Two-dimensional (2D) transition metal dichalcogenides (TMDs) show great potential for the future electronics, optoelectronics and energy applications. But, the studies unveiling their interactions with the host substrates are sparse and limits their practical use for real device applications. We report the facile nano-scratch method to determine the adhesion energy of the wafer scale MoS2 atomic layers attached to the SiO2/Si and sapphire substrates. The practical adhesion energy of monolayer MoS2 on the SiO2/Si substrate is 7.78 J/m2. The practical adhesion energy was found to be an increasing function of the MoS2 thickness. Unlike SiO2/Si substrates, MoS2 films grown on the sapphire possess higher bonding energy, which is attributed to the defect-free growth and less number of grain boundaries, as well as less stress and strain stored at the interface owing to the similarity of Thermal Expansion Coefficient (TEC) between MoS2 films and sapphire substrate. Furthermore, we calculated the surface free energy of 2D MoS2 by the facile contact angle measurements and Neumann model fitting. A surface free energy ~85.3 mJ/m2 in few layers thick MoS2 manifests the hydrophilic nature of 2D MoS2. The high surface energy of MoS2 helps explain the good bonding strength at MoS2/substrate interface. This simple adhesion energy and surface energy measurement methodology could further apply to other TMDs for their widespread use.
Texas is the second largest state in U.S.A. based on geographical area, population and the economy. It is home to several large coastal urban areas with major industries and infrastructure supporting the fossil-fuel based energy sector. Most of the major cities on the state have been impacted by significant air pollution events over the past decade. Studies conducted in the southern coastal region of TX have identified long range transport as a major contributor of particulate matter (PM) pollution along with local emissions. Biomass burns, secondary sulfates and diesel emissions sources are comprise as the dominant mass of PM2.5 have been noted to be formed by the long range transport biomass from Central America. Thus, the primary objective of this study was to identify and quantify local as well as regional sources contributing to the PM pollution in the coastal area of Brownsville located along the Gulf of Mexico. Source apportionment techniques such as principal component analysis (PCA) and positive matrix factorization (PMF) were employed on the air quality monitoring data to identify and quantify local and regional sources affecting this coastal region. As a supplement to the PMF and PCA, conditional probability function (CPF) analysis and potential source contribution function (PSCF) analysis were employed to characterize the meteorological influences for PM events. PCA identified an optimal solution of 6 sources affecting the coastal area of Brownsville, while PMF resolved 8 sources for the same area. Biomass comingled with sea salt was identified to be the dominant contributor from the PCA analysis with 30.2% of the apportioned PM mass in Brownsville, meanwhile PMF account secondary sulfates I & II with 27.6%. the other common sources identified included, biomass burning, crustal dust, secondary sulfate, oil combustion, mobile sources and miscellaneous traffic sources.
All-aluminum microchannel heat exchangers are designed to significantly reduce refrigerant charge requirements, weight, reduced brazed joints, and decreased potential for leakage by increasing reliability. Al 3003 alloy is corrosion resistant and can be formed, welded, and brazed but the issue with all-aluminum heat exchangers is localized corrosion (pitting) in corrosive environments. Currently, there is no universally accepted corrosion test that all coil manufacturers use to characterize their products. Electrochemical testing method of cyclic polarization was employed in this investigation and relevant parameters including electrolyte corrosive agent and its concentration, electrolyte pH, and applied potential scan rate was varied to find an optimal set of parameters. Results of cyclic polarization of Al 3003 in electrolytes containing various concentrations of NaCl were compared with those of the tests in Sea Water Acidified Accelerated Test (SWAAT) electrolyte and it is shown the SWAAT electrolyte (4.2% sea salt acidified to pH of 2.9) is by far stronger (in terms of corrosivity) than typical 3.5% NaCl solution used in most corrosion testing. Corrosion rates (g/m2yr) of Al 3003 measured in this investigation were comparable to those provided by ISO 9223 standard corresponding to C1 through CX categories. Duration of cyclic polarization test is much shorter than that of SWAAT and results obtained in this test is more reproducible compared to those of SWAAT. Scanning electron microscopy micrographs show typical pit depths of about 50 μm.
