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How do oil interceptors operate?

Grease and oils are commonly found in stormwater runoff from catchments. They come from the leakage and spillage of lubricants, fuels, vehicle coolants etc. Since oils and grease are hydrocarbons which are lighter than water, they form films and emulsions on water and generate odorous smell. In particular, these hydrocarbons tend to stick to the particulates in water and settle with them. Hence, they should be trapped prior to discharging into stormwater system. Oil interceptors are installed to trap these oil loads coming from stormwater. In commercial areas, car parks and areas where construction works are likely. It is recommended to establish oil-trapping systems in these locations.

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Typical oil interceptors usually contain following compartments:

(i) The first inlet compartment serves mainly for the settlement of grits and for the trapping of floatable debris and rubbish.

(ii) The second middle compartment is used for separating oils from runoff.

This question is taken from book named – A Self Learning Manual – Mastering Different Fields of Civil Engineering Works (VC-Q-A-Method) by Vincent T. H. CHU.

How do noise adsorptive materials function?

The basic mechanism of noise absorptive material is to change the acoustic energy into heat energy. The amount of heat generated is normally very small due to the limited energy in sound waves (e.g. less than 0.01watts). The two common ways for energy transformation are:

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(i) Viscous flow loss
The absorptive material contains interconnected voids and pores into which the sound energy will propagate. As sound waves pass through the material, the wave energy causes relative motion between the air particles and the absorbing material and consequently energy losses are incurred.

(ii) Internal fiction
The absorptive materials have some elastic fibrous or porous structures which would be extended and compressed during sound wave propagation. Other than energy loss due to viscous flow loss, dissipation of energy also results from the internal friction during its flex and squeezing movement.

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This question is taken from book named – A Self Learning Manual – Mastering Different Fields of Civil Engineering Works (VC-Q-A-Method) by Vincent T. H. CHU.

How do steel beam barriers (e.g. tension/untensioned beam barrier and open box barrier) function to contain vehicles upon crashing?

Steel beam barrier consists mainly of horizontal rails and vertical posts. When a vehicle hits the steel beam barrier, the kinetic energy is resolved in three components, namely vertical, normal to barrier and parallel to barrier. The vertical and normal components of kinetic energy are dissipated through deformation and bending of beam and supporting posts. As such, the remaining component (i.e. parallel) guides the vehicle back to the carriageway in a direction parallel to the barrier.

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This question is taken from book named – A Self Learning Manual – Mastering Different Fields of Civil Engineering Works (VC-Q-A-Method) by Vincent T. H. CHU.

Is local vehicle parapet strong enough to contain vehicles?

The majority of local parapets are 1.1m high and they are designed to resist impact from a 1.5ton car moving at a speed of 113km/hr. In some locations such as in the vicinity of railway lines, barriers with 1.5m high are provided to contain a vehicle with 24ton at a speed of 50km/hr.

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The impact situation for vehicles varies from event to event and they are dependent on the speed, size and angle of incidence of the impacting vehicle. Though full-scale crash test is the simplest way to prove their performance, computer simulation has been used extensively owing to its lower in cost. Based on the results of computer simulation and crash tests, it is established that the said parapets comply with international standard for safe usage.

This question is taken from book named – A Self Learning Manual – Mastering Different Fields of Civil Engineering Works (VC-Q-A-Method) by Vincent T. H. CHU.

Should vehicular parapets be designed to be strong?

Parapets are designed to satisfy different containment levels. The containment level represents the magnitude of impact that the parapet is supposed to uphold.

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A parapet designed as low containment level can hardly withstand the impact by large vehicles which may even damage the parapet. On the other hand a parapet designed as high containment level can effectively contain safety large vehicle. However, when it is collided by light vehicles, it is expected that it would cause considerable damage to the light vehicles and its passengers on board. Therefore, strong parapets may not necessarily mean a good parapet.

This question is taken from book named – A Self Learning Manual – Mastering Different Fields of Civil Engineering Works (VC-Q-A-Method) by Vincent T. H. CHU.