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- The Measurement of the Third-order Elastic Constants for La3ga5sio14 (Lgs) and La3ga55ta05o14 (Lgt) Single Crystal
- Recently, the development of electronic technology towards higher frequencies and larger band widths has led to interest in finding new piezoelectric materials, which could be used to make filters with larger pass band widths and oscillators with better frequency stability. Langasite (La3Ga5SiO14, LGS) and its isomorphs have enticed considerable attention of researchers as a potential substrate material for piezoelectric device applications because of its high frequency stability and fairly good electromechanical coupling factors for acoustic wave devices. Nonlinear effect including drive level dependence, mode coupling, force-frequency effect and electroelasic effect are critical for the design of these devices. Third-order elastic constants (TOEC) play an important role in a quantitative analysis of these nonlinear effects. In particular these elastic constants are of great importance when the BAW (Bulk Acoustic Wave) and SAW (Surface Acoustic Wave) sensors of force, acceleration and so on are designed. Until now Langasite (LGS) and Langatate (LGT) crystal resonators have been qualified in terms of quality factor, temperature effect, isochronism defect and material quality. One of the most important advantages of those crystals is that they will not undergo phase transitions up to its melting temperature of 1450°. Presently there is no data on TOEC of LGT crystals. Our objective is to create an experimental procedure to measure and collect the complete set of third-order elastic constants of Langasite (La3Ga5SiO14) and Langatate (La3Ga5.5Ta0.5O14) crystals and compare the new values for langasite with values previously reported.
- Energy Harvesting Wireless Piezoelectric Resonant Force Sensor
- The piezoelectric energy harvester has become a new powering option for some low-power electronic devices such as MEMS (Micro Electrical Mechanical System) sensors. Piezoelectric materials can collect the ambient vibrations energy and convert it to electrical energy. This thesis is intended to demonstrate the behavior of a piezoelectric energy harvester system at elevated temperature from room temperature up to 82°C, and compares the system’s performance using different piezoelectric materials. The systems are structured with a Lead Magnesium Niobate-Lead Titanate (PMN-PT) single crystal patch bonded to an aluminum cantilever beam, Lead Indium Niobate-Lead Magnesium Niobate-Lead Titanate (PIN-PMN-PT) single crystal patch bonded to an aluminum cantilever beam and a bimorph cantilever beam which is made of Lead Zirconate Titanate (PZT). The results of this experimental study show the effects of the temperature on the operation frequency and output power of the piezoelectric energy harvesting system. The harvested electrical energy has been stored in storage circuits including a battery. Then, the stored energy has been used to power up the other part of the system, a wireless resonator force sensor, which uses frequency conversion techniques to convert the sensor’s ultrasonic signal to a microwave signal in order to transmit the signal wirelessly.
- A Data Acquisition System Experiment for Gas Temperature and Pressure Measurements on a Liquid-Nitrogen-Powered Vehicle
- A data acquisition system was set up to measure gas temperatures and pressures at various points on a liquid-nitrogen-powered vehicle. The experiment was attempted to develop a data acquisition method for applications on engines that use liquid air as the fuel. Two thermocouples and a pressure transducer were connected using data acquisition instruments interfaced to a laptop computer to acquire data.
- Design of a Monitoring System for a Plasma Cleaning Machine
- Plasma cleaning is the most effective dry process to remove surface contaminates from a SAW (Surface Acoustical Wave) device. Consistent gas pressures, flows, and good electrical connections between the chamber shelves are necessary for the process to function predictably. In addition, operation of the monitoring system must be transparent to the plasma cleaning unit. This thesis describes a simple solution to the complex problem of monitoring a plasma cleaning system. The monitoring system uses the LabVIEW® G programming language and hardware, both products of National Instruments, Inc.®, to monitor critical parameters necessary to achieve a consistent process when cleaning these devices.
- Fracture Toughness Testing of Plastics under Various Environmental Conditions
- The primary objective of this study is to test the applicability to plastics of a fracture toughness testing tool developed for metals. The intent is to study pre-test conditioning of several plastic materials and the effect of the depth of the razor notch cut in the chevron notched fracture toughness test specimens. The study includes the careful preparation of samples followed by conditioning in various environments. Samples were subjected to laboratory air for a specific duration or to a controlled temperature-humidity condition as per the ASTM D1870. Some of the samples were subjected to vacuum conditioning under standard test specifications. Testing was conducted using the conventional three-point bend test as per ASTM D5045-95. ASTM E1304, which sets a standard for short rod and bar testing of metals and ceramics provides some basis for conducting chevron notched four-point bend tests to duplicate the toughness tool. Correlation of these results with the ASTM test samples is determined. The four-point bend test involves less specimen machining as well as time to perform the fracture toughness tests. This study of fracture toughness testing has potential for quality control as well as the fracture property determination.
- Development of a Simplified Fracture Toughness Tool for Polymers
- This thesis presents research toward the development of a simple inexpensive fracture toughness tool for polymeric materials. Experiments were conducted to test the specimen configuration and the fracture toughness tool against an established ASTM standard for polymer fracture toughness, D5045, and a commonly used four-point bend method. The materials used in this study were polycarbonate and high density polyethylene. Reductions in both the production time and the variability resulting from the preparation of the specimens were addressed through the use of specially designed fixtures. The effects from the razor cut depths used in the chevron notch were compared to the fracture toughness values obtained in order to determine the effect upon the validity of the fracture toughness.
- A Computer-Based Process Control System for a Target Station in a LINAC Facility
- An event-driven, sequential, process control system was designed for International Isotopes, Inc., to automate and remotely control a target station at the company's linear accelerator facility. The designed system consisted of two major sections: a software program (virtual instrument), which was developed by LabVIEW, and a hardware interface (FieldPoint Modular Distributed I/O System by National Instrument), which had to be a pre-developed system that did not require customization. The designed virtual instrument was tested on a simulation model that mimed the target station. The result was a valid design.
