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CEED Project Abstracts 2004-2005

School of Agriculture and Resource Economics

Where The Money Is: Determinants and Variability of Farm Profits in Western Australia

School of Archaeology

Traps, Tackle and Trawling: A Study into the Evolution of Fishing on the South Coast of Western Australia

School of Chemistry

Ammonia Recovery from Sodium Cyanide Production Waste Gas

School of Civil & Resource Engineering

Model testing to prove up existing theoretical models for subsea pipeline friction coefficients in purely undrained soil

Liquefaction of Perth Sands

Optimisation of the Geometry and Performance of a Drag Embedment Anchor

School of Computer Science & Software Engineering

Improving Cluster Performancewith Dynamic Resource Management Algorithmsand a Generic Resource Management Framework

School of Electrical, Electronic & Computer Engineering

ERACS Transient Stability Analysis of the Goodwyn “A” Power System

Distribution Transformer Overload Monitoring Device

Materials Tracking Technology and Construction Applications

School of Mechanical Engineering

The Environmental Benefits of Alternative Road Transport Fuels

Lateral Sway Of Road Trains

A Techno-economic study of pumping Vs conveying for the long distance transport of mineral sand ores

Separation of Reject Coal Stream Constituents

Assessment of Mining Wear: Buckets

Diesel fuel additives for mining and industrial equipment

Design and Pendulum Testing of a Frangible

Maintenance Optimisation at Western Power

Belt Conveyor Pulley Failure and Maintenance at Pilbara Iron

A Methodology for Determining the Data Quality of Geographical Information Systems

Numerical Analysis Of Steel Traffic Barriers

Wastewater Treatment Plant Availability Modelling

Wear Analysis of Transfer Chute Liners

School of Oil & Gas Engineering

An investigation into the water bearing sands of Offshore Mauritania, West Africa

Predicting Pipeline Concrete Coating Impact Absorption

Numerical Modelling of Hydrodynamic Coefficients for Piggyback Pipeline

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Abstracts

Where The Money Is: Determinants and Variability of Farm Profits in Western Australia

Matthew Titmanis
School of Agriculture and Resource Economics
BankWest

The purpose of this study is to examine the extensive database of individual farm records from Western Australia and investigate whether there exists useful information for farmers and financial advisors. Using STATA v8, panel data models were estimated for the determinants of profitability. Cross sectional information was used to gauge transition rates of farm profits and the causes of this variability. Farm size, level of specialisation, debt-to-asset ratio, average yield, rainfall and operating cost ratios were significant in determining farm profitability. High income mobility was evident in the farms and this variability was found to be significantly affected by farm size, debt-to-asset ratio, specialisation, and variation in crop income.

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Traps, Tackle and Trawling: A Study into the Evolution of Fishing on the South Coast of Western Australia
Connor Cunneen
School of Archaeology
Western Australian Museum Albany

Albany has a long history of human population, dating back some 19,000 years. During this period, land usage and how people have derived a living from it have changed dramatically. Populations have come and gone as has industry, but one thing has remained throughout this time in some capacity, and that is the exploitation of fish as a subsistence or commercial resource.

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Ammonia Recovery from Sodium Cyanide Production Waste Gas
Yesika Suarez Kuzma
School of Chemistry
CSBP Limited

CSBP produces Sodium Cyanide which is extensively used by the gold mining industry. Ammonia is one of three raw materials used in its manufacture. Ammonia is not fully converted in the reaction, and, since world ammonia prices have risen, CSBP has decided to revisit the potential benefits of implementing an ammonia recovery system. These recovery systems are used in cyanide plants around the world and it is believed that the technologies have been improved over the last 40 years. This paper describes three different technologies available in the market and shows the advantages and disadvantages of each option being added to the current process.

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Model testing to prove up existing theoretical models for subsea pipeline friction coefficients in purely undrained soil
David Barrett
School of Civil Engineering
Advanced Geomechanics/Woodside

The lateral friction factors used to assess the stability of subsea pipelines and flowlines have traditionally been taken from empirically based design codes. These codes have been developed from a relatively small data base and are therefore confined to limited material types and for limited loading conditions. A more accurate approach, using plasticity models based on fundamental soil mechanics has been previously developed. Experimental results which prove up the applicability of this approach for pipe-soil interaction in undrained conditions are presented. Components of this plasticity model, and friction coefficients for pipe-clay interaction were determined.