Hierarchical arrangement of biological composites such as nacre and bone containing high filler (ceramic) content results in high strength and toughness of the natural material. In this study we mimic the design of layered bone microstructure and fabricate an optimal multifunctional bio-nanocomposite having strength, toughness and corrosion resistance. Poly (butylene adipate-co-terephthalate) (PBAT), a biodegradable polymer was used as a substrate material with the reinforcement of LDH (Layered double hydroxide) as a nanofiller in different concentrations to achieve enhancement in mechanical properties as well as processing related thermostability. Corrosion resistance was increased by mimicking a layered structured which incorporated a tortuous diffusion path.
Self-activation is a process that takes advantage of the gases emitted from the pyrolysis process of biomass to activate the converted carbon. The pyrolytic gases from the biomass contain CO2 and H2O, which can be used as activating agents. As two common methods, both of physical activation using CO2 and chemical activation using ZnCl2 introduce additional gas (CO2) or chemical (ZnCl2), in which the CO2 emission from the activation process or the zinc compound removal by acid from the follow-up process will cause environmental concerns. In comparison with these conventional activation processes, the self-activation process could avoid the cost of activating agents and is more environmentally friendly, since the exhaust gases (CO and H2) can be used as fuel or feedstock for the further synthesis in methanol production. In this research, many types of biomass were successfully converted into activated carbon through the self-activation process. An activation model was developed to describe the changes of specific surface area and pore volume during the activation. The relationships between the activating temperature, dwelling time, yield, specific surface area, and specific pore volume were detailed investigated. The highest specific surface area and pore volume of the biomass-derived activated carbon through the self-activation process were up to 2738 m2 g-1 and 2.209 cm3 g-1, respectively. Moreover, the applications of the activated carbons from the self-activation process have been studied, including lithium-ion battery (LIB) manufacturing, water cleaning, oil absorption, and electromagnetic interference (EMI) shielding.
Recent development of additive manufacturing technologies has led to lack of information on the base materials being used. A need arises to know the mechanical behaviors of these base materials so that it can be linked with macroscopic mechanical behaviors of 3D network structures manufactured from the 3D printer. The main objectives of my research are to characterize properties of a material for an additive manufacturing method (commonly referred to as 3D printing). Also, to model viscoelastic properties of Procast material that is obtained from 3D printer. For this purpose, a 3D CAD model is made using ProE and 3D printed using Projet HD3500. Series of uniaxial tensile tests, creep tests, and dynamic mechanical analysis are carried out to obtained viscoelastic behavior of Procast. Test data is fitted using various linear and nonlinear viscoelastic models. Validation of model is also carried out using tensile test data and frequency sweep data. Various other mechanical characterization have also been carried out in order to find density, melting temperature, glass transition temperature, and strain rate dependent elastic modulus of Procast material. It can be concluded that melting temperature of Procast material is around 337°C, the elastic modulus is around 0.7-0.8 GPa, and yield stress is around 16-19 MPa.
Denton, Texas consistently reaches ozone nonattainment levels. This has led to a large focus of air pollution monitoring efforts in the region, with long-range transport being explored as a key contributor. For this study, the University of North Texas Discovery Park campus was chosen as a prospective location for an extensive air quality monitoring station. Sixteen years of ozone and meteorological data for five state-run monitoring sites within a 25 mile radius, including the nearest Denton Airport site, was gathered from TCEQ online database for the month of April for the years 2000 to 2015. The data was analyzed to show a historical, regional perspective of ozone near the proposed site. The maximum ozone concentration measured at the Denton Airport location over the 16 year period was measured at 96 ppb in 2001. Experimental ozone and meteorological measurements were collected at the Discovery Park location from March 26 to April 3 and April 8 to April, 2016 and compared to the Denton Airport monitoring site. A time lag in ozone trends and an increase in peak ozone concentrations at the proposed location were observed at the proposed site in comparison to the Denton Airport site. Historical and experimental meteorological data agreed in indicating that southern winds that rarely exceed 20 miles per hour are the predominant wind pattern. Back trajectories, wind roses, pollution roses, and bivariate plots created for peak ozone days during experimental periods support long range transport as a considerable cause of high ozone levels in Denton. Furthermore, a study of the precursor characteristics at the Denton Airport site indicated the site was being affected by a local source of nitrogen dioxide that was not affecting the proposed location. The differences in the Denton Airport site and the proposed site indicate that further monitoring at Discovery Park would ...
