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Solids and Structures (SAS) Volume 3, 2014

The Effect of Boundary Conditions on the


Natural Vibration Characteristics of Deephole Bulkhead Gate
Beier Luo*1, Junxing Wang2, Wen Wang3
State Key Laboratory of Water Resource and Hydropower Engineering Science, Wuhan University
Wuhan, Hubei, 430072, P.R. China
lbe415@whu.edu.cn; 2jxwang@whu.edu.cn; 3wangwen@whu.edu.cn

*1

Received 28 March 2014; Accepted 2 April 2014; Published 4 June 2014


2014 Science and Engineering Publishing Company

Abstract
This paper studied the effects of boundary bearing
conditions and fluid-solid interaction two factors on the
natural vibration characteristics of a deep hole bulkhead
gate. Calculated with Block Lanczos method in model
analysis of ANSYS, the results show that the influence on
gates natural vibration characteristics is very significant
when the restraints of forward flow direction, transverse
direction or vertical direction changes within a certain range.
Its rule is in accordance with the rule of transverse vibration
of rectangle thin plate. The natural frequencies are closely
related to the restraints of the modal vibration direction, and
have nothing to do with other directions. Therefore, the
corresponding direction of vibration modes can be obtained
by analysing the rule of gates natural frequency changing
with the restraints. In considering the effect of fluid-solid
interaction, water in front of the gate is simulated by added
mass, the result shows that the impact created by upstream
water level changing within a certain range on gates natural
frequency can be neglected, and the restraints have a
relatively small effect.
Keywords
Deep Hole Bulkhead Gate; Natural Vibration Characteristics;
Restraint Condition; Fluid-Solid Interaction

Introduction
Deep-hole bulkhead gate is widely used in the field of
hydraulic engineering but the issues of flow-induced
vibration are often problematic to the engineers.
Strong vibration is likely to occur in some situation
leading to the failure of the structure. Therefore, the
study of the flow-induced vibration of deep-hole
bulkhead gate is necessary. The natural vibration
characteristics of the bulkhead gate are the foundation

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of the study of the kinetic response and stability.


Further analysis can only be conducted when the
impact factors and variation trend of the natural
vibration characteristics of the bulkhead gate are fully
evaluated and recommendations are proposed for
actual engineering practice.
In actual engineering practice, Wu et al. proposed the
fundamental equations and definite condition for
fluid-structure interaction system for common
hydraulic structure; Li simulated the water in front of
the bulkhead gate using fluid elements in ANSYS and
results showed that the effect of fluid-structure
interaction on the natural vibration characteristics of
bulkhead gate was substantial; relevant research was
conducted on the vibration characteristics of fluidstructure interaction of plate structure under different
constraint: Haddara et al. evaluated the kinetic
characteristics of rectangular plate immersed in the
water; Ergin et al. studied the kinetic characteristics of
vertical cantilever plate partly immersed in the water;
Kerboua et al. evaluated the vibration problem of
horizontal and vertical plate immersed in or floating
on the water. It is clear that studies of the vibration
characteristics of plate structure mainly focused on the
problem of fluid-structure interaction but the influence
of variation of boundary conditions was neglected.
Fixing of the support or water-sealing may cause pretension to the bulkhead gate or produce gaps, leading
to the variation of boundary conditions for the
vibration and change the characteristics of natural
vibration, affecting the kinetic behaviour of the gate
and the systematic nonlinear kinetic behaviour is
complex.

Solids and Structures (SAS) Volume 3, 2014

Recent studies on the variation of boundary constraint


conditions focused on the transverse vibration
characteristics of the plate: Saha et al. studied the free
vibration problem of rectangular Mindlin plate with
uniform elastic constraint boundary condition; Zhang
et al. studied the vibration problem of rectangular thin
plate with arbitrary non-uniform elastic constraint.
The aforementioned studies were focused on plates
with regular shape and the distribution of boundary
constraint was regular. Theoretical solutions could be
obtained but those methods cannot be used on
bulkhead gate with complex size and constraint
conditions. Therefore, this study used a sliding deephole bulkhead gate with continuously variable
constraint stiffness as research object to study the
effect of boundary conditions on the natural vibration
characteristics of the gate. The variation of natural
vibration of the gate with constraint stiffness was
evaluated by calculation using ANSYS software. The
condition in the possible scenario of discontinuous
variation was analysed and the fluid-structure
interaction was studied to provide recommendation
for vibration reduction design of the gate in
engineering practice.