- Effects of Processing Techniques on Mechanical Properties of Selected Polymers
- The mechanical properties of a polymer represent the critical characteristics to be considered when determining the applications for it. The same polymer processed with different methods can exhibit different mechanical properties. The purpose of this study is to investigate the difference in mechanical properties of the selected polymers caused by different processing techniques and conditions. Three polymers were studied, including low density polyethylene (LDPE), polypropylene (PP), and NEXPRENE® 1287A. Samples were processed with injection molding and compression molding under different processing condition. Tensile and DMA tests were performed on these samples. The acquired data of strain at break from the tensile tests and storage modulus from the DMA were utilized to calculate brittleness. Calculated brittleness values were used to perform analysis of variance (ANOVA) to investigate the statistical significance of the processing technique and condition. It was found that different processing techniques affect the brittleness significantly. The processing technique is the major factor affecting brittleness of PP and NEXPRENE, and the processing temperature is the major factor affecting brittleness of LDPE.
- Corrosion Protection of Low Carbon Steel By Cation Substituted Magnetite (Fe3o4)
- Surfaces of low carbon steel sheet were modified by exposure to highly caustic aqueous solutions containing either chromium or aluminum cations. Corrosion resistances of such surfaces were compared with that of steel surfaces exposed to plain caustic aqueous solution. In all cases a highly uniform, black coating having a spinel structure similar to magnetite (Fe3O4) was obtained. The coated steel surfaces were characterized using X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), energy dispersive spectroscopy (EDS), and Fourier transform infrared spectrophotometry (FTIR). Polarization resistances (Rp) of modified steel surfaces were measured and compared with that of bare steel surfaces. Results indicate that chromium (Fe2+ Fe3+x Cr3+1-x) or aluminum (Fe2+ Fe3+x Al3+1-x) substituted spinel phases formed on steel surfaces showed higher Rp values compared to only magnetite (Fe2+ 2Fe3+O4) phase formed in the absence of either chromium or aluminum cations. Average Rp values for steel surfaces with chromium containing spinel phase were much higher (21.8 k?) as compared to 1.7 k? for bare steel surfaces. Steel surfaces with aluminum containing spinel phase and steels with plain magnetite coated samples showed average Rp values of 3.3 k? and 2.5 k? respectively. XPS and EDS analysis confirmed presence of cations of chromium and aluminum in Fe3O4 in cation substituted samples. FTIR results showed all coating phases were of spinel form with major absorption bands centered at either 570 cm-1 or 600 cm-1 assigned to Fe3O4 and ?-Fe2O3 respectively.
- Direct Strength Method for Web Crippling of Cold-formed Steel C-sections
- Web crippling is a form of localized buckling that occurs at points of transverse concentrated loading or supports of thin-walled structural members. The theoretical computation of web crippling strength is quite complex as it involves a large number of factors such as initial imperfections, local yielding at load application and instability of web. The existing design provision in North American specification for cold-formed steel C-sections (AISI S100, 2007) to calculate the web-crippling strength is based on the experimental investigation. The objective of this research is to extend the direct strength method to the web crippling strength of cold-formed steel C-sections. ABAQUS is used as a main tool to apply finite element analysis and is used to do the elastic buckling analysis. The work was carried out on C-sections under interior two flange (ITF) loading, end two flange (ETF) loading cases. Total of 128 (58 ITF, 70 ETF) sections were analyzed. Sections with various heights (3.5 in.to 6 in.) and various lengths (21 in. to 36 in.) were considered. Data is collected from the tests conducted in laboratory and the data from the previous researches is used, to extend the direct strength method to cold formed steel sections. Proposing a new design for both the loading cases and calculation of the resistance factors under (AISI S100, 2007) standards is done.
- Analytical Model of Cold-formed Steel Framed Shear Wall with Steel Sheet and Wood-based Sheathing
- The cold-formed steel framed shear walls with steel sheets and wood-based sheathing are both code approved lateral force resisting system in light-framed construction. In the United States, the current design approach for cold-formed steel shear walls is capacity-based and developed from full-scale tests. The available design provisions provide nominal shear strength for only limited wall configurations. This research focused on the development of analytical models of cold-formed steel framed shear walls with steel sheet and wood-based sheathing to predict the nominal shear strength of the walls at their ultimate capacity level. Effective strip model was developed to predict the nominal shear strength of cold-formed steel framed steel sheet shear walls. The proposed design approach is based on a tension field action of the sheathing, shear capacity of sheathing-to-framing fastener connections, fastener spacing, wall aspect ratio, and material properties. A total of 142 full scale test data was used to verify the proposed design method and the supporting design equations. The proposed design approach shows consistent agreement with the test results and the AISI published nominal strength values. Simplified nominal strength model was developed to predict the nominal shear strength of cold-formed steel framed wood-based panel shear walls. The nominal shear strength is determined based on the shear capacity of individual sheathing-to-framing connections, wall height, and locations of sheathing-to-framing fasteners. The proposed design approach shows a good agreement with 179 full scale shear wall test data. This analytical method requires some efforts in testing of sheathing-to-framing connections to determine their ultimate shear capacity. However, if appropriate sheathing-to-framing connection capacities are provided, the proposed design method provides designers with an analytical tool to determine the nominal strength of the shear walls without conducting full-scale tests.
- Cold-formed Steel Framed Shear Wall Sheathed with Corrugated Sheet Steel
- Incombustibility is one important advantage of the sheet steel sheathed shear wall over wood panel sheathed shear wall. Compared to shear wall sheathed with plywood and OSB panel, shear wall sheathed with flat sheet steel behaved lower shear strength. Although shear wall sheathed with corrugated sheet steel exhibited high nominal strength and high stiffness, the shear wall usually behaved lower ductility resulting from brittle failure at the connection between the sheathing to frames. This research is aimed at developing modifications on the corrugated sheathing to improve the ductility of the shear wall as well as derive practical response modification factor by establishing correct relationship between ductility factor ? and response modification factor R. Totally 21 monotonic and cyclic full-scale shear wall tests were conducted during the winter break in 2012 by the author in NUCONSTEEL Materials Testing Laboratory in the University of North Texas. The research investigated nineteen 8 ft. × 4 ft. shear walls with 68 mil frames and 27 mil corrugation sheet steel in 11 configurations and two more shear walls sheathed with 6/17-in.OSB and 15/32-in. plywood respectively for comparison. The shear walls, which were in some special cutting arrangement patterns, performed better under lateral load conditions according to the behavior of ductility and shear strength and could be used as lateral system in construction.
