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 Department: Department of Engineering Technology
Knowledge Based System and Decision Making Methodologies in Materials Selection for Aircraft Cabin Metallic Structures
Materials selection processes have been the most important aspects in product design and development. Knowledge-based system (KBS) and some of the methodologies used in the materials selection for the design of aircraft cabin metallic structures are discussed. Overall aircraft weight reduction means substantially less fuel consumption. Part of the solution to this problem is to find a way to reduce overall weight of metallic structures inside the cabin. Among various methodologies of materials selection using Multi Criterion Decision Making (MCDM) techniques, a few of them are demonstrated with examples and the results are compared with those obtained using Ashby's approach in materials selection. Pre-defined constraint values, mainly mechanical properties, are employed as relevant attributes in the process. Aluminum alloys with high strength-to-weight ratio have been second-to-none in most of the aircraft parts manufacturing. Magnesium alloys that are much lighter in weight as alternatives to the Al-alloys currently in use in the structures are tested using the methodologies and ranked results are compared. Each material attribute considered in the design are categorized as benefit and non-benefit attribute. Using Ashby's approach, material indices that are required to be maximized for an optimum performance are determined, and materials are ranked based on the average of consolidated indices ranking. Ranking results are compared for any disparity among the methodologies.
Accelerated Corrosion Test with Operation Simulation of All-Aluminum Microchannel Heat Exchangers
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The HVAC&R industry is looking to transition from copper-aluminum heat exchangers to all-aluminum microchannel technology. The want for the transition stemmed from seeing the performance improvement of all-aluminum microchannel radiators in the automotive industry. Applications differ between the two industries; therefore, applying this technology for HVAC&R use must be validated. Research towards operating modes of an all-aluminum heat exchanger in a defined corrosive environment will provide the industry with a better understanding of heat exchanger design and heat exchanger material selection. The worth in this is preventing overdesign and producing more efficient heat exchangers. Furthermore, ASHRAE members and the corrosion community will find value in a defined corrosion system and corrosion test procedure. The information gained through past research has progressed assessment of material performance; however, the methods improperly simulate and expedite natural weathering. The most common method being used is the ASTM (American Society of Testing Materials) Sea Water Acetic Acid Test. The research discussed in this paper was focused on improving a standard corrosion system by implementing system modifications to simulate heat exchanger operation while performing a modified wet-dry cyclic test (e.g. ASTM G85 Annex 5). The goal is to produce results that are more representative of natural corrosion behavior and its forms. Current results were gathered from five of ten samples that underwent initial testing. Finally, possible improvements towards the chamber system and the test method, including the salt solution, are discussed.
Innovative Cold-Formed Steel Shear Walls with Corrugated Steel Sheathing
This thesis presents two major sections with the objective of introducing a new cold-formed steel (CFS) shear wall system with corrugated steel sheathings. The work shown herein includes the development of an optimal shear wall system as well as an optimal slit configuration for the CFS corrugated sheathings which result in a CFS shear wall with high ductility, high strength, high stiffness and overall high performance. The conclusion is based on the results of 36 full-scale shear wall tests performed in the structural laboratory of the University of North Texas. A variety of shear walls were the subject of this research to make further discussions and conclusions based on different sheathing materials, slit configurations, wall configurations, sheathing connection methods, wall dimensions, shear wall member thicknesses, and etc. The walls were subject to cyclic (CUREE protocol) lateral loading to study their deformations and structural performances. The optimal sit configuration for CFS shear walls with corrugated steel sheathings was found to be 12×2 in. vertical slits in 6 rows. The failure mode observed in this shear wall system was the connection failure between the sheathing and the framing members. Also, most of the shear walls tested displayed local buckling of the chord framing members located above the hold-down locations. The second section includes details of developing a Finite Element Model (FEM) in ABAQUS software to analyze the lateral response of the new shear wall systems. Different modeling techniques were used to define each element of the CFS shear wall and are reported herein. Material properties from coupon test results are applied. Connection tests are performed to define pinching paths to model fasteners with hysteretic user-defined elements. Element interactions, boundary conditions and loading applications are consistent with full scale tests. CFS members and corrugated sheathings are modeled with shell elements, sheathing-to-frame fasteners are modeled using nonlinear springs (SPRING2 elements) for monotonic models and a general user defined element (user subroutine UEL) for cyclic models. Hold-downs are defined by boundary conditions. A total of three models were developed and validated by comparing ABAQUS results to full scale test results.
