Journal of Materials Science Research and Reviews <p style="text-align: justify;"><strong>Journal of Materials Science Research and Reviews</strong> aims to publish high-quality papers in all areas including metals, ceramics, glasses, polymers, electrical materials, composite materials, fibers, all engineering materials, nanostructured materials, nanocomposites, and biological and biomedical materials. The journal also encourages the submission of useful reports of negative results. This is a quality controlled, OPEN peer-reviewed, open access INTERNATIONAL journal.</p> Journal of Materials Science Research and Reviews en-US Journal of Materials Science Research and Reviews Optimizing the Efficiency of Eggplant Fruits Harvesting and Handling Machines <p>The knowledge of the mechanical properties of agricultural products plays an essential role during the design, development, programming and utilization of their automated harvesting, handling and processing machines. The aim of this study was to investigate the influence of field practices (pre-harvest treatments) on some mechanical properties of eggplant (<em>Solanum aethiopicum </em>L.) fruits, necessary for the automation of agricultural production. Eggplant (cv. Djamba) was cultivated in the field trial, in four different treatments mediums, which were: Zero amendment (also referred to as the control), organic manure, potassium nitrate (KNO<sub>3</sub>) and combination of organic manure and KNO<sub>3</sub>. The eggplant fruits were harvested at peak maturity (35 days after flowering), and their mechanical properties tested, according to standard procedures. Results obtained revealed that field practices had a significant (p ≤0.05) effect on all the mechanical properties investigated. The fruits produced by using the combination of organic manure and KNO<sub>3</sub> had superior mass, when compared with other treatments options. The control fruits exhibited the poorest failure force (305.58 N) and failure energy (3.895 Nm); while the fruits cultivated with the combination of organic manure and KNO<sub>3</sub> had the highest failure force and failure energy of 636.6 N and 5.312 Nm respectively. The study revealed that the fruits produced with organic manure exhibited superior failure force and failure energy, compared to the fruits produced with KNO<sub>3</sub>. Additionally, the fruits produced by using organic manure, exhibited the highest deformation (24.01 mm) at failure point; while the control fruits recorded the lowest deformation (18.8 mm). Regarding the puncture properties, the tissues of the fruits produced with organic manure had the least resistivity to puncture force (50.30 N); which was lower than the puncture force of 65.73 N recorded by the control fruits. The highest resistance to puncture force (89.17 N) was observed in the fruits cultivated with KNO<sub>3</sub>. These results will help to optimize the efficiency of eggplant fruits harvesting and handling machines; thereby reducing the rate of mechanical damage being done to the harvested products.</p> N. E. Nwanze H. Uguru ##submission.copyrightStatement## 2020-10-12 2020-10-12 1 10 Optimizing Blending of Manufactured Sand with Offshore Sand Based on Physical and Virtue Characteristics <p>Usage of alternative fine aggregates in concrete and cement mortar has been gradually increasing by the construction industries around the world due to the escalated shortage in obtaining natural river sand. Manufactured sand and offshore sand can be considered as the principal alternatives which are consumed by most of the contractors for substituting river sand in the construction activities now. However, most of the above sand consumptions are done without deeply analyzing the conformity of the alternatives to concrete and cement mortar. The present study is executed to inspect the fitness of manufactured sand from two different high-grade metamorphic rocks, offshore sand, and blended sands of both manufactured sand types at 25%, 50% and 75% replacement levels with offshore sand to be practiced in concrete and cement mortar by scrutinizing physical properties and quality through series of characterizing experiments. Results reveal that blended sand with all replacement levels can be suitable with respect to particle characteristics such as angularity, surface texture and total specific surface. Regarding resultant particle size distribution, blended sands with 50% replacement level can be the optimum solution in reference to uniform gradation, the density of sand mix, and fineness. 50% and 75% contents of manufactured sand in combined sand types show higher loose and packing densities than river sand. Flowability under the gravity of blended sand types contain 50% to 75% of offshore sand are performed well contemplating different affecting parameters. However, increased manufactured sand content demands more water than river sand and offshore sand. Additionally, hazardous materials such as clay lumps and friable particles, fines and silt are identified within the permissible range based on the requirements by the standard available. Regarding all the above characteristics, blended sands contain two manufactured sand types with 50% replacement level with offshore sand can be suggested as the optimum substitution for river sand in terms of fresh and hardened state properties of concrete and cement mortar.</p> A. Branavan K. M. C. Konthesingha S. M. A. Nanayakkara H. M. R. Premasiri ##submission.copyrightStatement## 2020-10-14 2020-10-14 11 31