- Wireless In-home Ecg Monitoring System with Remote Access
- The thesis work details the design and testing of a wireless electrocardiogram (ECG) system. This system includes a wireless ECG device, as well as software packages to visually display the waveform locally on a computer and remotely on a web page. The remote viewing capability also extends to using an Android phone application. The purpose of the system is to serve as a means for a doctor or physician to check up on a patient away from a hospital setting. This system allows for a patient to be in their home environment while giving health vital information, primarily being the heart’s activity through the ECG, to medical personnel.
- Effects of Minimum Quantity Lubrication (Mql) on Tool Life in Drilling Aisi 1018 Steel
- It has been reported that minimum quantity lubrication (MQL) provides better tool life compared to flood cooling under some drilling conditions. In this study, I evaluate the performance of uncoated HSS twist drill when machining AISI 1018 steel using a newly developed lubricant designed for MQL (EQO-Kut 718 by QualiChem Inc.). A randomized factorial design was used in the experiment. The results show that a tool life of 1110 holes with a corresponding flank wear of 0.058 mm was realized.
- Drive Level Dependence of Advanced Piezoelectric Resonators
- Resonators are one of the most important parts of electronic products. They provide a stable reference frequency to ensure the operation of these products. Recently, the electronic products have the trend of miniaturization, which rendered the size reduction of the resonators as well . Better design of the resonators relies on a better understanding of the crystals' nonlinear behavior . The nonlinearities affect the quality factor and acoustic behavior of MEMS (Micro-Electro-Mechanical-System) and nano-structured resonators and filters . Among these nonlinear effects, Drivel Level Dependence (DLD), which describes the instability of the resonator frequency due to voltage level and/or power density, is an urgent problem for miniaturized resonators . Langasite and GaPO4 are new promising piezoelectric material. Resonators made from these new materials have superior performance such as good frequency-temperature characteristics, and low acoustic loss . In this thesis, experimental measurements of drive level dependence of langasite resonators with different configurations (plano-plano, single bevel, and double bevel) are reported. The drive level dependence of GaPO4 resonators are reported as well for the purpose of comparison. The results show that the resonator configuration affects the DLD of the langasite resonator. Experiments for DLD at elevated temperature are also performed, and it was found that the temperature also affects the DLD of the langasite resonator.
- Mist Characterization in Drilling 1018 Steel
- Minimum quantity lubrication replaces the traditional method of flood cooling with small amounts of high-efficient lubrication. Limited studies have been performed to determine the characteristics of mist produced during MQL. This study investigated the mist concentration levels produced while drilling 1018 steel using a vegetable based lubricant. ANOVA was performed to determine whether speed and feed rates or their interactions have a significant effect on mist concentration levels and particle diameter. It was observed that the concentration levels obtained under all four speed and feed rate combinations studied exceeded the current OSHA and NIOSH standards.
- Mechanical Characterization of A2 and D2 Tool Steels By Nanoindentation
- Nanoindentation technique was used to investigate the surface properties of A2 and D2 tool steel subjected to different heat treatments. the mechanical characteristics of these two easily available tool steels were studied based on microstructural images obtained from SEM, the grain growth after heat treatment using X-ray diffraction method and nanoindentation technique. the investigation showed that a single nanoindentation result can explain how heat treatment influences reliability and failure in A2 and D2 tool steels. in this work, the causes and effects of these variations were studied to explain how they influence reliability and failure in A2 and D2 tool steel. Finally, a cube-corner indenter tip was used to determine the fracture toughness of silicon wafer. the emphasis of this research is on how nanoindentation technique is more extensive in material characterization.
- Nominal Shear Strength of Cold-formed Steel Shear Walls Using Osb Sheathing
- In the cold-formed steel construction, the oriented strand board is a common material for shear wall sheathing. an OSB is made by using wood chips as raw materials that undergo high temperature pressing to create a multi-larger structure material. Due to the OSB having a high strength in shear, it is an important material used in the construction field. the thesis is trying to verify published nominal shear strength in AISI-213-07 in the first part. This objective has two parts: the first part is to verify nominal shear strength (Rn) for wind and other in-plane loads for shear wall. the second part is to verify nominal shear strength (Rn) for seismic and other in-plane loads for shear wall. Secondly, the thesis verifies the design deflection equation for nominal shear strength of CFS shear walls with OSB sheathing. the test specimens were divided into eight groups which trying to verify the design deflection equation that was published in AISI-213-07 standard.
- Bearing Strength of Cold Formed Steel Bolted Connections in Trusses
- The existing design provision in North American Specification for Cold- Formed Steel Structural Member (AISI S100) for the bearing strength of bolted connections were developed from tests on bolted connected sheets which were restrained by bolt nut and head with or without washers. However, in the cold-formed assemblies, particularly in trusses, the single bolt goes through both sides of the connected sections, making the connected sheets on each side unrestrained. the warping of the unrestrained sheet may reduce the bearing strength of the bolted connection. This research investigates the behavior and strength of bearing failure in bolted connections in cold-formed steel trusses. Tensile tests were conducted on trusses connections with various material thicknesses. It was found that the AISI S100 works well for thick connections but provides unconservative predictions for thin materials. Based on the experimental results, a modified bearing strength method is proposed for calculating the bearing strength of bolted truss connections. the proposed method can be used for any cold-formed steel connections with unrestrained sheet.