Comparative Analysis and Implementation of High Data Rate Wireless Sensor Network Simulation Frameworks
This thesis focuses on developing a high data rate wireless sensor network framework that could be integrated with hardware prototypes to monitor structural health of buildings. In order to better understand the wireless sensor network architecture and its consideration in structural health monitoring, a detailed literature review on wireless sensor networks has been carried out. Through research, it was found that there are numerous simulation software packages available for wireless sensor network simulation. One suitable software was selected for modelling the framework. Research showed that Matlab/Simulink was the most suitable environment, and as a result, a wireless sensor network framework was designed in Matlab/Simulink. Further, the thesis illustrates modeling of a simple accelerometer sensor, such as those used in wireless sensor networks in Matlab/Simulink using a mathematical description. Finally, the framework operation is demonstrated with 10 nodes, and data integrity is analyzed with cyclic redundancy check and transmission error rate calculations.
Dynamic Behaviors of Historical Wrought Iron Truss Bridges – a Field Testing Case Study
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Civil infrastructure throughout the world serves as main arteries for commerce and transportation, commonly forming the backbone of many societies. Bridges have been and remain a crucial part of the success of these civil networks. However, the crucial elements have been built over centuries and have been subject to generations of use. Many current bridges have outlived their intended service life or have been retrofitted to carry additional loads over their original design. A large number of these historic bridges are still in everyday use and their condition needs to be monitored for public safety. Transportation infrastructure authorities have implemented various inspection and management programs throughout the world, mainly visual inspections. However, careful visual inspections can provide valuable information but it has limitations in that it provides no actual stress-strain information to determine structural soundness. Structural Health Monitoring (SHM) has been a growing area of research as officials need to asses and triage the aging infrastructure with methods that provide measurable response information to determine the health of the structure. A rapid improvement in technology has allowed researchers to start using new sensors and algorithms to understand the structural parameters of tested structures due to known and unknown loading scenarios. One of the most promising methods involves the use of wireless sensor nodes to measure structural responses to loads in real time. The structural responses can be processed to help understand the modal parameters, determine the health of the structure, and potentially identify damage. For example, modal parameters of structures are typically used when designing the lateral system of a structure. A better understanding of these parameters can lead to better and more efficient designs. Usually engineers rely on a finite element analysis to identify these parameters. By observing the actual parameters displayed during field testing, the theoretical FE models can be validated for accuracy. This paper will present the field testing of a historic wrought iron truss bridge, in a case study, to establish a repeatable procedure to be used as reference for the testing of other similar structures.
Impact of Green Design and Technology on Building Environment
Currently, the public has a strong sense of the need for environment protection and the use of sustainable, or “green,” design in buildings and other civil structures. Since green design elements and technologies are different from traditional design, they probably have impacts on the building environment, such as vibration, lighting, noise, temperature, relative humidity, and overall comfort. Determining these impacts of green design on building environments is the primary objective of this study. The Zero Energy Research (ZOE) laboratory, located at the University of North Texas Discovery Park, is analyzed as a case study. Because the ZOE lab is a building that combines various green design elements and energy efficient technologies, such as solar panels, a geothermal heating system, and wind turbines, it provides an ideal case to study. Through field measurements and a questionnaire survey of regular occupants of the ZOE lab, this thesis analyzed and reported: 1) whether green design elements changed the building’s ability to meet common building environmental standards, 2) whether green design elements assisted in Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) scoring, and 3) whether green design elements decreased the subjective comfort level of the occupants.