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Liquefaction of Perth Sands
Rosemary Clough
School of Civil and Resource Engineering
Golder Associates

Most people living in the city of Perth will never have experienced a major earthquake or strong ground motion. It is quite surprising therefore that the design of a great deal of construction in Perth is strongly influenced by the requirements for safety under earthquake conditions. These requirements are intended to minimise the risk of liquefaction of foundation soils, which can cause catastrophic damage. However, the methods used to measure this risk have been developed using data from overseas, predominantly Japan and the United State, and it is not known how appropriate they are for Perth soils. This study aims to address this problem by investigating the behaviour of soils from several different areas in the Perth region, and comparing the results obtained to those currently in use. This study is also interested in the prediction of liquefaction risk using Shear Wave Velocity testing, rather than the Standard Penetration Test or Cone Penetration testing which are currently more commonly employed.

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Optimisation of the Geometry and Performance of a Drag Embedment AnchorAndrea Xanthis
School of Civil and Resource Engineering
Superay Pty. Ltd.

Drag embedment anchors generally provide a good solution for anchoring problems due to their excellent weight efficiency. In the marketing of commercial anchors it is necessary to quote the maximum holding capacity of the anchor. The simplifying assumption that the soil provides a uniformly distributed pressure on the anchor is made in the calculation of a drag anchor’s anticipated holding capacity. Centrifuge testing can be conducted with the use of scale model anchors due to the stress similitude that exists between model and prototype under increased g levels. Scale model anchors were used in centrifuge testing to determine the pressure distribution acting on the anchor fluke at three distinct points situated at the centroid of three areas, defined by the shank connections to the fluke. The aim of this project is to provide suggestions for improvement of the design of the Superay anchor series through the analysis of the pressure distribution and through the determination of the reason for high unexpected holding capacities in field tests by conducting centrifuge tests of scale model anchors.

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Improving Cluster Performancewith Dynamic Resource Management Algorithmsand a Generic Resource Management FrameworkJoshua King
School of Computer Science and Software Engineering
School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering
Defence Science and Technology Organisation

Distributed systems need to share tasks efficiently to achieve best performance. Process migration and dynamic resource allocation algorithms enable this. We investigated such algorithms, and created a generic resource management framework. We used openMosix to provide transparent process migration under Linux. Experiments that were run on 4-, 8- and 12-node clusters showed that performance depends heavily upon the process migration mechanism as well as the algorithms. Opportunity cost algorithms that monitored both CPU and memory consumption were the most efficient.

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ERACS Transient Stability Analysis of the Goodwyn “A” Power System
Amy Chow
School of Electrical, Electronic and Computer Engineering
Woodside Energy Ltd
Transfield Worley Woodside Alliance

Analysing the transient stability of the Goodwyn “A” platform power system using the power systems analysis tool, ERACS, allows the impact of disturbances to be evaluated and facilitates the implementation of a load shedding system which will protect the system sufficiently. The benefits of utilising the ERACS software to achieve this objective are that further calculations may be run on the same power system model as required; for example, to test the effects of new installations or modifications to the power system network. ERACS also provides the capability to test the limitations of the power system network without risk, cost or disruption to operations.

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Distribution Transformer Overload Monitoring Device
Yuting Leong
School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering
Western Power Corporation

Monitoring the loading of distribution transformers can assist in improving the performance and reliability of a power network, and hence, the quality of the power distributed to customers. The absence of monitoring at distribution level in Western Power’s network was attributed as one of the causes of the large number of failures of transformers in the summer of 2003/2004. This paper discusses the design of a device to facilitate real time monitoring and forecasting of the loading, top oil and hotspot temperatures of distribution transformers.

