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 Resource Type: Thesis or Dissertation
 Degree Discipline: Materials Science and Engineering
A Study of Power Generation From a Low-cost Hydrokinetic Energy System

A Study of Power Generation From a Low-cost Hydrokinetic Energy System

Date: August 2013
Creator: Davila Vilchis, Juana Mariel
Description: The kinetic energy in river streams, tidal currents, or other artificial water channels has been used as a feasible source of renewable power through different conversion systems. Thus, hydrokinetic energy conversion systems are attracting worldwide interest as another form of distributed alternative energy. Because these systems are still in early stages of development, the basic approaches need significant research. The main challenges are not only to have efficient systems, but also to convert energy more economically so that the cost-benefit analysis drives the growth of this alternative energy form. One way to view this analysis is in terms of the energy conversion efficiency per unit cost. This study presents a detailed assessment of a prototype hydrokinetic energy system along with power output costs. This experimental study was performed using commercial low-cost blades of 20 in diameter inside a tank with water flow speed up to 1.3 m/s. The work was divided into two stages: (a) a fixed-pitch blade configuration, using a radial permanent magnet generator (PMG), and (b) the same hydrokinetic turbine, with a variable-pitch blade and an axial-flux PMG. The results indicate that even though the efficiency of a simple blade configuration is not high, the power coefficient is ...
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Laser Surface Treatment of Amorphous Metals

Laser Surface Treatment of Amorphous Metals

Date: May 2014
Creator: Katakam, Shravana K.
Description: Amorphous materials are used as soft magnetic materials and also as surface coatings to improve the surface properties. Furthermore, the nanocrystalline materials derived from their amorphous precursors show superior soft magnetic properties than amorphous counter parts for transformer core applications. In the present work, laser based processing of amorphous materials will be presented. Conventionally, the nanocrystalline materials are synthesized by furnace heat treatment of amorphous precursors. Fe-based amorphous/nanocrystalline materials due to their low cost and superior magnetic properties are the most widely used soft magnetic materials. However, achieving nanocrystalline microstructure in Fe-Si-B ternary system becomes very difficult owing its rapid growth rate at higher temperatures and sluggish diffusion at low temperature annealing. Hence, nanocrystallization in this system is achieved by using alloying additions (Cu and Nb) in the ternary Fe-Si-B system. Thus, increasing the cost and also resulting in reduction of saturation magnetization. laser processing technique is used to achieve extremely fine nanocrystalline microstructure in Fe-Si-B amorphous precursor. Microstructure-magnetic Property-laser processing co-relationship has been established for Fe-Si-B ternary system using analytical techniques. Laser processing improved the magnetic properties with significant increase in saturation magnetization and near zero coercivity values. Amorphous materials exhibit excellent corrosion resistance by virtue of their atomic ...
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Surface Modifications to Enhance the Wear Resistance and the Osseo-integration Properties of Biomedical Ti-alloy

Surface Modifications to Enhance the Wear Resistance and the Osseo-integration Properties of Biomedical Ti-alloy

Date: August 2013
Creator: Kami, Pavani
Description: The current study focuses on improving the wear resistance of femoral head component and enhancing the osseo-integration properties of femoral stem component of a hip implant made of a new generation low modulus alloy, Ti-35Nb-7Zr-5Ta or TNZT. Different techniques that were adopted to improve the wear resistance of low-modulus TNZT alloy included; (a) fabrication of graded TNZT-xB (x= 0, 1, 2 wt%) samples using LENS, (b) oxidation, and (c) LASER nitriding of TNZT. TNZT-1B and TNZT-O samples have shown improved wear resistance when tested against UHMWPE ball in SBF medium. A new class of bio-ceramic coatings based on calcium phosphate (CaP), was applied on the TNZT sample surface and was further laser processed with the objective of enhancing their osseo-integration properties. With optimized LASER parameters, TNZT-CaP samples have shown improved corrosion resistance, surface wettability and cellular response when compared to the base TNZT sample.
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Thermoplastic and Thermoset Natural Fiber Composite and Sandwich Performance