- Ota-quadrotor: An Object-tracking Autonomous Quadrotor for Real-time Detection and Recognition
- The field of robotics and mechatronics is advancing at an ever-increasing rate and we are starting to see robots making the transition from the factories to the workplace and homes as cost is reduced and they become more useful. In recent years quadrotors have become a popular unmanned air vehicle (UAV) platform. These UAVs or micro air vehicles (MAV) are being used for many new and exciting applications such as aerial monitoring of wildlife, disaster sites, riots and protests. They are also being used in the film industry, as they are significantly cheaper means of getting aerial footage. While quadrotors are not extremely expensive a good system can cost in the range of $3000 - $8000 and thus too costly as a research platform for many. There are a number of cheaper open source platforms. The ArduCopter is under constant development, has the largest community and is inexpensive making it an ideal platform to work with. The goal of this thesis was to implement video processing on a ground control station allowing for the ArduCopter to track moving objects. This was achieved by using the OpenCV video-processing library to implement object tracking and the MAVLink communication protocol, available on the ArduCopter platform, for communication.
- Recommended Modified zone Method Correction Factor for Determining R-values of Cold-Formed Steel Wall Assemblies
- Currently, ASHRAE has determined the zone method and modified zone method are appropriate calculation methods for materials with a high difference in conductivity, such as cold-formed steel (CFS) walls. Because there is currently no standard U-Factor calculation method for CFS walls, designers and code officials alike tend to resort to the zone method. However, the zone method is restricted to larger span assemblies because the zone factor coefficient is 2.0. This tends to overestimate the amount of surface area influenced by CFS. The modified zone method is restricted to C-shaped stud, clear wall assemblies with framing factors between 9 and 15%. The objective of the research is to narrow the gap of knowledge by re-examining the modified zone method in order to more accurately determine R-Values and U-Factors for CFS wall assemblies with whole wall framing factor percentages of 22% and above.
- Effect of Polyphosphoric Acid on Aging Characteristics of PG 64-22 Asphalt Binder
- This research presents the results on an experimental investigation to identify the effect of polyphosphoric acid (PPA) on aging characteristics of an asphalt binder. Addition of PPA to asphalt binders is said to improve performance of flexible pavements. Asphalt binder PG 64-22 in modified and unmodified conditions was subjected to aging in the laboratory using a regular oven and also simulated short term aging using rolling thin film oven (RTFO) test. Aging experiments were conducted to analyze the extent of oxidation in terms of changes in molecular structure of the asphalt binder. These changes were appraised using Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy, dynamic shear rheometer (DSR), and epifluorescence microscopy tests. FTIR was used to determine the changes in major bands with addition of PPA. Stiffness and viscoelastic behaviors of asphalts were determined from the DSR test. The stiffness is measured by calculating the shear modulus, G* and the viscoelastic behavior is measured by calculating the phase angle, sin δ. Epifluorescence microscopy is a tool used to study properties of organic or inorganic substances. The morphological characteristics of PPA modified asphalt samples were observed through epifluorescence microscopy. Epifluorescence microscopy reveals the polymer phase distribution in the asphalt binders. Results of this investigation show PPA addition to asphalt binders improve G*/sin δ characteristics of asphalt binders. In addition, presence of PPA in polymer containing asphalt did not adversely affect aging of the binders.
- Software and Hardware-In-The-Loop Modeling of an Audio Watermarking Algorithm
- Due to the accelerated growth in digital music distribution, it becomes easy to modify, intercept, and distribute material illegally. To overcome the urgent need for copyright protection against piracy, several audio watermarking schemes have been proposed and implemented. These digital audio watermarking schemes have the purpose of embedding inaudible information within the host file to cover copyright and authentication issues. This thesis proposes an audio watermarking model using MATLAB® and Simulink® software for 1K and 2K fast Fourier transform (FFT) lengths. The watermark insertion process is performed in the frequency domain to guarantee the imperceptibility of the watermark to the human auditory system. Additionally, the proposed audio watermarking model was implemented in a Cyclone® II FPGA device from Altera® using the Altera® DSP Builder tool and MATLAB/Simulink® software. To evaluate the performance of the proposed audio watermarking scheme, effectiveness and fidelity performance tests were conducted for the proposed software and hardware-in-the-loop based audio watermarking model.
- Cold-Formed Steel Bolted Connections Using Oversized and Slotted Holes without Washers
- In cold-formed steel (CFS) construction, bolted connections without washers for either oversized or slotted holes may significantly expedite the installation process and lower the cost. However, the North American Specification (AISI S100, 2007) for the Design of Cold-Formed Steel Structural Members requires washers to be installed in bolted connections with oversized or slotted holes. A research project (Phase 1) sponsored by American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI) was recently completed at the University of North Texas (UNT) that investigated the performance and strength of bolted CFS connections with oversized and slotted holes without using washers. The research presented in this thesis is the Phase 2 project in which the bolted CFS connections were studied in a broader respect in terms of the failure mechanism, the material thickness, and the hole configurations. Single shear and double shear connections without washers using oversized holes, oversized combined with standard or slotted holes were experimentally examined. Combined with Phase 1 results, the Phase 2 gives a comprehensive evaluation of the behavior and strength of bolted CFS connections with oversized and slotted holes without using washers. Revisions to the existing AISI North American Specification requirements for bolted connections are proposed to account for the reduction in the connection strength caused by the oversized and slotted hole configurations without washers. Specific LRFD and LSD resistance factors and ASD safety factors for different hole configurations in terms of the new proposed methods were presented.
- Nominal Shear Strength and Seismic Detailing of Cold-formed Steel Shear Walls using Steel Sheet Sheathing
- In this research, monotonic and cyclic tests on cold-formed steel shear walls sheathed with steel sheets on one side were conducted to (1) verify the published nominal shear strength for 18-mil and 27-mil steel sheets; and (2) investigate the behavior of 6-ft. wide shear walls with multiple steel sheets. In objective 1: this research confirms the discrepancy existed in the published nominal strength of 27-mil sheets discovered by the previous project and verified the published nominal strength of 18 mil sheet for the wind design in AISI S213. The project also finds disagreement on the nominal strength of 18-mil sheets for seismic design, which is 29.0% higher than the published values. The research investigated 6-ft. wide shear wall with four framing and sheathing configurations. Configuration C, which used detailing, could provide the highest shear strength, compared to Configurations A and B. Meanwhile, the shear strength and stiffness of 2-ft. wide and 4-ft. wide wall can be improved by using the seismic detailing.