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blocks, the sliding blocks at the downstream face


could escape the slide way during forward flow
vibration leading to shifting of the gate towards
upstream and forward flow deformation of the gate.
The constraints of sliding blocks at downstream face
are ineffective and the arch-shape elastic sliding blocks
were compressed. In addition to the variation of the
pre-compressed amount of water-seal with vibration,
repeated impact of contact, separate and re-contact is
occurred to the gate resulting to the variation of
constraint stiffness in forward flow direction. In terms
of transverse vibration of the gate, due to the fact that
there is gap between the side sliding blocks and the
side chute slide way, the transverse constraint is not
unlimited line displacement but segmental. Whether
or not its effect on the vibration characteristics of the
gate can be ignored needs further investigation. For
vertical vibration of the gate, the lever of the hydraulic
pressure headstock gear can deliver simultaneously
tensile and compressive force and constraint stiffness
depends on the stiffness of the piston rod and the
fixing condition of hydraulic pressure headstock gear.

Research Object and Fundamental Theory


Research Object
A working gate located at the exit of the tail-end of the
sand duct of a hydraulic power plant was selected as
the research object. The hole had a dimension of
3.24.2m (width height) and a hydraulic head under
normal operation of 74m. The working gate was a
sliding bulkhead gate with top and side water-seals
located at the downstream face and the gate was
operated by a hydraulic pressure headstock gear. Line
contact existed between the downstream sliding block
and the chute slide way in the narrow door with P
type side and top water-seals positioned in area. On
the upstream face, two arc-shaped elastic sliding
blocks were used to contact with the inner surface of
the chute of the narrow door at the left and right hand
side of the gate to prevent the gate from incline or shift
towards the upstream face without getting to tight in
the chute to avoid difficulties in operating the gate.
Two rectangular blocks were positioned at each side of
the gate to avoid side shifting. A 5mm gap was
maintained between the sliding block and the chute
slide way. The size of the gate and the form of support
are shown in Fig. 1.
Due to the existence of arch-shape elastic sliding

FIG. 1 PLAN OF THE GATE AND DETAILED VIEW OF THE


SUPPORT FORM

Fundamental Theory
The bulkhead gate is analysed in a three-dimensional
system. In finite element method, the differential
equation of the linear constant coefficient matrix of
gate structure considering fluid-structure interaction is
expressed as:

( M + M a )
x(t ) + (C + Ca ) x (t ) + ( K + K a ) x(t ) =
P(t )

(1)

where M , C , K are respectively mass, damping and


stiffness matrix of the gate structure; M a , Ca , K a are
respectively added mass, damping and stiffness
matrix of the gate vibration system under fluidstructure interaction; P(t ) is the pulsed compressive

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Solids and Structures (SAS) Volume 3, 2014

force of the flow which varies with t and relates to the


condition of the flow. When studying the natural
vibration of the bulkhead gate, damping has little
influence on the frequency and type of natural
vibration in a light damping system such as gate
structure, and ignoring the effect of damping
significantly
simplifies
the
calculation
of
characteristics of natural vibration of the structure, the
effect of damping was ignored in the study, i.e.
C + Ca =
0 . In addition, the added stiffness imposed by
flow to the gate is normally small compared with the
stiffness of the gate, K a = 0 was assumed in this study.
Therefore, Eq. (1) can be simplified as:

( M + M a )
x(t ) + Kx(t ) =
0

(2)

summaries as:
(1) Initialisation, i.e., randomly select n b matrix R0
to let Q0 = 0 , R1 = AR0 and R1 = Q1 B1 ;
(2) Loop i = 1, 2, , m , calculation the recursion using
Eq.(4):

where Ai = QiT AQi , Ri +1 = Qi +1 Bi +1 , Qi is n b matrix


with each column mutually orthogonal; Ai is b b
matrix, Bi is b b upper triangular matrix, b is the
size of the block, the tridiagonal matrix in block form
calculated by above process is:

A1

B1
Tm =

As the boundary of the gate belongs to a bounded


domain, separation of variables in Eq. (2) yields the
typical eigenvalue problem in Eq. (3):

n2 ( M + M a ) n = K n

(4)

Ri +1 = AQi Qi Ai Qi 1 BiT1

(3)

where, n is the natural frequency in the n order

B1T
A2
B2

B2T

Bm 1

T
Bm 1

Am

of the natural mode of

(3) By means of Given transformation, Tm is simplified

vibration in the n order modal which does not vary


with time but satisfy the boundary condition.

to a constant tridiagonal matrix TM . Select a series of

modal, n is the vector

spin matrix Gi and calculate using Eq(5):

Method of Calculation
Real symmetric matrix is very significant in the
application of engineering and related field, especially
in the field of structural vibration engineering.
Depending on different types of matrix eigenvalue
problem, many methods can be used for calculation
including: deflation method, sub-space iteration
method, Lanczos Method, QL decomposition and
nonsymmetry method. Block Lanczos method was
adapted in this study.
Block Lanczos can be used to obtain the eigenvalue
and eigenvector for large symmetric matrix. The
method is based on blocking Lanczos theory with
combination of Sturm theory by using automatic
shifting technique to obtain the required eigenvalue
and eigenvector. Block Lanczos is a transformation of
the typical Lanczos method which uses multiple
vectors simultaneously to enable Lanczos recursion to
obtain the tridiagonal matrix similar to the original
matrix. The eigenvalue and eigenvector of the
tridiagonal matrix can be solved using QL method.
The eigenvalue is the approximation of the eigenvalue
of the original matrix and the eigenvector can be
transform to obtain the approximate eigenvector of the
original matrix. The extraction of the eigenvalue and
eigenvector for n order real symmetric matrix can be

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(5)

Gr Gr 1 G1Tm G1T G2T GrT = TM

where M = mb ( M n ) .
(4)

Repeatedly

decompose TM

by

QL

method

ultimately yields D = diag ( 1 , , M ) in diagonal form


and the diagonal elements, 1 , , M and the required
eigenvalues.
The Effect of Constraint Conditions
The effect of added mass is ignored in this section.
Due to the deformation of the arch-shape elastic
sliding blocks in the upstream face, the contact and
escape process of the sliding blocks in the downstream
face and the gaps in the side sliding blocks, a certain
level of variation of constraint stiffness is likely to
occur. As a result, the natural mode of vibration of the
gate is formed with a part which is similar to rigid
body displacement and the mode of vibration can be
viewed as a combination of rigid body displacement
mode and elastic deformation mode. The two modes
are relative and it is hard to satisfy the displacement
boundary condition in calculation. One simply way is
to incorporate the variable degrees of freedom of the
constraints in the global stiffness matrix of the
structure to enable the implementation of variable
boundary conditions in the software.

Solids and Structures (SAS) Volume 3, 2014

ANSYS software is used in the calculation. Base on the


geometry and force properties, the main structure
including plates in the upstream and downstream face,
main and secondary beams were modelled by
SHELL63 shell element. Movable supports located in
the chute were modelled by SOLID45 element.
Material parameters of the gate includes: elastic
modulus E=200GPa, Poissons ratio 0.3 and density
7800kg/m3.

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range. As the variation range of ES was smaller than


the elastic modulus of the gate E, the frequency of
natural vibration of the gate in forward flow direction
was relatively stable. In addition, the variation of
constraint stiffness in forward flow direction did not
change the mode of vibration but only the relative
deformation in each mode.