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Materials Tracking Technology and Construction Applications
David Ly
School of Electrical, Electronic & Computer Engineering
Hatch Associates

The costs arising from inefficient materials management systems can cost Engineering Procurement and Construction Management (EPCM) companies many thousands of dollars in large scale construction projects, such as Alcoa’s Pinjarra Efficiency Upgrade (PEU). Time spent searching for assets when needed are not only inconvenient but may cause costly delays, eating into productivity and bottom line profitability. This project aims to investigate methods to improve the tracking of structural steel work at industrial construction sites. The project work can be divided into two phases. Firstly, the requirements definition stage entails a review of existing materials handling processes for the PEU project and compiling a list of project requirements. Secondly, the implementation stage involves identifying prospective tracking technologies and processes, researching how these can be implemented and performing a cost benefit analysis. The preliminary finding is that bar code technology is the most suitable tracking method for this application, as there are at present technical and practical limitations which need to be addressed before Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) can be employed.

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The Environmental Benefits of Alternative Road Transport Fuels
Nishant Agarwalla
School of Mechanical Engineering
Department of Environment WA

This desktop study assesses the environmental impacts of alternative road transport fuels. The three alternative fuels examined were Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) compared to unleaded petrol, whilst Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) and Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) were compared to diesel. Vehicle emissions of pollutants and greenhouse gases were taken on a life cycle basis. It was found that in general the three alternative fuels outperform petrol and diesel with respect to a given set of air pollutants. Economic analysis for alternative fuel usage showed a significant cost benefit to using LPG over petrol, especially with current increasing fuel prices.

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Lateral Sway Of Road Trains
Murray Argus
School of Mechanical Engineering
Main Roads Western Australia

To date Main Roads relies almost exclusively on computer simulation to ascertain the dynamic behaviour of the various road trains which are in widespread use across the state of Western Australia. As a method of confirming the accuracy of these computer based models, this study aims to develop a system which may be employed to gather data from vehicles while they are in service. This has involved the design of an accelerometer-based data gathering system coupled with computer based analysis techniques to provide a comparison for simulations. Primarily the study has been interested in monitoring the lateral sway of vehicles, however it is expected that the results may be applied to other motions such as vehicle roll.

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A Techno-economic study of pumping Vs conveying for the long distance transport of mineral sand ores
Damintha Chandrasekara
School of Mechancial Engineering
Iluka Resources Limited

This project aims to investigate the financial and technical aspects of conventional & multi-stage pumping systems as well as overland conveying systems. Capital and operating costs for the three systems were obtained from information extracted from external and internal sources. This enabled an NPC to be conducted over a fifteen year period at a require rate of return of 12.5%. For throughputs in the order of 600tph conventional pumping proved to be the most financially viable method over 10km. At throughputs over 1000tph, overland conveying became the favoured method due to the escalating power costs associated with both pumping methods. Conducting a sensitivity analysis on the key variables showed that further investigation into maintenance costs for overland conveyors would be needed, as this variable can affect the NPC considerably.

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Separation of Reject Coal Stream Constituents
David Common
School of Mechanical Engineering
Western Power

Mill rejects from Western Power’s Collie coal fired power station contain a large amount of coal, along with the unwanted pyritic sulphur and free silica constituents. The purpose of this project is to develop a profitable process which will allow the liberation of some of this coal. Particle size distributions and float/sink testing were determined for samples taken from the rejects, and average rejects density and tonnage data was collected. It was found that a vibrating screen of aperture size 8mm would be able to liberate approximately half of the coal, and reject the majority of the gangue minerals.

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Assessment of Mining Wear: Buckets
Saurabh Das
School of Mechanical Engineering
Pilbara Iron

A system of laboratory wear analysis has been developed in order to investigate wear rates, ore degradation and wear correlation with geographical location. The process will be verified using the example of the wear experienced by the Hitachi EX 3600 buckets used by Pilbara Iron in Tom Price. High stress abrasion and impact test rigs were designed and built to simulate specific mechanisms of wear. The results from these tests will suggest methods of increasing wear resistance economically.