Thermoplastic and Thermoset Natural Fiber Composite and Sandwich Performance

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Date: May 2014
Creator: Yang, Bing
Description: The objective of this thesis is to investigate the effects of adding natural fiber (kenaf fiber, retted kenaf fiber, and sugarcane fiber) into polymer materials. The effects are obtained by considering three main parts. 1. Performance in thermoplastic composites. The effect of fiber retting on polymer composite crystallization and mechanical performance was investigated. PHBV/PBAT in 80/20 blend ratio was modified using 5% by weight kenaf fiber. Dynamic mechanical analysis of the composites was done to investigate the glass transition and the modulus at sub-ambient and ambient temperatures. ESEM was conducted to analyze fiber topography which revealed smoother surfaces on the pectinase retted fibers. 2. Performance in thermoset composites. The effect of the incorporation of natural fibers of kenaf and of sugarcane combined with the polyester resin matrix is investigated. A comparison of mechanical properties of kenaf polyester composite, sugarcane polyester composite and pure polyester in tensile, bending, dynamic mechanical thermal analysis (DMA) and moisture test on performance is measured.. 3. Performance in sandwich composites. The comparison of the performance characteristics and mechanical properties of natural fiber composites panels with soft and rigid foam cores are evaluated. A thorough test of the mechanical behavior of composites sandwich materials in tensile, bending ...
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Investigations in the Mechanism of Carbothermal Reduction of Yttria Stabilized Zirconia for Ultra-high Temperature Ceramics Application and Its Influence on Yttria Contained in It

Investigations in the Mechanism of Carbothermal Reduction of Yttria Stabilized Zirconia for Ultra-high Temperature Ceramics Application and Its Influence on Yttria Contained in It

Date: May 2014
Creator: Sondhi, Anchal
Description: Zirconium carbide (ZrC) is a high modulus ceramic with an ultra-high melting temperature and, consequently, is capable of withstanding extreme environments. Carbon-carbon composites (CCCs) are important structural materials in future hypersonic aircraft; however, these materials may be susceptible to degradation when exposed to elevated temperatures during extreme velocities. At speeds of exceeding Mach 5, intense heating of leading edges of the aircraft triggers rapid oxidation of carbon in CCCs resulting in degradation of the structure and probable failure. Environmental/thermal barrier coatings (EBC/TBC) are employed to protect airfoil structures from extreme conditions. Yttria stabilized zirconia (YSZ) is a well-known EBC/TBC material currently used to protect metallic turbine blades and other aerospace structures. In this work, 3 mol% YSZ has been studied as a potential EBC/TBC on CCCs. However, YSZ is an oxygen conductor and may not sufficiently slow the oxidation of the underlying CCC. Under appropriate conditions, ZrC can form at the interface between CCC and YSZ. Because ZrC is a poor oxygen ion conductor in addition to its stability at high temperatures, it can reduce the oxygen transport to the CCC and thus increase the service lifetime of the structure. This dissertation investigates the thermodynamics and kinetics of the YSZ/ZrC/CCC ...
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Processing and Characterization of Nickel-carbon Base Metal Matrix Composites

Processing and Characterization of Nickel-carbon Base Metal Matrix Composites

Date: May 2014
Creator: Borkar, Tushar Murlidhar
Description: Carbon nanotubes (CNTs) and graphene nanoplatelets (GNPs) are attractive reinforcements for lightweight and high strength metal matrix composites due to their excellent mechanical and physical properties. The present work is an attempt towards investigating the effect of CNT and GNP reinforcements on the mechanical properties of nickel matrix composites. The CNT/Ni (dry milled) nanocomposites exhibiting a tensile yield strength of 350 MPa (about two times that of SPS processed monolithic nickel ~ 160 MPa) and an elongation to failure ~ 30%. In contrast, CNT/Ni (molecular level mixed) exhibited substantially higher tensile yield strength (~ 690 MPa) but limited ductility with an elongation to failure ~ 8%. The Ni-1vol%GNP (dry milled) nanocomposite exhibited the best balance of properties in terms of strength and ductility. The enhancement in the tensile strength (i.e. 370 MPa) and substantial ductility (~40%) of Ni-1vol%GNP nanocomposites was achieved due to the combined effects of grain refinement, homogeneous dispersion of GNPs in the nickel matrix, and well-bonded Ni-GNP interface, which effectively transfers stress across metal-GNP interface during tensile deformation. A second emphasis of this work was on the detailed 3D microstructural characterization of a new class of Ni-Ti-C based metal matrix composites, developed using the laser engineered net ...
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Dislocation Dynamics Simulations of Plasticity in Cu Thin Films