The Effect of Constraint in Forward Flow Direction


The arch-shaped sliding blocks at the upstream face is
elastic to some extend and remained contact but the
sliding blocks at the downstream face is one-way
linearly contacted with the chute and can escape the
slide way. Therefore, it is possible that for the gate at a
certain moment that the supports at the downstream
face in the extreme conditions of fully contact or fully
escape. In order to evaluate the variation trend of the
frequency of natural vibration between the two
extreme conditions, the forward flow constraints was
set as four constant stiffness elastic constraints in the
upstream face with an elastic modulus of 10GPa; the
constraint at the slide way in the downstream face was
set to be linear displacement variable stiffness elastic
constraints; transverse and vertical constraints were
set as one-way fixed constraints. The effect of the
forward flow constraints on the frequency of natural
vibration of the gate was studied by continuous
variation of constraint stiffness method. The
frequencies of the first 6th order were extracted. As the
model of natural vibration in each order will exhibit
different rate of variation with the variation of the
stiffness of the constraint, the variation trend of
respective frequency of each 6 order with the elastic
modulus of the forward flow constraint ES is shown in
Fig. 2; where S1 is the forward flow arch-shaped swing,
S2 is the forward flow incline forward and backward
vibration, H is the vertical straight movement, C is the
transverse rotation, S3 is the forward flow pulse, SC is
the forward flow S-shaped twist accompanied with
transverse rotation.
It is clear from Fig. 2 that the variation of the stiffness
of constraints mainly affected the mode of vibration in
forward flow direction and there was little effect on
the vertical vibration. The variation trend was similar
to an S-shaped curve and increased with the increase
of ES. When ES varied between 107~1010(Pa), the rate of
variation of frequencies in each order was significant
and the rate of variation was stable and move towards
the two extreme conditions when ES lied outside the

FIG. 2 VARIATION TRENDS OF FREQUENCIES OF NATURAL


VIBRATION WITH FORWARD FLOW CONSTRAINTS

FIG. 3 VARIATION TRENDS OF FREQUENCIES OF NATURAL


VIBRATION WITH TRANSVERSE CONSTRAINTS

FIG. 4 VARIATION TRENDS OF FREQUENCIES OF NATURAL


VIBRATION WITH VERTICAL CONSTRAINTS

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The Effect of Transverse and Vertical Constraints


In order to evaluate the effect of transverse and
vertical constraints on the frequency of natural
vibration of the gate, the forward flow constraints
were fixed and the transverse and vertical constraints
were set as variable elastic modulus elastic constraints.
Calculate the variation trend of the frequency of
natural vibration of the gate f with the elastic modulus
of transverse constraints EC and vertical constraints EH
by extracting the first 6th orders, the results are given
in Fig. 3 and Fig. 4.

Solids and Structures (SAS) Volume 3, 2014

orders of frequencies of natural vibration of the gate


with ES and EC were evaluated and are given in Fig. 5.

Results showed that the variation of the stiffness of


transverse constraints affect significantly the
frequency of the transverse vibration. The variation
trend appeared to be S-shaped and the mode of
vibration was similar to transverse rigid body rotation.
When EC varied between 108~1011(Pa), the variation of
the frequency of transverse vibration was obvious but
the forward flow vibration and vertical vibration were
not affected. During flow induced vibration, the
transverse vibration of the gate is less significant and
therefore gaps in the side slide way do not essentially
affect the vibration characteristics of the gate.
Moreover, the variation of the stiffness of vertical
constraints affects significantly the frequency of the
vertical vibration and the trend was similar to the case
of transverse constraints. The variation trend appeared
to be S-shaped and when EH varied between
108~1011(Pa), the variation of the frequency of vertical
vibration was obvious. The mode of vertical vibration
was similar to rigid body motion and the frequency
was determined by the stiffness of the vertical
constraints. Due to the effect of dowel bars, the
stiffness of vertical constraints would not vary in a
large range. Nevertheless, if the dowel bars are
damaged or the connection to the hydraulic gear is
loosen which results in a sudden reduction of stiffness
of vertical constraint and thus the frequency of vertical
vibration of the gate, the gate will vibrate strongly in
vertical direction if induced by high water flow.
Therefore, the assurance of the safety of the strength
and stiffness of the dowel bars reduces the probability
of the excess vertical vibration of the gate. In addition,
drum type hoist is connected with the gate by steel
rods and the stiffness of vertical constraints for this
type of hoist is smaller, resulting in a reduced
frequency of vertical vibration which is easier for
vertical induced vibration to occur.
The Effect of Global Constraints
Fix the vertical constraints, the variation of the first 6

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FIG.5 continued (caption on next page)

Solids and Structures (SAS) Volume 3, 2014

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similar to that in the (0,2) order, S3 in Fig. 5(e) is


similar to that in the (0,3) order and SC in Fig. 5(f) is
similar to that in the (2,0) order, as shown in Fig. 6.