Corrosion of all aluminum microchannel heat exchangers present a challenge in automotive and heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) industries. Reproducibility of Salt Water Acetic Acid Test (SWAAT) has been questioned and a need to new corrosion tests with better reproducibility has risen. Cyclic polarization, that is an electrochemical test, was explored for its suitability for the assessment of AA 3102 tube material that is currently a popular aluminum alloy used in manufacturing of heat exchanger. Corrosive electrolytes containing 3.5 % sodium chloride with 0.5 % ammonium sulfate (high chloride) or 0.5 % sodium chloride with 3.5 % ammonium sulfate (high sulfate) at their pH or acidic (pH=4) were used to measure corrosion potential (Ecorr), protection potential (Epp), pitting potential (Epit), Tafel constants (βa and βc), corrosion rate (mpy). Corrosive electrolyte used in SWAAT test (4.2% Sea Salt at pH 2.9) was also used to compare corrosion resistance of AA 3102 in SWAAT electrolyte compared to the other electrolytes used in this research. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) was used to observe and document sample surface corrosion damage after each electrochemical test on all samples. Results of the cyclic polarization tests indicated that SWAAT electrolytes was the most aggressive electrolyte resulting in highest corrosion rates compared to all other electrolytes used in this investigation. SEM results indicated AA 3102 alloy exhibited higher pitting tendency in electrolytes with high sodium chloride whereas high sulfate electrolytes cause appearance of uniform corrosion surface damage on this alloy. Both high sulfate and SWAAT electrolytes showed intergranular corrosion but high chloride electrolyte showed severe pitting of AA 3102. Mohammad Navid Dorreyatim- Cyclic Polarization of AA 3102 in Corrosive Electrolytes Containing Sodium Chloride and Ammonium Sulfate. Master of Science (Mechanical and Energy Engineering), December 2016, 98 pp., references, 31 titles.
While many investigations have been performed to establish a better understanding of the effects that magnetic fields and nanoparticles have on cells, the fundamental mechanisms behind the interactions are still yet unknown, and investigations on concurrent exposure are quite limited in scope. This study was therefore established to investigate the biological impact of concurrent exposure to magnetic nanoparticles and extremely-low frequency magnetic fields using an in-vitro CHO-K1 cell line model, in an easily reproducible manner to establish grounds for further in-depth mechanistic, proteomic, and genomic studies. Cells were cultured and exposed to 10nm Fe3O4 nanoparticles, and DC or low frequency (0Hz, 50Hz, and 100Hz) 2.0mT magnetic fields produced by a Helmholtz coil pair. The cells were then observed under confocal fluorescence microscopy, and subject to MTT biological assay to determine the synergistic effects of these concurrent exposures. No effects were observed on cell morphology or microtubule network; however, cell viability was observed to decrease more drastically under the combined effects of magnetic field and nanoparticle exposures, as compared to independent exposures alone. It was concluded that no significant difference was observed between the types of magnetic fields, and their effects on the nanoparticle exposed cells, but quite clearly there are deleterious synergistic effects of these concurrent magnetic field and nanoparticle exposure conditions.
The main objective of this research is to extend the “Direct strength method” for determining the web crippling strength of cold-formed steel C and Z sections subjected to End one flange loading and Interior one flange loading conditions. Direct strength method is applied for designing the columns and beams earlier. The existing specifications equation for calculating the web crippling strength of cold-formed steels designed by American Institute of Iron and Steel is very old method and it is based on the extensive experimental investigations conducted at different universities. Calculating the web crippling strength of cold-formed steels using direct strength method is a new technique. In the present research the web crippling strength of cold-formed steels were calculated using Direct Strength Method. The experimental data is collected from the tests that were conducted at different universities. The critical buckling strength of the members were calculated using Abaqus. Microsoft excel is used to generate the equations. The safety and resistance factors for the designed equations were calculated using “Load and resistance factor design” and “Allowable strength design” from North American Cold-Formed Steel Specification, 2012 edition book.