Dislocation Dynamics Simulations of Plasticity in Cu Thin Films

Date: August 2013
Creator: Wu, Han
Description: Strong size effects in plastic deformation of thin films have been experimentally observed, indicating non-traditional deformation mechanisms. These observations require improved understanding of the behavior of dislocation in small size materials, as they are the primary plastic deformation carrier. Dislocation dynamics (DD) is a computational method that is capable of directly simulating the motion and interaction of dislocations in crystalline materials. This provides a convenient approach to study micro plasticity in thin films. While two-dimensional dislocation dynamics simulation in thin film proved that the size effect fits Hall-Petch equation very well, there are issues related to three-dimensional size effects. In this work, three-dimensional dislocation dynamics simulations are used to study model cooper thin film deformation. Grain boundary is modeled as impenetrable obstacle to dislocation motion in this work. Both tension and cyclic loadings are applied and a wide range of size and geometry of thin films are studied. The results not only compare well with experimentally observed size effects on thin film strength, but also provide many details on dislocation processes in thin films, which could greatly help formulate new mechanisms of dislocation-based plasticity.
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Laser Deposition, Heat-treatment, and Characterization of the Binary Ti-xmn System

Laser Deposition, Heat-treatment, and Characterization of the Binary Ti-xmn System

Date: August 2013
Creator: Avasarala, Chandana
Description: The present research seeks to characterization of an additively manufactured and heat-treated Ti-xMn gradient alloy, a binary system that has largely been unexplored. In order to rapidly assess this binary system, compositionally graded Ti-xMn (0<x<15 wt%) specimens were fabricated using the LENS (Laser Engineered Net Shaping) and were subsequently heat-treated and characterized using a wide range of techniques. Microstructural changes with respect to the change in thermal treatments, hardness and chemical composition were observed and will be presented. These include assessments of both continuous cooling, leading to observations of both equilibrium and metastable phases, including the titanium martensites, and to direct aging studies looking for composition regimes that produce highly refined alpha precipitates – a subject of great interest given recent understandings of non-classical nucleation and growth mechanisms. The samples were characterized using SEM, EDS, TEM, and XRD and the properties probed using a Vickers Microhardness tester.
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Titanium Boride Formation and Its Subsequent Influence on Morphology and Crystallography of Alpha Precipitates in Titanium Alloys

Titanium Boride Formation and Its Subsequent Influence on Morphology and Crystallography of Alpha Precipitates in Titanium Alloys

Date: December 2013
Creator: Nandwana, Peeyush
Description: Over the last two decades there has been an increased interest in understanding the influence of trace boron additions in Ti alloys. These additions refine the prior β grain size in as-cast Ti alloys along with increasing their modulus and yield strength due to the precipitation of TiB. TiB also acts as a heterogeneous nucleation site for α precipitation and has been shown to influence the α phase morphology. B is completely soluble in liquid Ti but has a negligible solubility in both body centered cubic β and hexagonal close packed α phases of Ti. Thus, during solidification of hypoeutectic B containing alloys, B is rejected from β into the liquid where it reacts with Ti to form pristine single crystal whiskers of TiB. Despite a substantial amount of reported experimental work on the characterization of TiB precipitates, its formation mechanism and influence on α phase precipitation are still not clear. The current work is divided into two parts – (i) understanding the mechanism of TiB formation using first principles based density functional theory (DFT) calculations and (ii) elucidating how TiB influences the α phase morphology and crystallography in titanium alloys using electron microscopy techniques. TiB exhibits anisotropic growth morphology ...
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Tribological Behavior of Spark Plasma Sintered Tic/graphite/nickel Composites and Cobalt Alloys

Tribological Behavior of Spark Plasma Sintered Tic/graphite/nickel Composites and Cobalt Alloys

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Date: December 2013
Creator: Kinkenon, Douglas
Description: Monolithic composites are needed that combine low friction and wear, high mechanical hardness, and high fracture toughness. Thin films and coatings are often unable to meet this engineering challenge as they can delaminate and fracture during operation ceasing to provide beneficial properties during service life. Two material systems were synthesized by spark plasma sintering (SPS) and were studied for their ability to meet these criteria. A dual hybrid composite was fabricated and consisted of a nickel matrix for fracture toughness, TiC for hardness and graphite for solid/self‐lubrication. An in‐situ reaction during processing resulted in the formation of TiC from elemental Ti and C powders. The composition was varied to determine its effects on tribological behavior. Stellite 21, a cobalt‐chrome‐molybdenum alloy, was also produced by SPS. Stellite 21 has low stacking fault energy and a hexagonal phase which forms during sliding that both contribute to low interfacial shear and friction. Samples were investigated by x‐ray diffraction (XRD), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), energy dispersive x‐ray spectroscopy (EDS), and electron back‐scattered diffraction (EBSD). Tribological properties were characterized by pin on disc tribometry and wear rates were determined by profilometry and abrasion testing. Solid/self‐lubrication in the TiC/C/Ni system was investigated by Raman and Auger ...
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