality in addition to a reduction in the amount of post-weld straightening required. However, the literature available on this advanced joining process is very scant, especially so for aluminium alloys. For this reason, an evaluation has been carried out on the application of alternating shielding gases for the GMAW process on 6082T6 aluminium alloys

    MIG gas shielding : Economic savings without detriment to quality

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    Over the years a number of claims have been made related to potential savings of the shielding gas used in the MIG process. A number of work streams have been set up to consider such areas from a technical and economic standpoint. The use of small helium additions has particular benefits and despite an increase in unit cost, the overriding benefits are achieved in reduced manhour cost. A similar situation has been established when using a high frequency process to switch shielding gases during welding. The outcome from this was very similar to that already described. Overlaid on these has been the increasing use of a technique that visualises actual gas flow during welding by the use of laser backlighting. Some preliminary work in this area is described particularly related to the effect of drafts on the gas distribution. A recent development on the market place is a piece of equipment, which regulates the gas flow automatically and synchronously with the welding current. Gas savings in the region of 50-60% have been obtained. Data has been produced to illustrate these benefits. The potential benefit of developing a computational fluid dynamic model of the gas flow is also described, and early development stages of the model shown. However, there will always exist the very basic management need to minimise leaks from the gas delivery systems

    Poly(ester amide)s with pendant azobenzenes: Multi-responsive self-immolative moieties for modulating polymer assemblies

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    Azobenzenes are well-known for their trans–cis photoisomerization, but it was recently demonstrated that azobenzene derivatives could also undergo reduction to trigger a 1,6-elimination and initiate de- polymerization of a self-immolative polymer. Herein we explore the optimization of azobenzenes as reduction-sensitive moieties, and their incorporation into functional materials. A library of azobenzenes with electron-withdrawing groups was synthesized, and their rates of reduction by hydrazine were deter- mined. Unexpectedly, a 2-Cl substituent increased the rate of reduction more than other electronegative or sterically-demanding substituents. Next, a new diester monomer containing the 2-Cl-azobenzene was synthesized and incorporated into a poly(ester amide) (PEA) backbone, which was then functionalized with PEO to afford an amphiphilic multi-responsive material. The photo- and reduction-sensitivity of the azobenzenes was then exploited to produce reversible and irreversible changes to the polymer nano- assemblies in water. Their responsiveness to light and/or hydrazine was studied by ultraviolet-visible (UV-Vis) spectroscopy, dynamic light scattering (DLS), and fluorescence spectroscopy of encapsulated nile red. Alternating irradiation with UV and visible light resulted in reversible trans–cis isomerization, which changed the polarity of the micelle core without disrupting the assemblies. Reduction by hydrazine resulted in the release of nile red from the micelle core, while residual assemblies were still detected by DLS, likely due to the presence of remaining hydrophobes. A combination of UV light and hydrazine resulted in the release of nile red and breakdown of the assemblies. These results suggest that the intrinsic responsiveness of azobenzene to both light and reductive stimuli can provide polymer assemblies that respond to one or more stimuli in unique and synergistic ways through a single multi-responsive unit

    The Role of the Subthalamic Nucleus in the Basal Ganglia

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    Institute for Communicating and Collaborative SystemsThe basal ganglia are a collection of interconnected subcortical nuclei which have been implicated inmotor, cognitive and limbic functions. The subthalamic nucleus is the sole excitatory structure within the basal ganglia. Given its central position influencingmany basal ganglia nuclei, it is likely to play an important role in the processing that is performed by the basal ganglia. In this thesis a theoretical analysis of the subthalamic nucleus is presented. In order to explore the multiple facets of processing that may be occurring, models that are designed to capture aspects of the subthalamic nucleus at different levels are developed. These include anatomical, network processing and single neuron multi–compartmental models. Through the integration of the results obtained from these models a new and coherent view of the processing of the subthalamic nucleus is presented. It is predicted that the subthalamic nucleus be considered as a massively connected excitatory network. Two distinct modes of asymptotic behaviour exist in such a network: a low resting state and a high self–sustained state. The single neuron multi– compartmental model demonstrates that the calcium T–type channel is the primary determinant of characteristic neuron behaviour. Such behaviour includes a slowaction potential, initial spike clustering, and a post-response quiescence. The network and single neuron results taken togetherprovide an intrinsicmechanismfor termination of uniform high activity generated by the excitatory network. It is therefore predicted that large regions of the subthalamic nucleus respond uniformly to stimuli, in the form of a pulse of activity with a sharp rise and fall. In addition, the single neuron model indicates that pulses will occur in pairs. It is proposedthat the subthalamic nucleus acts as a “braking mechanism”. It can induce, via intermediate structures, awide-spread pulse of inhibition on basal ganglia target nuclei. Furthermore, the sequence of two pulses can generate a window of disinhibition over the basal ganglia targets. The width of this time window may be under direct striatal control. Variable interpulse duration implies a role for the subthalamic nucleus in temporal processing