Joining two dissimilar metals, specifically Mg and Al alloys, using conventional welding techniques is extraordinarily challenging. Even when these alloys are able to be joined, the weld is littered with defects such as cracks, cavities, and wormholes. The focus of this project was to use friction stir welding to create a defect-free joint between Al 2139 and Mg WE43. The stir tool used in this project, made of H13 tool steel, is of fixed design. The design included an 11 mm scrolled and concave shoulder in addition to a 6 mm length pin comprised of two tapering, threaded re-entrant flutes that promoted and amplified material flow. Upon completion of this project an improved experimental setup process was created as well as successful welds between the two alloys. These successful joints, albeit containing defects, lead to the conclusion that the tool used in project was ill fit to join the Al and Mg alloy plates. This was primarily due to its conical shaped pin instead of the more traditional cylindrical shaped pins. As a result of this aggressive pin design, there was a lack of heat generation towards the bottom of the pin even at higher (800-1000 rpm) rotation speeds. This lack of heat generation prohibited the material from reaching plastic deformation thus preventing the needed material flow to form the defect free joint.
This research demonstrates the use of friction stir welding (FSW) to join dissimilar (Al-Mg) metal alloys. The main challenges in joining different, dissimilar metal alloys is the formation of brittle intermetallic compounds (IMCs) in the stir zone affecting mechanical properties of joint significantly. In this present study, FSW joining process is used to join aluminum alloy AA2139 and magnesium alloy WE43. The 9.5 mm thick plates of AA2139 and WE43 were friction stir butt welded. Different processing parameters were used to optimize processing parameters. Also, various weldings showed a crack at interface due to formation of IMCs caused by liquation during FSW. A good strength sound weld was obtained using processing parameter of 1200 rev/min rotational speed; 76.2 mm/min traverse speed; 1.5 degree tilt and 0.13 mm offsets towards aluminum. The crack faded away as the tool was offset towards advancing side aluminum. Mostly, the research was focused on developing high strength joint through microstructural control to reduce IMCs thickness in Al-Mg dissimilar weld joint with optimized processing parameter and appropriate tool offset.
The main objective of my thesis is to develop a numerical model for small-scale thermal energy storage system and to see the effect of dispersing nano-particles and using fractal-like branching heat exchanger in phase change material for our proposed thermal energy storage system. The associated research problems investigated for phase change material (PCM) are the low thermal conductivity and low rate of heat transfer from heat transfer fluid to PCM in thermal energy storage system. In this study an intensive study is carried out to find the best material for thermal storage and later on as a high conductive nano-particle graphite is used to enhance the effective thermal conductivity of the mixed materials. As a thermal storage material molten solar Salt (60% NaNO3+40%KNO3) has been selected, after that detailed numerical modeling of the proposed design has been done using MATLAB algorithm and following the fixed grid enthalpy method. The model is based on the numerical computation of 1-D finite difference method using explicit scheme. The second part of the study is based on enhancing the heat transfer performance by introducing the concept of fractal network or branching heat exchanger. Results from the numerical computation have been utilized for the comparison between a conventional heating system (with a simple single tube as a heat exchanger) and a passive PCM thermal energy storage system with branching heat exchanger using NTU-effectiveness method and charging time calculation. The comparison results show a significant amount improvement using branching network and mixing nano-particle in terms of heat transfer (13.5% increase in effectiveness of branching level-02 heat exchangers from the conventional one ), thermal conductivity (increased 73.6% with 20% graphite nano-particle mix with solid PCM), charging time (57% decrease of charging time for the effect of both the dispersion of Graphite nano-particle and branching heat exchange) and ...