(a)S1

(b)S2

(c)S3

(d)SC

FIG. 6 MODE OF VIBRATION OF FORWARD FLOW VIBRATION


IN EACH ORDER FOR THE GATE

In addition, Fig. 5(d) shows the mode of transverse


vibration controlled by the transverse constraints.
Transverse vibration is basically similar to rigid body
motion and is a secondary factor. Therefore, in the
condition that constraint is not damaged, substantial
transverse vibration would not occur. Fig. 5(f) shows
the mode of vibration controlled simultaneously but
forward flow and transverse constraints which when
the stiffness of transverse constraints are large, the
mode of vibration is shown in Fig. 6(d). Fig. 5(c) is the
vertical vibration which is basically not related to the
forward flow and transverse constraints.
FIG. 5 VARIATION TRENDS OF FREQUENCIES OF NATURAL
VIBRATION WITH FORWARD FLOW AND TRANSVERSE
CONSTRAINTS: (a) S1; (b) S2; (c) H; (d) C; (e) S3; (f) SC.

For bulkhead gates, the mode of vibration in the


forward flow direction are richer than that in
transverse or vertical directions, which is similar to the
natural mode of vibration of rectangular plate in the
transverse direction, whose frequency of natural
vibration can be calculated by Eq. (6). In Eq. (6),

mn

is

the frequency factor of the rectangular plate


determined by the boundary conditions of the
supporting plate. Different value of mn , corresponds
different natural mode of vibration in (m,n) order
which is related to m, n and the shape of vibration.
Normally, m and n respectively represent the number
of semi-waves in each direction of the rectangular.

mn =

2
mn

a2

(6)

It can be seen from Fig. 5 that (a) (b) (e) varied


significantly with ES with did not varied with EC,
which matches the mode of vibration in forward flow
direction. The shape was similar to the transverse
vibration of thin plate which is simply-supported at
both ends. For instance, S1 in Fig. 5(a) is similar to the
mode of vibration of rectangular plate with simplysupported ends in the (1,0) order, S2 in Fig. 5(b) is

It is clear that the frequency and mode of natural


vibration are closely related to the condition of
constraints in the vibrating direction but no related to
the constraints in other directions. A general picture of
the relevant mode of vibration can be obtained by
analysing the variation trend of the frequency of
structure with the constraints. For bulkhead gates, the
characteristics of natural vibration are similar to the
case of transverse vibration of rectangular thin plates
and the forward flow vibration is the controlling
model of vibration and the transverse vibration is
secondary.
The Effect of Fluid-structure Interaction
The characteristics of natural vibration of the gate are
not only related to the constraints but also the contact
with water. In this section, the effect of water was
added as a certain type of boundary condition into the
gate system. In other words, the effect of water was
equalised to added mass to simplify the model.
In order to evaluate the effect of added mass, the
eigenvalue equation is given in Eq. (3) and the added
mass can be calculated by classical Westergaard
hydrodynamic pressure approximation.
Added mass force is essential a fluid inertia force
caused by counter action of the structure from the

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variation of the flow force induced by vibration of the


structure. With different mode of vibration, the added
mass will change. For bulkhead gate, transverse
vibration has only relative slipping at the water-solid
surface and no added mass is formed in the
assumption that perturbed motion has potential.
Moreover, the forward flow vibration is the
controlling vibration and it is significantly affected by
added mass. Therefore, the variation of forward flow
vibration with added mass is discussed in this section.

Solids and Structures (SAS) Volume 3, 2014

In the conditions of different added mass, the


variation of the three forward flow vibrations with the
stiffness of forward flow constraints is given in Fig. 8.

