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Ishida Y.,Ritsumeikan University | Fukagawa R.,Ritsumeikan University | Sako K.,Ritsumeikan University | Yasukawa I.,Ritsumeikan University | Ikeda K.,Government of Nara Prefecture
Journal of Disaster Research | Year: 2011

Natural disasters threaten all human efforts, from everyday living to cultural heritage site preservation. To protect them, such sites must first be identified. We conducted two studies on cultural monuments designated by the law as The National Treasures and Important Cultural Properties in Shiga prefecture to evaluate potential of damage from natural disasters - first, focusing on cultural monument damage via a bibliographic survey and, second, looking at potential of damage via geographic information systems (GIS) combining earthquake and flood hazard maps, sediment disaster warning maps, and an architectural monuments map. We also analyzed the geological aspects of historical sediment disasters. From our findings, we conclude the following: Most structural damage was due to typhoons. The eight sites most potentially subject to earthquake damage are concentrated on the west coast of Lake Biwa. By type, 8 sites are threatened by earth flows, 5 by debris flows, and 2 by landslides. Many sites historically subject to debris flows and earth flows are within 1 kilometer of a geological discontinuity or an active fault.

Akiyama H.,Zenitaka Corporation | Nakayama M.,Zenitaka Corporation | Kayanoki H.,Government of Nara Prefecture
Structural Engineering International: Journal of the International Association for Bridge and Structural Engineering (IABSE) | Year: 2011

The Yumekake Bridge is an extradosed prestre ssed concrete bridge over the Kumano River in a steep ravine located near the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Sacred Sites and Pilgrimage Routes in the Kii Mountain Range in Japan. This bridge is the nation's first extradosed prestressed concrete br idge with high-strength and self-compacting castin- place concrete having specified design strength of 60 MPa for the tower and the box girder. The high-strength materials are also employed for the piers. This solution ensured slenderness and seismic resistance. The special features of the bridge are reported in this paper.

Salak F.,Government of Nara Prefecture | Uemura S.,Government of Nara Prefecture | Sugimoto K.,Government of Nara Prefecture
Polymer Engineering and Science | Year: 2015

This article aims on the fabrication of cost-effective polylactic acid (PLA) biocomposites using kudzu biomass derivatives as new filler. In this way, it has been realized that pretreatment of the filler was an essential requirement. We demonstrated thermal pyrolysis process that targeted to extraction and isolation of all extractable and unnecessary compounds such as intracellular water and bio-oil from the biomass. Also, to further improve the compatibility of the filler with PLA, noncatalytic thermal esterification reactions of kudzu after thermal pyrolysis (called char) were carried out as second pretreatment stage in the presence of phthalic anhydride. Kudzu derivatives obtained from either first or second pretreatment reactions were melt-blended with PLA in various rates. The blends were then compression molded into dumbbell specimens. Physicomechanical properties of the prepared biocomposites were evaluated using several analytical techniques. It was found that biocomposites containing treated biomass had higher values of physicomechanical properties than untreated ones. The final rate of filler to PLA with acceptable properties was set up to 50%. Obviously, the cost of PLA can be reduced using higher rates of low-cost filler on a finished-product basis. Extracted valuable compounds from biomass via thermal pyrolysis could be another benefit of the process. © 2014 Society of Plastics Engineers.

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