Asian Transactions on Basic & Applied Sciences

Volume: 04, Issue: 02, May 2014
ISSN 2221-4291

Title: Evaluation of Palm Kernel Shells for use as Stabilizing Agents of Lateritic Soils.
Author(s): Ekeocha, N. E. and Agwuncha, F. N.
Paper ID: ATBAS-90302040
Pages: 1 - 7
Abstract: The possibility of complementing poor lateritic soils with Palm Kernel Shells (PKS) and subsequent stabilization of the resulting composite mix with asphalt was investigated. This is with a view to reducing construction cost by using local and readily available materials for road works. The scope was limited to the strength characteristics of the mix and did not consider other characteristics such as the resilient properties, fracture or fatigue. In the methodology, each of the composite mixes and the natural lateritic soil were subjected to percentages by weight of asphalt stabilization (2%, 4%, 6%, 8% and 10%), while PKS percentages of 25%, 50%, 75% and 100% by weight were used for the tests. Preliminary and strength tests were performed on the natural and composite mixes to determine their engineering properties under laboratory conditions. The results showed that the addition of 25% PKS to the natural soil caused the Plasticity Index (PI) to increase to 19.0% and then subsequently reduced to 18.0% at 4% asphalt - stabilization. The addition of 5% asphalt to 75% laterite and 25% PKS increased Maximum Dry Density (MDD) and Optimum Moisture Content (OMC) to 1665 kgm-3 and 23.6% respectively, with a reduction in average CBR to 1.15% (unsoaked) and 0.55% (soaked). With the same composite mix, the uncured compressive strength was 31.56 KNm-2 while the cured was 931.62 KNm-2 and a shear resistance of 29.62 KNm-2 was recorded. Palm kernel shell alone was not able to stabilize the lateritic soils but when lateritic soil (75%) was mixed with PKS (25%) and the mix stabilized with 5% asphalt, there was improvement on the unconfined compressive strength.

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Title: Challenges of Jordan's Microfinance from Points of Views of Microcredit Managers: An Empirical Study
Author(s): Khalil Elian Abdelrahim
Paper ID: ATBAS-60411020
Pages: 8 - 16
Abstract: The study aims at shedding light on the obstacles facing the microfinance (MFI) sector in Jordan. The research's methodology is descriptive and analytical based on collecting and analyzing primary data from a purposive sample of microcredit managers besides the secondary data. The study concludes that the microfinance challenges in Jordan are above average at Likert Scale. T-test shows the significance of the following microfinance challenges: the perception that microcredit is a grant, absence of a credit bureau, sharing private data on borrowers is not permitted, default of microcredit borrowers, inadequate profitability, high leverage ratio, absence of long- term loans, not handling accounting records and Lack of Loan Guarantees. The rest of challenges are insignificant and could be neglected by policy makers.The study recommends: (1) increasing role of microfinance to generate income for the poor, build a viable business and seek self-empowerment.(2) not using microcredit to finance extremely poor people as microfinance will push them more in debt. (3) allow exchange of data among MFIs on risky borrowers (4) neglect clients who practice duality of taking more than on loan each time (5) invest in training clients on how to manage their loans (6) give a short grace period for borrowers before repayment (7) diversify the lending methods (8) establish a National Microfinance Association to provide technical assistance to MFIs

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Title: Biomechanical Analysis of Manual Lifting Tasks by Saudis
Author(s): Ibrahim M. Jomoah
Paper ID: ATBAS-60423021
Pages: 17 - 27
Abstract: An empirical study was conducted to determine the biomechanical forces developed in human body during material handling tasks, such as manual lifting, where serious injuries might occur. The sample workforce consisted of Saudis, since Saudi industries are progressively replacing the expatriates with qualified nationals to meet the rising unemployment. A two-dimensional static biomechanical model was used for calculating the mechanical stresses on major joints of the musculoskeletal system and then the effects of "load" and "lifting technique" on the spinal loading during lifting actions were examined. Three different weights and three lifting techniques were considered. Compressive and shear forces were computed using four different objective functions. Results indicated that the objective function for one active muscle yielded consistently higher values of compressive forces and the objective function for ten muscles yielded the lowest. Correlations of heights, weights, age groups and lifting techniques with compressive and shear forces were computed too.

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