First, the forward flow, transverse and vertical


constraints were fixed and the added mass was
reflected by different amount of hydraulic head H
from 5m to 74m (the designed water level) and mass
element MASS21 was used to add the mass to the
plate in the upstream face. The relationship of the
frequency of the first three orders of natural vibration
and the water level H is given in Fig. 7.

FIG. 7 VARIATION OF FREQUENCIES OF NATURAL


VIBRATION IN FORWARD FLOW VIBRATION OF THE GATE
WITH UPSTREAM WATER LEVEL

It can be seen from Fig. 7 that the added mass


increased with the increase of H; the frequency of
natural vibration in each order of the gate reduced
with the increase of added mass; when the hydraulic
head at the gate was smaller than 20m, the rate of
variation of the frequencies were large and the effect
of added mass was obvious; when the hydraulic head
exceeded 60m, the variation of the frequencies became
smooth and the effect of added mass was minimum. It
can be seen that the frequency of natural vibration of
swallow-hole gate is very sensitive to the variation of
added mass but the frequency of natural vibration of
deep-hole gate is stable toward the variation of added
mass (the variation of upstream water level). In other
words, upstream water level does not affect the
characteristics of forward flow vibration for deep-hole
gate in a certain range.
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FIG. 8 VARIATION TRENDS OF FREQUENCIES OF NATURAL


VIBRATION WITH FORWARD FLOW CONSTRAINTS FOR
DIFFERENT UPSTREAM WATER LEVEL: (a) S1; (b) S2; (c) S3.

It is clear from Fig. 8 that with the increase of water


level H, the variation trend of the frequency of natural
vibration with the stiffness of forward flow constraints
was identical when the added mass was not
considered but the rate of variation reduced. In other
words, the sensitivity of variation of the frequency of
natural vibration with the stiffness of forward flow
constraints reduced.

Solids and Structures (SAS) Volume 3, 2014

Conclusions
This study used a deep-hole bulkhead gate as research
object to evaluate the effect of boundary support
conditions and fluid-structure interaction on the
characteristics of natural vibration by means of
constraint stiffness variation and added mass using
Block Lanczos modal analysis in ANSYS software.
Results showed that the effect of constraint stiffness is
not negligible on the characteristics of natural
vibration and the variation trend that the frequency of
natural vibration of the gate reduces with the increase
of hydraulic head was established. The conclusions
can be referred by engineering practice in similar
fields. The main conclusions can be drawn:
(1) The variation of forward flow, transverse and
vertical constraint stiffness is substantially effective on
the characteristics of natural vibration in a certain
range. The frequency is stable outside this range. For
the gate in this study, when ES varied between
107~1010(Pa), the variation of frequencies in each order
was large and for EC and EH, the range was 108~1011.
This range is smaller than the elastic modulus of the
gate. Therefore in normal conditions, the frequency of
natural vibration of the gate is relatively stable. At the
same time, the stiffness of supports and moving
components of the gate as well as doweling bars
should be maintained to prevent reduction of the
frequency of vibration resulting in flow-induced
vibration.
(2)The frequency of natural vibration is related closely
to the constraints in the direction of vibration but not
related to constraints in other directions. The general
direction of vibration in the relevant mode can be
obtained by analysing the variation trend of frequency
of natural vibration of the gate. For bulkhead gate, the
characteristics of natural vibration are similar to the
case of the transverse vibration of rectangular thin
plate. The forward flow vibration is controlling and
the transverse vibration is secondary comparably.
(3) When the upstream water level H lied within 20m,
the variation of frequencies of natural vibration was
obvious; when the hydraulic head increased to above
60m, the variation of frequencies of natural vibration
was stable. For deep-hole gates, the added mass
induced by the variation of hydraulic head within a

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certain range can be ignored. With the increase of


added mass, the sensitivity of variation of the
frequency of natural vibration with the stiffness of
forward flow constraints reduced. In other words, the
effect of constraints reduces when fluid-structure
interaction is considered.
(4) This study evaluated the characteristics of natural
vibration of the gate. The effect of boundary
conditions on the kinetic response requires further
research.
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