    Temporal trends and risk factors for readmission for infections, gastrointestinal and immobility complications after an incident hospitalisation for stroke in Scotland between 1997 and 2005

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    Background: Improvements in stroke management have led to increases in the numbers of stroke survivors over the last decade and there has been a corresponding increase of hospital readmissions after an initial stroke hospitalisation. The aim of this study was to examine the one year risk of having a readmission due to infective, gastrointestinal or immobility (IGI) complications and to identify temporal trends and any risk factors.<p></p> Methods: Using a cohort of first hospitalised for stroke patients who were discharged alive, time to first event (readmission for IGI complications or death) within 1 year was analysed in a competing risks framework using cumulative incidence methods. Regression on the cumulative incidence function was used to model the risks of having an outcome using the covariates age, sex, socioeconomic status, comorbidity, discharge destination and length of hospital stay.<p></p> Results: There were a total of 51,182 patients discharged alive after an incident stroke hospitalisation in Scotland between 1997–2005, and 7,747 (15.1%) were readmitted for IGI complications within a year of the discharge. Comparing incident stroke hospitalisations in 2005 with 1997, the adjusted risk of IGI readmission did not increase (HR = 1.00 95% CI (0.90, 1.11). However, there was a higher risk of IGI readmission with increasing levels of deprivation (most deprived fifth vs. least deprived fifth HR = 1.16 (1.08, 1.26).<p></p> Conclusions: Approximately 15 in 100 patients discharged alive after an incident hospitalisation for stroke in Scotland between 1997 and 2005 went on to have an IGI readmission within one year. The proportion of readmissions did not change over the study period but those living in deprived areas had an increased risk

    Photocontrolled Degradation of Stimuli-Responsive Poly(ethyl glyoxylate): Differentiating Features and Traceless Ambient Depolymerization

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    The depolymerization of coatings prepared from a 6-nitroveratryl carbonate end-capped poly(ethyl glyoxylate) (PEtG) self-immolative polymer was studied. This polymer undergoes end-to-end depolymerization following cleavage of the end-cap by UV light. Several important fundamental diff erences between this class of polymers and conventional degradable polymers were revealed. For example, polymer backbone cleavage and depolymerization exhibited different dependencies on pH, emphasizing the decoupling of these processes. Probing of the coating erosion mechanism illustrated an interesting combination of features from surface erosion and bulk degradation mechanisms that arise from the end-to-end depolymerization mechanism and further differentiate these polymers from convention degradable polymers. It was also demonstrated that, unlike backbone cleavage, PEtG depolymerization did not exhibit a dependence on water and that PEtG could depolymerize back to the volatile monomer ethyl glyoxylate at ambient temperature and pressure. This unusual feature was utilized to perform facile polymer reprogramming/recycling via an irradiation− trapping− repolymerization sequence as well as polymer patterning by a simple irradiation− evaporation sequence

    Cerebrospinal fluid cortisol levels are higher in patients with delirium versus controls