Spray Cooling with Hfc-134a and Hfo-1234yf for Thermal Management of Automotive Power Electronics
This study aims to experimentally investigate the spray cooling characteristics for active two-phase cooling of automotive power electronics. Tests are conducted on a small-scale, closed loop spray cooling system featuring a pressure atomized spray nozzle. Two types of refrigerants, HFC-134a (R-134a) and HFO-1234yf, are selected as the working fluids. The test section (heater), made out of oxygen-free copper, has a 1-cm2 plain, smooth surface prepared following a consistent procedure, and would serve as a baseline case. Matching size thick film resistors, attached onto the copper heaters, generate heat and simulate high heat flux power electronics devices. The tests are conducted by controlling the heat flux in increasing steps, and recording the corresponding steady-state temperatures to obtain cooling curves. The working fluid is kept at room temperature level (22oC). Performance comparisons are made based on heat transfer coefficient (HTC) and critical heat flux (CHF) values. Effects of spray characteristics and liquid flow rates on the cooling performance are investigated with the selected coolants. Three types of commercially available nozzles that generate full-cone sprays with fine droplets are utilized in the tests. Effect of liquid flow rate is evaluated varying flow rates at 2, 3, 4 ml/s. The experimental results obtained from this study provide a framework for spray cooling performance with the current and next-generation refrigerants aimed for advanced thermal management of automotive power electronics.
Analytical Model for Lateral Deflection in Cold-formed Steel Framed Shear Walls with Steel Sheathing
An analytical model for lateral deflection in cold-formed steel shear walls sheathed with steel is developed in this research. The model is based on the four factors: fastener displacement, steel sheet deformation, and hold-down deformation, which are from the effective strip concept and a complexity factor, which accounts for the additional influential factors not considered in the previous three terms. The model uses design equations based on the actual material and mechanical properties of the shear wall. Furthermore, the model accounts for aggressive and conservative designers by predicting deflection at different shear strength degrees.
Direct Immersion Cooling Via Nucleate Boiling of Hfe-7100 Dielectric Liquid on Hydrophobic and Hydrophilic Surfaces
This study experimentally investigated the effect of hydrophobic and hydrophilic surfaces characteristics on nucleate boiling heat transfer performance for the application of direct immersion cooling of electronics. A dielectric liquid, HFE – 7100 was used as the working fluid in the saturated boiling tests. Twelve types of 1-cm2 copper heater samples, simulating high heat flux components, featured reference smooth copper surface, fully and patterned hydrophobic surface and fully and patterned hydrophilic surfaces. Hydrophobic samples were prepared by applying a thin Teflon coating following photolithography techniques, while the hydrophilic TiO2 thin films were made through a two step approach involving layer by layer self assembly and liquid phase deposition processes. Patterned surfaces had circular dots with sizes between 40 – 250 μm. Based on additional data, both hydrophobic and hydrophilic surfaces improved nucleate boiling performance that is evaluated in terms of boiling incipience, heat transfer coefficient and critical heat flux (CHF) level. The best results, considering the smooth copper surface as the reference, were achieved by the surfaces that have a mixture of hydrophobic/hydrophilic coatings, providing: (a) early transition to boiling regime and with eliminated temperature overshoot phenomena at boiling incipience, (b) up to 58.5% higher heat transfer coefficients, and (c) up to 47.4% higher CHF levels. The studied enhanced surfaces therefore demonstrated a practical surface modification method for heat transfer enhancement in immersion cooling applications.
Control and Automation of a Heat Shrink Tubing Process
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Heat shrink tubing is used to insulate wire conductors, protect wires, and to create cable entry seals in wire harnessing industries. Performing this sensitive process manually is time consuming, the results are strongly dependent on the operator’s expertise, and the process presents safety concerns. Alternatively, automating the process minimizes the operators’ direct interaction, decreases the production cost over the long term, and improves quantitative and qualitative production indicators dramatically. This thesis introduces the automation of a heat shrink tubing prototype machine that benefits the wire harnessing industry. The prototype consists of an instrumented heat chamber on a linear positioning system, and is fitted with two heat guns. The chamber design allows for the directing of hot air from the heat guns onto the wire harness uniformly through radially-distributed channels. The linear positioning system is designed to move the heat chamber along the wire harness as the proper shrinkage temperature level is reached. Heat exposure time as a major factor in the heat shrink tubing process can be governed by controlling the linear speed of the heat chamber. A control unit manages the actuator position continuously by measuring the chamber’s speed and temperature. A model-based design approach is followed to design and test the controller, and MATLAB/Simulink is used as the simulation environment. A programmable logic controller is selected as the controller implementation platform. The control unit performance is examined and its responses follow the simulation results with adequate accuracy.