- Effects of Rebar Temperature and Water to Cement Ratio on Rebar-Concrete Bond Strength of Concrete Containing Fly Ash
- This research presents the results on an experimental investigation to identify the effects of rebar temperature, fly ash and water to cement ratio on concrete porosity in continuously reinforced concrete pavements (CRCP). Samples were cast and analyzed using pullout tests. Water to cement ratio (w/c) and rebar temperature had a significant influence on the rebar-concrete bond strength. The 28-day shear strength measurements showed an increase in rebar-concrete bond strength as the water to cement ratio (w/c) was reduced from 0.50 to 0.40 for both fly ash containing and non fly ash control samples. There was a reduction in the peak pullout load as the rebar surface temperature increased from 77o F to 150o F for the cast samples. A heated rebar experiment was performed simulating a rebar exposed to hot summer days and the rebar cooling curves were plotted for the rebar temperatures of 180o F - 120o F. Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy was performed to show the moisture content of cement samples at the rebar-concrete interface. Mercury intrusion porosimetry test results on one batch of samples were used for pore size distribution analysis. An in-depth analysis of the morphological characteristics of the rebar-concrete interface and the observation of pores using the scanning electron microscope (SEM) was done.
- Electrical resistivity as a measure of change of state in substrates: Design, development and validation of a microprocessor-based system.
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Smart structures are relevant and significant because of their relevance to phenomena such as hazard mitigation, structural health monitoring and energy saving. Electrical resistance could potentially serve as an indicator of structural well-being or damage in the structure. To this end, the development of a microprocessor-based automated resistance measurement system with customized GUI is desired. In this research, a nodal electrical resistance acquisition circuit (NERAC) system was designed. The system hardware interfaces to a laptop, which houses a customized GUI developed using DAQFactory software. Resistance/impedance was measured using DC/AC methods with four-point probes technique, on three substrates. Baseline reading before damage was noted and compared with the resistance measured after damage. The device was calibrated and validated on three different substrates. Resistance measurements were taken from PVDF samples, composite panels and smart concrete. Results conformed to previous work done on these substrates, validating the effective working of the NERAC device.
- Design and validation of an automated multiunit composting system.
- This thesis covers the design of an automated multiunit composting system (AMUCS) that was constructed to meet the experimental apparatus requirements of the ASTM D5338 standard. The design of the AMUCS is discussed in full detail and validated with two experiments. The first experiment was used to validate the operation of the AMUCS with a 15 day experiment. During this experiment visual observations were made to visually observe degradation. Thermal properties and stability tests were performed to quantify the effects of degradation on the polymer samples, and the carbon metabolized from the degradation of samples was measured. The second experiment used the AMUCS to determine the effect of synthetic clay nanofiller on the aerobic biodegradability behavior of poly (3-hydroxybutyrate-co-3-hydroxyvalerate).
- A Verilog 8051 Soft Core for FPGA Applications
- The objective of this thesis was to develop an 8051 microcontroller soft core in the Verilog hardware description language (HDL). Each functional unit of the 8051 microcontroller was developed as a separate module, and tested for functionality using the open-source VHDL Dalton model as benchmark. These modules were then integrated to operate as concurrent processes in the 8051 soft core. The Verilog 8051 soft core was then synthesized in Quartus® II simulation and synthesis environment (Altera Corp., San Jose, CA, www.altera.com) and yielded the expected behavioral response to test programs written in 8051 assembler residing in the v8051 ROM. The design can operate at speeds up to 41 MHz and used only 16% of the FPGA fabric, thus allowing complex systems to be designed on a single chip. Further research and development can be performed on v8051 to enhance performance and functionality.
- Cold-Formed Steel Bolted Connections without Washers on Oversized and Slotted Holes
- The use of the cold-formed steel sheet bolted connections without washers is so significant; however, the North American Specifications for the Design of Cold Formed Steel Structural Members, NASPEC, doesn't provide provisions for such connections. The bearing failure of sheet and the shear failure of sheet were considered in this study. For the sheet shear strength, it was found that the NASPEC (2007) design provisions can be used for oversized holes in both single and double shear configurations and for the double shear connections on short slotted holes. For the sheet bearing strength, a new design method was proposed to be used for low and high ductile steel sheets. The method was compared with the NASPEC and the University of Waterloo approach. Washers were still required for single shear connections on short slotted holes. Besides, connections using ASTM A325 bolts yielded higher bearing strength than connections using ASTM A307 bolts.
- Micro-fabrication of a Mach-Zehnder interferometer combining laser direct writing and fountain pen micropatterning for chemical/biological sensing applications.
- This research lays the foundation of a highly simplified maskless micro-fabrication technique which involves incorporation of laser direct writing technique combined with fountain pen based micro-patterning method to fabricate polymer-based Mach-Zehnder interferometer sensor arrays' prototype for chemical/biological sensing applications. The research provides methodology that focuses on maskless technology, allowing the definition and modification of geometric patterns through the programming of computer software, in contrast to the conventional mask-based photolithographic approach, in which a photomask must be produced before the device is fabricated. The finished waveguide sensors are evaluated on the basis of their performance as general interferometers. The waveguide developed using the fountain pen-based micro-patterning system is compared with the waveguide developed using the current technique of spin coating method for patterning of upper cladding of the waveguide. The resulting output power profile of the waveguides is generated to confirm their functionality as general interferometers. The results obtained are used to confirm the functionality of the simplified micro-fabrication technique for fabricating integrated optical polymer-based sensors and sensor arrays for chemical/biological sensing applications.
- A Study of Laser Direct Writing for All Polymer Single Mode Passive Optical Channel Waveguide Devices
- The objective of this research is to investigate the use of laser direct writing to micro-pattern low loss passive optical channel waveguide devices using a new hybrid organic/inorganic polymer. Review of literature shows previous methods of optical waveguide device patterning as well as application of other non-polymer materials. System setup and design of the waveguide components are discussed. Results show that laser direct writing of the hybrid polymer produce single mode interconnects with a loss of less 1dB/cm.