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    <p>Abstract</p> <p>Background</p> <p>High plasma cortisol levels can cause acute cognitive and neuropsychiatric dysfunction, and have been linked with delirium. CSF cortisol levels more closely reflect brain exposure to cortisol, but there are no studies of CSF cortisol levels in delirium. In this pilot study we acquired CSF specimens at the onset of spinal anaesthesia in patients undergoing hip fracture surgery, and compared CSF and plasma cortisol levels in delirium cases versus controls.</p> <p>Findings</p> <p>Delirium assessments were performed the evening before or on the morning of operation with a standard battery comprising cognitive tests, mental status assessments and the Confusion Assessment Method. CSF and plasma samples were obtained at the onset of the operation and cortisol levels measured. Twenty patients (15 female, 5 male) aged 62 - 93 years were studied. Seven patients were diagnosed with delirium. The mean ages of cases (81.4 (SD 7.2)) and controls (80.5 (SD 8.7)) were not significantly different (p = 0.88). The median (interquartile range) CSF cortisol levels were significantly higher in cases (63.9 (40.4-102.1) nmol/L) than controls (31.4 (21.7-43.3) nmol/L; Mann-Whitney U, p = 0.029). The median (interquartile range) of plasma cortisol was also significantly higher in cases (968.8 (886.2-1394.4) nmol/L, than controls (809.4 (544.0-986.4) nmol/L; Mann Whitney U, p = 0.036).</p> <p>Conclusions</p> <p>These findings support an association between higher CSF cortisol levels and delirium. This extends previous findings linking higher plasma cortisol and delirium, and suggests that more definitive studies of the relationship between cortisol levels and delirium are now required.</p

    Surgery for women with endometrioma prior to in vitro fertilisation: proposal for a feasible multicentre randomised clinical trial in the UK

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    Acknowledgements We thank all clinicians who filled the questionnaire, all patients and their partners who participated in interviews and focus groups, all women who helped to design WP3, theStaff at Aberdeen Fertility Centre who helped in recruiting for the qualitative study, Prof. Graeme McLennan (Director Clinical Trials Unit) and Prof. Shaun Treweek (Health Services Research Unit) in Aberdeen for their valuable suggestions in the design of the proposed trial, Dr Tarek Gelbaya for personal communication and Dr C Tomosseti for personal communication. Funding The study was funded by NHS Grampian pump priming endowment fund (RG14437-12).Peer reviewedPublisher PD

    Thermosensitive polymer-grafted iron oxide nanoparticles studied by in situ dynamic light backscattering under magnetic hyperthermia

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    © 2015 IOP Publishing Ltd. Thermometry at the nanoscale is an emerging area fostered by intensive research on nanoparticles (NPs) that are capable of converting electromagnetic waves into heat. Recent results suggest that stationary gradients can be maintained between the surface of NPs and the bulk solvent, a phenomenon sometimes referred to as \u27cold hyperthermia\u27. However, the measurement of such highly localized temperatures is particularly challenging. We describe here a new approach to probing the temperature at the surface of iron oxide NPs and enhancing the understanding of this phenomenon. This approach involves the grafting of thermosensitive polymer chains to the NP surface followed by the measurement of macroscopic properties of the resulting NP suspension and comparison to a calibration curve built up by macroscopic heating. Superparamagnetic iron oxide NPs were prepared by the coprecipitation of ferrous and ferric salts and functionalized with amines, then azides using a sol-gel route followed by a dehydrative coupling reaction. Thermosensitive poly[2-(dimethylamino)ethyl methacrylate] (PDMAEMA) with an alkyne end-group was synthesized by controlled radical polymerization and was grafted using a copper assisted azide-alkyne cycloaddition reaction. Measurement of the colloidal properties by dynamic light scattering (DLS) indicated that the thermosensitive NPs exhibited changes in their Zeta potential and hydrodynamic diameter as a function of pH and temperature due to the grafted PDMAEMA chains. These changes were accompanied by changes in the relaxivities of the NPs, suggesting application as thermosensitive contrast agents for magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). In addition, a new fibre-based backscattering setup enabled positioning of the DLS remote-head as close as possible to the coil of a magnetic heating inductor to afford in situ probing of the backscattered light intensity, hydrodynamic diameter, and temperature. This approach provides a promising platform for estimating the response of magnetic NPs to application of a radiofrequency magnetic field or for understanding the behaviour of other thermogenic NPs
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