The Use of Optical Metrology in Active Positioning of a Lens
Precisely positioned optical lenses are currently required for many highly repetitive mechanics and applications. Thus the need for micron-scale repetition between opto-mechanical units is evident, especially in industrial manufacturing and medical breakthroughs. In this thesis, a novel optical metrology system is proposed, designed, and built whose purpose is to precisely locate the center of a mechanical fixture and then to assemble a plano-convex optical lens into the located position of the fixture. Center location specifications up to ±3 µm decenter and ±0.001° tilting accuracy are required. Nine precisely positioned lenses and fixtures were built with eight units passing the requirements with a repetitive standard deviation of ±0.15 µm or less. The assembled units show satisfactory results.
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.
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.
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.
Corrosion Protection of Low Carbon Steel By Cation Substituted Magnetite
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 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.
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.
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 [1]. Better design of the resonators relies on a better understanding of the crystals' nonlinear behavior [2]. The nonlinearities affect the quality factor and acoustic behavior of MEMS (Micro-Electro-Mechanical-System) and nano-structured resonators and filters [3]. 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 [2]. 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 [2]. 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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, 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Characterization of Boron Nitride Thin Films on Silicon (100) Wafer.
Cubic boron nitride (cBN) thin films offer attractive mechanical and electrical properties. The synthesis of cBN films have been deposited using both physical and chemical vapor deposition methods, which generate internal residual, stresses that result in delamination of the film from substrates. Boron nitride films were deposited using electron beam evaporation without bias voltage and nitrogen bombardment (to reduce stresses) were characterize using FTIR, XRD, SEM, EDS, TEM, and AFM techniques. In addition, a pin-on-disk tribological test was used to measure coefficient of friction. Results indicated that samples deposited at 400°C contained higher cubic phase of BN compared to those films deposited at room temperature. A BN film containing cubic phase deposited at 400°C for 2 hours showed 0.1 friction coefficient.
FPGA Prototyping of a Watermarking Algorithm for MPEG-4
In the immediate future, multimedia product distribution through the Internet will become main stream. However, it can also have the side effect of unauthorized duplication and distribution of multimedia products. That effect could be a critical challenge to the legal ownership of copyright and intellectual property. Many schemes have been proposed to address these issues; one is digital watermarking which is appropriate for image and video copyright protection. Videos distributed via the Internet must be processed by compression for low bit rate, due to bandwidth limitations. The most widely adapted video compression standard is MPEG-4. Discrete cosine transform (DCT) domain watermarking is a secure algorithm which could survive video compression procedures and, most importantly, attacks attempting to remove the watermark, with a visibly degraded video quality result after the watermark attacks. For a commercial broadcasting video system, real-time response is always required. For this reason, an FPGA hardware implementation is studied in this work. This thesis deals with video compression, watermarking algorithms and their hardware implementation with FPGAs. A prototyping VLSI architecture will implement video compression and watermarking algorithms with the FPGA. The prototype is evaluated with video and watermarking quality metrics. Finally, it is seen that the video qualities of the watermarking at the uncompressed vs. the compressed domain are only 1dB of PSNR lower. However, the cost of compressed domain watermarking is the complexity of drift compensation for canceling the drifting effect.
Preliminary design of a cryogenic thermoelectric generator.
A cryogenic thermoelectric generator is proposed to increase the efficiency of a vehicle propulsion system that uses liquid nitrogen as its fuel. The proposed design captures some of the heat required for vaporizing or initial heating of the liquid nitrogen to produce electricity. The thermoelectric generator uses pressurized liquid nitrogen as its cold reservoir and ambient air as the high-temperature reservoir to generate power. This study concentrated on the selection of thermoelectric materials whose properties would result in the highest efficiency over the operating temperature range and on estimating the initial size of the generator. The preliminary selection of materials is based upon their figure of merit at the operating temperatures. The results of this preliminary design investigation of the cryogenic thermoelectric generator indicate that sufficient additional energy can be used to increase overall efficiency of the thermodynamic cycle of a vehicle propulsion system.
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.
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., 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.