- Shear Wall Tests and Finite Element Analysis of Cold-Formed Steel Structural Members.
- The research was focused on the three major structural elements of a typical cold-formed steel building - shear wall, floor joist, and column. Part 1 of the thesis explored wider options in the steel sheet sheathing for shear walls. An experimental research was conducted on 0.030 in and 0.033 in. (2:1 and 4:1 aspect ratios) and 0.027 in. (2:1 aspect ratio) steel sheet shear walls and the results provided nominal shear strengths for the American Iron and Steel Institute Lateral Design Standard. Part 2 of this thesis optimized the web hole profile for a new generation C-joist, and the web crippling strength was analyzed by finite element analysis. The results indicated an average 43% increase of web crippling strength for the new C-joist compared to the normal C-joist without web hole. To improve the structural efficiency of a cold-formed steel column, a new generation sigma (NGS) shaped column section was developed in Part 3 of this thesis. The geometry of NGS was optimized by the elastic and inelastic analysis using finite strip and finite element analysis. The results showed an average increment in axial compression strength for a single NGS section over a C-section was 117% for a 2 ft. long section and 135% for an 8 ft. long section; and for a double NGS section over a C-section was 75% for a 2 ft. long section and 103% for an 8 ft. long section.
- Effects of minimum quantity lubrication in drilling 1018 steel.
- A common goal for industrial manufacturers is to create a safer working environment and reduce production costs. One common method to achieve this goal is to drastically reduce cutting fluid use in machining. Recent advances in machining technologies have made it possible to perform machining with minimum-quantity lubrication (MQL). Drilling takes a key position in the realization of MQL machining. In this study the effects of using MQL in drilling AISI 1018 steel with HSS tools using a vegetable based lubricant were investigated. A full factorial experiment was conducted and regression models were generated for both surface finish and hole size. Lower surface roughness and higher tool life were observed in the lowest speed and feed rate combination.
- Hardware and software codesign of a JPEG2000 watermarking encoder.
- Analog technology has been around for a long time. The use of analog technology is necessary since we live in an analog world. However, the transmission and storage of analog technology is more complicated and in many cases less efficient than digital technology. Digital technology, on the other hand, provides fast means to be transmitted and stored. Digital technology continues to grow and it is more widely used than ever before. However, with the advent of new technology that can reproduce digital documents or images with unprecedented accuracy, it poses a risk to the intellectual rights of many artists and also on personal security. One way to protect intellectual rights of digital works is by embedding watermarks in them. The watermarks can be visible or invisible depending on the application and the final objective of the intellectual work. This thesis deals with watermarking images in the discrete wavelet transform domain. The watermarking process was done using the JPEG2000 compression standard as a platform. The hardware implementation was achieved using the ALTERA DSP Builder and SIMULINK software to program the DE2 ALTERA FPGA board. The JPEG2000 color transform and the wavelet transformation blocks were implemented using the hardware-in-the-loop (HIL) configuration.
- Factors influencing horizontal cracking in continuously reinforced concrete pavements (CRCP).
- This research presents the results on an experimental investigation to identify the significant factors influencing horizontal cracking in continuously reinforced concrete pavements (CRCP). An in-depth analysis of the microstructure, morphological characteristics of the interfacial transition zone (ITZ) and the observation of cracking using the environmental scanning electron microscope (ESEM) was done. Characterization of oxides using Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) and electron dispersive x-ray spectroscopy (EDS) was also performed. Water to cement ratio (w/c) and rebar temperature had a significant influence on the rebar-concrete bond strength. The 28-day shear strength measurements showed an increase in rebar-concrete bond strength as the water to cement ratio (w/c) was reduced from 0.50 to 0.40. There was a reduction in the peak pullout load as the temperature increased from 14oF to 252oF for the corroded and non-corroded rebar experiments. The corroded rebar pullout test results showed a 20-50 % reduction in bond strength compared to the non-corroded rebars. FTIR measurements indicated a presence of lepidocrocrite (γ -FeOOH) and maghemite (γ -Fe2O3) on the ITZ. ESEM images showed the existence of microcracks as early as three days after casting with the bridging of these cracks between coarse aggregate locations in the interfacial zone propagating through the mortar.
- Investigation of the feasibility of non-invasive carbon dioxide detection using spectroscopy in the visible spectrum.
- Pulse oximeters are used in operating rooms and recovery rooms as a monitoring device for oxygen in the respiratory system of the patient. The advantage of pulse oximeters over other methods of oxygen monitoring is that they are easy to use and they are non-invasive, which means it is not necessary break the skin to extract blood for information to be obtained. The standard for the measurement of partial pressure of CO2 and O2 is an arterial blood gas analysis (ABG). However routine monitoring using this method on a continuous basis is impractical since it is slow, painful and invasive. Measuring carbon dioxide is critical to preventing ailments such as carbon dioxide poisoning or hypoxia. The problem is, currently there is no known effective non-invasive method for accurately measuring carbon dioxide in the body to properly assess the adequacy of ventilation. The objective of this study was to experimentally use spectroscopy in the visible spectrum and the principles of operation of a pulse oximeter to incorporate a method of non-invasive real-time carbon dioxide monitoring that is as quick and easy to use.
- Flow Accelerated Corrosion Experience at Comanche Peak Steam Electric Station
- Flow accelerated corrosion (FAC) is a major concern in the power industry as it causes thinning of the pipes by the dissolution of the passive oxide layer formed on the pipe surface. Present research deals with comparing the protection offered by the magnetite (Fe3O4) versus maghemite (γ-Fe2O3) phases thickness loss measurements. Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) is used in distinguishing these two elusive phases of iron oxides. Representative pipes are collected from high pressure steam extraction line of the secondary cycle of unit 2 of Comanche Peak Steam Electric Station (CPSES). Environmental scanning electron microscopy (ESEM) is used for morphological analysis. FTIR and X-ray diffraction (XRD) are used for phase analysis. Morphological analysis showed the presence of porous oxide surfaces with octahedral crystals, scallops and "chimney" like vents. FTIR revealed the predominance of maghemite at the most of the pipe sections. Results of thickness measurements indicate severe thickness loss at the bend areas (extrados) of the pipes.
