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Number of results: 14
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Abstract

The present paper is devoted to the discussion and review of the non-destructive testing methods mainly based on vibration and wave propagation. In the first part, the experimental methods of actuating and analyzing the signal (vibration) are discussed. The piezoelectric elements, fiber optic sensors and Laser Scanning Doppler Vibrometer (SLDV) method are described. Effective detecting of the flaws needs very accurate theoretical models. Thus, the numerical methods, e.g. finite element, spectral element method and numerical models of the flaws in isotropic and composite materials are presented. Moreover, the detection of the damage in structures, which are subjected to cyclic or static loads, is based on the analyzing of the change in natural frequency of the whole structure, the change of internal impedance of the material and the change in guided waves propagating through the investigated structure. All these cases are characterized in detail. At the end of this paper, several applications of the structural health monitoring systems in machine design and operation are presented.
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Abstract

Despite the considerable progress that has recently been made in medicine, the treatment of viral infections is still a problem remaining to be solved. This especially concerns infections caused by newly emerging patogenes such as: human immunodeficiency virus, hepatitis C virus or SARS-coronavirus. There are several lines of evidence that the unusual genetic polymorphism of these viruses is responsible for the observed therapeutic difficulties. In order to determine whether some parameters describing a very complex and variable viral population can be used as prognostic factors during antiviral treatment computational methods were applied. To this end, the structure of the viral population and virus evolution in the organisms of two patients suffering from chronic hepatitis C were analyzed. Here we demonstrated that phylogenetic trees and Hamming distances best reflect the differences between virus populations present in the organisms of patients who responded positively and negatively to the applied therapy. Interestingly, the obtained results suggest that based on the elaborated method of virus population analysis one can predict the final outcome of the treatment even before it has started.
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Abstract

The aim of this paper is an analysis of the variability of the methane content in coal seams in the area of the Dębieńsko Mine and it’s relation to the geological structure of this coal deposit, and also the possibilities of a methane hazard in the areas of future coal mining and methane utilization as a fuel. The Dębieńsko coal deposit is located in the western part of the Upper Silesian Coal Basin (USCB), on the boundary between folded and disjunctive tectonic zones. Coal exploitation in this area ended in 2000, but interest in this deposit is currently high due to plans to initiate coking coal mining. The area of the Dębieńsko mine is relatively well prospected because of the deep drillings (up to 2000 m in depth) carried out within it. The methane conditions of the deposit are varied, the methane content increases with depth according to northern pattern of methane distribution in the USCB, in which the high-methane zone occurs under the several hundred meters zone of natural outgassing of the coal seams. This zone is divided into two smaller methane sub-zones, the first (shallower) at a depth of 1000 m and the second (deeper) at 1700–1900 m. A sub-zone of lower methane content occurs between these two high-methane sub-zones. The most important reasons for this methane distribution are temperature and pressure facilitating the gas adsorption in coal seams, and also the presence of impermeable siltstones and shalestones as well as the maceral composition and coal rank of coal seams. The methane content also changes laterally in accordance with the tectonics of the area. The so called Knurów and Leszczyna Anticline with found increased methane content in coal seams in relation to neighboring areas as well as Orlova Overthrust together with the system of latitudinal faults of brittle tectonic regime which are possible pathways for methane migration play a special role here. These structures can be taken into account as a potential source of methane hazard in a future coal mine, they can also be promising structures for methane prospection as a fuel.
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Abstract

This article analyses fuel pricing in Poland in the period January 2000 – March 2011. Two levels of prices are considered: wholesale prices set by Polish refineries and retail prices paid at petrol stations. Because refinery product prices are strongly dependent on the zloty exchange rate, a large part of the article deals with the modelling of the PLN/EUR exchange rate, in which process a CHEER model is used. The multivariate cointegration analysis showed that the wholesale and retail prices of fuels and the exchange rate are linked through long-run relationships. As demonstrated, the wholesale price of fuel depends on the crude-oil price and the PLN/EUR exchange rate. Another finding is that changes in the wholesale price are fully transmitted to retail prices. As far as the exchange rate is concerned, the real interest rate parity hypothesis has been confirmed, as well as the significance of the risk as perceived by financial investors.
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Abstract

The purpose of the article is to verify a hypothesis about the asymmetric pass-through of crude oil prices to the selling prices of refinery products (unleaded 95 petrol and diesel oil). The distribution chain is considered at three levels: the European wholesale market, the domestic wholesale market and the domestic retail market. The error correction model with threshold cointegration proved to be an appropriate tool for making an empirical analysis based on the Polish data. As found, price transmission asymmetry in the fuel market is significant and its scale varies depending on the level of distribution. The only exception is the wholesale price transmission to the domestic refinery price. All conclusions are supported by the cumulative response functions. The analysis sheds new light on the price-setting processes in an imperfectly competitive fuel market of a medium-sized, non-oil producing European country in transition.
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Abstract

Diatom assemblages from small pools and creeks on the Ecology Glacier forefield have been investigated. It is the first study in the Admiralty Bay region after the thorough taxonomic revision of the non-marine Antarctic diatom flora. A total of 122 diatom taxa, belonging to 35 genera were identified. More than 55% of all observed species have a restricted Antarctic distribution. Another 15% have a marine origin. Nitzschia gracilis Hantzsch, N. homburgiensis Lange-Bertalot and Planothidium rostrolanceolatum Van de Vijver et al. dominated the flora. Based on a DCA analysis, samples were subdivided in three groups reflecting ecological differences. Several samples (group 1) showed a mixed freshwater/marine diatom composition and are typical for coastal pools. Two other groups were separated based on the amount of limnoterrestrial taxa indicating the temporary character of some of the pools.
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Abstract

The analysis of mechanical behaviour of spinal column is until now still a challenge, in spite of the great amount of research which has been conducted over the last years. It is a particularly complex structure considering number of components, their shapes and mechanical characteristics. The objectives of the presented investigations are to understand the mechanisms of the mechanical behaviour of the spine structure and the role of its components, as well as the factors of its dysfunctions as scoliosis discopathy, spondylolisthesis. Also some mechanical effects of surgical interventions by total disc replacement is considered. To account for the 3D character of the spine system including vertebrae, discs, ligaments, muscles etc. the finite element method (FEM) formulation was used throughout the paper. Some specific features of the structure are included in the models as non-conservative loads and muscular tension control performed by the nervous system. The finite element method together with CAD programs and experimental validation was used in investigations of a new type of artificial disc for lumbar spine. The stress analyses were performed for the prostheses being in clinical use and for some original new designs. The conclusions concern most important determinants of the mechanical behaviour of the system and the quality of the intervertebral disc prosthesis.
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