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Diesel fuel additives for mining and industrial equipment
Rick Gillinder
School of Mechanical Engineering
Pilbara Iron

For large scale machinery small improvements in fuel efficiency can translate to significant cost savings. Fuel additives may be one way to reduce the fuel consumption of existing machinery economically. Investigations of possible fuel savings from two diesel fuel additives were conducted. It was determined that controlled tests were required as small changes in operating conditions could conceal the effect of the additives. The additives were tested at different loading conditions with the use of generators coupled to resistive load banks. Different loads were chosen in an attempt to relate additive effectiveness to real engine conditions. Results showed improved fuel efficiency with a combustion catalyst. However the effects of the additive were seen to reduce with increasing load. Testing of the second additive is still being conducted to determine the effects of increasing cetane and introducing detergents into the fuel.

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Design and Pendulum Testing of a Frangible
Guardrail Post for use in End Terminals
Peter Kapitola
School of Mechanical Engineering
Main Roads Western Australia (MRWA)

Road safety guardrails are potential hazards, and often need to be modified to avoid subjecting a colliding vehicle’s occupants to excessive deceleration forces. Current timber guardrail posts give satisfactory performance but have maintenance and quality issues. Steel posts were thus designed to replicate the failure characteristics of the existing posts. The prototype posts were impact-tested using a 2.5 tonne pendulum, with tests photographed at 500 frames per second.

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Maintenance Optimisation at Western Power
Simon Killigrew
School of Mechanical Engineering
Western Power Corporation

Western Power has commissioned this report through their Maintenance Optimisation Department. The thesis brief was to review the maintenance planning, maintenance data collection, maintenance data analysis and maintenance procedures for a sub-section of Western Power’s distribution system. The intention of this presentation report is to review the reliability merits of the current policy of replacing overhead distribution with underground distribution. It will identify reliability challenges within the underground network and make suggestions to enable Western Power to improve the current underground maintenance systems.

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Belt Conveyor Pulley Failure and Maintenance at Pilbara Iron
Mark La Brooy
School of Mechanical Engineering
Pilbara Iron

The aim of this thesis is to examine the maintenance and reliability of Pilbara Iron’s Conveyor Belt Pulleys at Mount Tom Price in order to assess the current maintenance strategy and suggest changes for improvement. Failure mode and effect analysis and risk assessment will be used to identify the critical sources of failure. From this recommendations will be made to improve maintenance and reliability.

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A Methodology for Determining the Data Quality of Geographical Information Systems

Sheyeen Liew
School of Mechanical Engineering
Western Power Corporation

There is a general perception that data quality is poor at Western Power. However, an objective quantitative measure is necessary as a first step to improving data quality. This seminar paper will discuss the methods for determining the quality of data in geographical information systems. Data quality consists of components that are mainly concerned that an object is there (completeness), at the right time to be useful (timeliness), in the right position (positional accuracy) and connected correctly to other assets (logical consistency). Positional accuracy metrics look at measuring, estimating and inferring data quality. Measurement of positional accuracy requires a data set of higher accuracy with which to compare the test data set. If this is not available, then it is possible to examine the process that the data undergoes as it progresses into the system. Each stage in the process can introduce an error which propagates to the end data set. Measuring the error at each stage gives an estimate of the error of the end data set. The third method uses data rules such as the requirement that electrical poles be x metres apart to infer positional accuracy.

Completeness measures involve comparing the test data set to its specifications. Errors of omission (specified data not in test data) and commission (excess data) can be averaged to give a completeness measure.

Timeliness measures give an indication of how up-to-date data is for the task at hand. For example, the elapsed time between an event occurring and it being recorded may be compared against a reference level to give an indication of timeliness.