- Liquid Nitrogen Propulsion Systems for Automotive Applications: Calculation of Mechanical Efficiency of a Dual, Double-acting Piston Propulsion System
- A dual, double-acting propulsion system is analyzed to determine how efficiently it can convert the potential energy available from liquid nitrogen into useful work. The two double-acting pistons (high- and low-pressure) were analyzed by using a Matlab-Simulink computer simulation to determine their respective mechanical efficiencies. The flow circuit for the entire system was analyzed by using flow circuit analysis software to determine pressure losses throughout the system at the required mass flow rates. The results of the piston simulation indicate that the two pistons analyzed are very efficient at transferring energy into useful work. The flow circuit analysis shows that the system can adequately maintain the mass flow rate requirements of the pistons but also identifies components that have a significant impact on the performance of the system. The results of the analysis indicate that the nitrogen propulsion system meets the intended goals of its designers.
- Radio frequency propagation differences through various transmissive materials.
- The purpose of this research was to determine which of the commonly used wireless telecommunication site concealment materials has the least effect on signal potency. The tested materials were Tuff Span® fiberglass panels manufactured by Enduro Composite Systems, Lexan® XL-1 polycarbonate plastic manufactured by GE Corporation and Styrofoam polystyrene board manufactured by The Dow Chemical Company. Testing was conducted in a double electrically isolated copper mesh screen room at the University of North Texas Engineering Technology Building in Denton, Texas. Analysis of the data found no differences exist between the radio frequency transmissiveness of these products at broadband personal communication service frequencies. However, differences in the signal do exist with regards to the angle of incidence between the material and the transmitting antenna.
- Evaluation of dynamic and static electrical characteristics for the DY8 and YI8 process gallium diodes in comparison to the DI8 process boron diodes.
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A rectifier is an electrical device, comprising one or more semiconductor devices arranged for converting alternating current to direct current by blocking the negative or positive portion of the waveform. The purpose of this study would be to evaluate dynamic and static electrical characteristics of rectifier chips fabricated with (a) DY8 process and (b) YI8 process and compare them with the existing DI8 process rectifiers. These new rectifiers were tested to compare their performance to meet or exceed requirements of lower forward voltages, leakage currents, reverse recovery time, and greater sustainability at higher temperatures compared to diodes manufactured using boron as base (DI8 process diodes) for similar input variables.
- Surface Plasmon Based Nanophotonic Optical Emitters
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Group- III nitride based semiconductors have emerged as the leading material for short wavelength optoelectronic devices. The InGaN alloy system forms a continuous and direct bandgap semiconductor spanning ultraviolet (UV) to blue/green wavelengths. An ideal and highly efficient light-emitting device can be designed by enhancing the spontaneous emission rate. This thesis deals with the design and fabrication of a visible light-emitting device using GaN/InGaN single quantum well (SQW) system with enhanced spontaneous emission. To increase the emission efficiency, layers of different metals, usually noble metals like silver, gold and aluminum are deposited on GaN/InGaN SQWs using metal evaporator. Surface characterization of metal-coated GaN/InGaN SQW samples was carried out using atomic force microscopy (AFM) and scanning electron microscopy (SEM). Photoluminescence is used as a tool for optical characterization to study the enhancement in the light emitting structures. This thesis also compares characteristics of different metals on GaN/InGaN SQW system thus allowing selection of the most appropriate material for a particular application. It was found out that photons from the light emitter couple more to the surface plasmons if the bandgap of former is close to the surface plasmon resonant energy of particular metal. Absorption of light due to gold reduces the effective mean path of light emitted from the light emitter and hence quenches the quantum well emission peak compared to the uncoated sample.
- Development of a Hybrid Molecular Ultraviolet Photodetector based on Guanosine Derivatives
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Modern studies on charge transfer reaction and conductivity measurements of DNA have shown that the electrical behavior of DNA ranges from that of an insulator to that of a wide bandgap semiconductor. Based on this property of DNA, a metal-semiconductor-metal photodetector is fabricated using a self-assembled layer of deoxyguanosine derivative (DNA base) deposited between gold electrodes. The electrodes are lithographically designed on a GaN substrate separated by a distance L (50nm < L < 100nm). This work examines the electrical and optical properties of such wide-bandgap semiconductor based biomaterial systems for their potential application as photodetectors in the UV region wherein most of the biological agents emit. The objective of this study was to develop a biomolecular electronic device and design an experimental setup for electrical and optical characterization of a novel hybrid molecular optoelectronic material system. AFM results proved the usage of Ga-Polar substrate in conjugation with DG molecules to be used as a potential electronic based sensor. A two-terminal nanoscale biomolectronic diode has been fabricated showing efficient rectification ratio. A nanoscale integrated ultraviolet photodetector (of dimensions less than 100 nm) has been fabricated with a cut-off wavelength at ~ 320 nm.
- Nodal Resistance Measurement System
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The latest development in the measurement techniques has resulted in fast improvements in the instruments used for measurement of various electrical quantities. A common problem in such instruments is the automation of acquiring, retrieving and controlling the measurements by a computer or a laptop. In this study, nodal resistance measurement (NRM) system is developed to solve the above problem. The purpose of this study is to design and develop a compact electronic board, which measures electrical resistance, and a computer or a laptop controls the board. For the above purpose, surface nodal points are created on the surface of the sample electrically conductive material. The nodal points are connected to the compact electronic board and this board is connected to the computer. The user selects the nodal points, from the computer, between which the NRM system measures the electrical resistance and displays the measured quantity on the computer.
- Synthesis of cubic boron nitride thin films on silicon substrate using electron beam evaporation.
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Cubic boron nitride (cBN) synthesis has gained lot of interest during the past decade as it offers outstanding physical and chemical properties like high hardness, high wear resistance, and chemical inertness. Despite of their excellent properties, every application of cBN is hindered by high compressive stresses and poor adhesion. The cost of equipment is also high in almost all the techniques used so far. This thesis deals with the synthesis of cubic phase of boron nitride on Si (100) wafers using electron beam evaporator, a low cost equipment that is capable of depositing films with reduced stresses. Using this process, need of ion beam employed in ion beam assisted processes can be eliminated thus reducing the surface damage and enhancing the film adhesion. Four sets of samples have been deposited by varying substrate temperature and the deposition time. scanning electron microscopy (SEM), energy dispersive spectroscopy (EDS), X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) techniques have been used to determine the structure and composition of the films deposited. X-ray diffraction (XRD) was performed on one of the samples to determine the thickness of the film deposited for the given deposition rate. Several samples showed dendrites being formed as a stage of film formation. It was found that deposition at substrate temperature of 400oC and for a period of one hour yielded high quality cubic boron nitride films.
- Characterization of iron oxide deposits formed at Comanche Peak Steam Electric Station (CPSES)
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The presence of deposits leading to corrosion of the steam generator (SG) systems is a major contributor to operation and maintenance cost of pressurized water reactor (PWR) plants. Formation and transport of corrosion products formed due to the presence of impurities, metallic oxides and cations in the secondary side of the SG units result in formation of deposits. This research deals with the characterization of deposit samples collected from the two SG units (unit 1 and unit 2) at Comanche Peak Steam Electric Station (CPSES). X-ray diffraction (XRD), Fourier transform infrared spectrophotometry (FTIR), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), and energy dispersive spectroscopy (EDS) techniques have been used for studying the compositional and structural properties of iron oxides formed in the secondary side of unit 1 and unit 2. Magnetite (Fe3O4) was found to be predominant in samples from unit 1 and maghemite (g-Fe2O3) was found to be the dominant phase in case of unit 2. An attempt has been made to customize FTIR technique for analyzing different iron oxide phases present in the deposits of PWR-SG systems.
- Propagation analysis of a 900 MHz spread spectrum centralized traffic signal control system.
- The objective of this research is to investigate different propagation models to determine if specified models accurately predict received signal levels for short path 900 MHz spread spectrum radio systems. The City of Denton, Texas provided data and physical facilities used in the course of this study. The literature review indicates that propagation models have not been studied specifically for short path spread spectrum radio systems. This work should provide guidelines and be a useful example for planning and implementing such radio systems. The propagation model involves the following considerations: analysis of intervening terrain, path length, and fixed system gains and losses.
- MBE Growth and Instrumentation
- This thesis mainly aims at application of principles of engineering technology in the field of molecular beam epitaxy (MBE). MBE is a versatile technique for growing epitaxial thin films of semiconductors and metals by impinging molecular beams of atoms onto a heated substrate under ultra-high vacuum (UHV) conditions. Here, a LabVIEW® (laboratory virtual instrument engineering workbench) software (National Instruments Corp., http://www.ni.com/legal/termsofuse/unitedstates/usH) program is developed that would form the basis of a real-time control system that would transform MBE into a true-production technology. Growth conditions can be monitored in real-time with the help of reflection high energy electron diffraction (RHEED) technique. The period of one RHEED oscillation corresponds exactly to the growth of one monolayer of atoms of the semiconductor material. The PCI-1409 frame grabber card supplied by National Instruments is used in conjunction with the LabVIEW software to capture the RHEED images and capture the intensity of RHEED oscillations. The intensity values are written to a text file and plotted in the form of a graph. A fast Fourier transform of these oscillations gives the growth rate of the epi-wafer being grown. All the data being captured by the LabVIEW program can be saved to file forming a growth pedigree for future use. Unattended automation can be achieved by designing a control system that monitors the growth in real-time and compares it with the data recorded from the LabVIEW program from the previous growth and adjusts the growth parameters automatically thereby growing accurate device structures.
- Indoor Propagation Modeling at 2.4 GHz for IEEE 802.11 Networks
- Indoor use of wireless systems poses one of the biggest design challenges. It is difficult to predict the propagation of a radio frequency wave in an indoor environment. To assist in deploying the above systems, characterization of the indoor radio propagation channel is essential. The contributions of this work are two-folds. First, in order to build a model, extensive field strength measurements are carried out inside two different buildings. Then, path loss exponents from log-distance path loss model and standard deviations from log-normal shadowing, which statistically describe the path loss models for a different transmitter receiver separations and scenarios, are determined. The purpose of this study is to characterize the indoor channel for 802.11 wireless local area networks at 2.4 GHz frequency. This thesis presents a channel model based on measurements conducted in commonly found scenarios in buildings. These scenarios include closed corridor, open corridor, classroom, and computer lab. Path loss equations are determined using log-distance path loss model and log-normal shadowing. The chi-square test statistic values for each access point are calculated to prove that the observed fading is a normal distribution at 5% significance level. Finally, the propagation models from the two buildings are compared to validate the generated equations.
- FEM of nanoindentation on micro- and nanocrystalline Ni: Analysis of factors affecting hardness and modulus values.
- Nanoindentation is a widely used technique to measure the mechanical properties of films with thickness ranging from nanometers to micrometers. A much better understanding of the contact mechanics is obtained mostly through finite element modeling. The experiments were modeled using the software package Nano SP1 that is based on COSMOSM (Structural Research & Analysis Corp, www.cosmosm.com), a finite element code. The fundamental material properties affecting pile-up are the ratio of the effective modulus to yield stress Eeff/σ and the work hardening behavior. Two separate cases of work hardening rates were considered; one with no work hardening rate and other with a linear work hardening rate. Specifically, it is observed that pile up is large only when hf/hmax is close to one and degree of work hardening rate is small. It should also be noted that when hf/hmax < 0.7 very little pile-up is observed no matter what the work-hardening behavior of the material. When pile-up occurs the contact area is greater than that predicted by the experimental methods and both the hardness and modulus are overestimated. In this report the amount by which these properties are overestimated are studied and got to be around 22% approx. Bluntness of the tip often leads to the misinterpretation of the load-displacement data. Further analysis was done in order to find out the amount of deviation from the ideal tip due to tip bluntness. Radius of the tips were also calculated for cubecorner (41.35 nm) and conical indenter (986.05 nm).