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Numerical Analysis Of Steel Traffic Barriers
Maurice Matich
School of Mechanical Engineering
Main Roads Western Australia

“AS5100 2004 Bridge design Part 1: Scope and general principles” acceptance criteria requires that all Bridge Traffic Barriers undergo full-scale crash testing if a geometrically and structurally equivalent barrier has not previously been shown to adhere. As a precursor to crash testing this paper explores Finite Element simulations of the MRWA “2 rail barrier” and type RP2 road traffic barrier under vehicle impact, assesses their performance level as defined in AS5100 Clause 10.5, and subsequently analyses the performance with the inclusion of a roadside kerb. Crash testing requirements as defined in TRB-NCHRP 350 are deemed acceptable provisions and it is from this report that the conclusions on safety performance are based. The simulations show that both barriers are able to meet Low Performance levels yet Regular Performance levels could not be determined as sufficient results at the time of writing were not available. Vehicle and Kerb interaction was not shown to be an important factor in the performance of the Traffic Barrier.

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Wastewater Treatment Plant Availability Modelling
Benjamin Redman
School of Mechanical Engineering
BP

Availability is important to any process as it ensures that equipment is operational when required. The BP Kwinana wastewater treatment plant is critical to the operation of the refinery so a high level of availability is required. This paper will discuss the implementation of theoretical modelling as a tool to improve the availability of the waste water treatment plant as a practical and operational system. Results indicate that although an accurate simulation could not be achieved, the model proved a useful tool for evaluating potential changes to the system and identifying critical elements.

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Wear Analysis of Transfer Chute Liners
Michael Skinner
School of Mechanical Engineering
Rio Tinto; Pilbara Iron

The primary aim of the project entitled “Wear Analysis of Transfer Chute Liners” is the identification and analysis of wear mechanisms occurring on the liners of a transfer chute due to ore slurry movement. Specific wear mechanisms (such as abrasion, erosion and gouging) are trialled on three differing chute liners; Polyurethane, Silicon Carbide Ceramic and Alumina Ceramic. This examination acts to compare the reactions and wear rates experienced by the three liner types due to differing input conditions and forced wear mechanisms. The comparison is conducted with the intent of identifying an optimal wear liner for implementation within the chute system.

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An investigation into the water bearing sands of Offshore Mauritania, West Africa
Chris Bettridge
School of Oil and Gas Engineering
Woodside Energy Ltd.

The variation of the salinity value of water bearing sands can be an indicator of proximity to a geological salt structure known as a salt diapir. This paper presents the importance of the distance of wells to these structures for exploration and production of hydrocarbons, and suggests an alternative indirect method of obtaining the salinity values for the water bearing sands. With knowledge of the salinity values and the underlying geological structure, this project will aim to predict salinity values due to proximity to a salt diapir and hence have a direct impact on optimisation of drilling activities.

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Predicting Pipeline Concrete Coating Impact Absorption
Evan Chudziak
School of Oil and Gas Engineering
Woodside Energy Ltd / JP Kenny

The primary functions of the concrete coating on a submarine pipeline are to give the pipeline additional weight to stabilize it on the sea floor, and to protect the external corrosion coating against mechanical damage. Pipeline integrity is a major concern where an impact may cause extreme denting of the steel pipe and at worst, cause leakage.
Recently (October 2002), Woodside Energy conducted full scale tests of a dropped object onto sample lengths of pipe from TSEP (Trunkline System Expansion Project) to confirm the safety of the pipeline during gravity anchor installations. These tests showed that the coated pipeline had at least one order of magnitude more capacity to absorb impact energy than predicted by design calculations. This project aims to remove some of the conservatisms from the design calculations in order that more realistic results can be achieved. This will be done by reviewing the design codes, analysing TSEP test results and comparing these results with experimental/modelling results.

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Numerical Modelling of Hydrodynamic Coefficients for Piggyback Pipeline
Muhamad H Kamarudin
School of Oil and Gas Engineering
Woodside Energy Limited/JP Kenny Pty. Ltd.

Hydrodynamic loadings play a very important role in the stability of submarine pipelines. The cost of installing the pipelines can be up to 40%-60% of the total cost of offshore facilities. One of the main techniques proposed is pipeline bundles where two or more pipelines are strapped together. A popular way of combining the bundle is to strap a smaller diameter pipeline onto the main pipeline. This gives rise to a piggyback configuration. This paper will investigate the influence of the piggyback on the hydrodynamic loadings on the system in steady current and also wave plus current situation using a Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD), FLUENT.

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