Fiber-reinforced concrete (FRC) is nowadays extensively used in civil engineering throughout the world due to the composites of FRC can improve the toughness, flexural strength, tensile strength, and impact strength as well as the failure mode of the concrete. It is an easy crazed material compared to others materials in civil engineering. Concrete, like glass, is brittle, and hence has a low tensile strength and shear capacity. At present, there are different materials that have been employed to reinforce concrete. In our experiment, nanostructures iron oxide was prepared by electrodepostion in an electrolyte containing 0.2 mol/L sodium acetate (CH3COONa), 0.01 mol/L sodium sulfate (Na2SO4) and 0.01 mol/L ammonium ferrous sulfate (NH4)2Fe(SO4)2.6H2O under magnetic stirring. The resulted showed that pristine Fe2O3 particles, Fe2O3 nanorods and nanosheets were synthesized under current intensity of 1, 3, 5 mA, respectively. And the pull-out tests were performed by Autograph AGS-X Series. It is discovering that the load force potential of nanostructure fibers is almost 2 times as strong as the control sample.
The electromagnetic shielding effectiveness of kenaf bast fiber based composites with different iron oxide impregnation levels was investigated. The kenaf fibers were retted to remove the lignin and extractives from the pores in fibers, and then magnetized. Using the unsaturated polyester and the magnetized fibers, kenaf fiber based composites were manufactured by compression molding process. The transmission energies of the composites were characterized when the composite samples were exposed under the irradiation of electromagnetic (EM) wave with a changing frequency from 9 GHz to 11 GHz. Using the scanning electron microscope (SEM), the iron oxide nanoparticles were observed on the surfaces and inside the micropore structures of single fibers. The SEM images revealed that the composite’s EM shielding effectiveness was increased due to the adhesion of the iron oxide crystals to the kenaf fiber surfaces. As the Fe content increased from 0% to 6.8%, 15.9% and 18.0%, the total surface free energy of kenaf fibers with magnetizing treat increased from 44.77 mJ/m2 to 46.07 mJ/m2, 48.78 mJ/m2 and 53.02 mJ/m2, respectively, while the modulus of elasticity (MOE) reduced from 2,875 MPa to 2,729 MPa, 2,487 MPa and 2,007 MPa, respectively. Meanwhile, the shielding effectiveness was increased from 30-50% to 60-70%, 65-75% and 70-80%, respectively.
Campus dormitories for the University of North Texas house over 5500 students per year; each one of them requires certain comfortable living conditions while they live there. There is an inherit amount of money required in order to achieve minimal comfort levels; the cost is mostly natural gas for water and room heating and electricity for cooling, lighting and peripherals. The US Department of Energy has developed several programs to aid in performing energy simulations to help those interested design more cost effective building designs. Energy-10 is such a program that allows users to conduct whole house evaluations by reviewing and altering a few parameters such as building materials, solar heating, energy efficient windows etc. The idea of this project was to recreate a campus dormitory and try to emulate existent energy consumption then try to find ways of lowering that usage while maintaining a high level of personal comfort.
One of the major goal of the researchers is to reduce energy loss including nanoscale to the structural level. For instance, around 65% of fuel energy is lost during the propulsion of the automobiles, where 11% of the loss happens at tires due to rolling friction. Out of that tire loss, 90 to 95% loss happens due to hysteresis of tire materials. This dissertation focuses on multiscale modeling techniques in order to facilitate the discovery new rubber materials. Enhanced coarse-grained models of elastomers (thermoplastic polyurethane elastomer and natural rubber) are constructed from full-atomic models with reasonable repeat units/beads associated with pressure-correction for non-bonded interactions of the beads using inverse Boltzmann method (IBM). Equivalent continuum modeling is performed with volumetric/isochoric loading to predict macroscopic mechanical properties using molecular mechanics (MM) and molecular dynamics (MD). Glass-transition and rate-dependent mechanical properties along with hysteresis loss under uniaxial deformation is predicted with varying composition of the material. A statistical non-Gaussian treatment of a rubber chain is performed and linked with molecular dynamics in order predict hyperelastic material constants without fitting with any experimental data.
The Barnett shale basin, the largest onshore gas field in the state of Texas, mainly produces natural gas. The basin’s oil and gas productions have dramatically increased over the past two decades with the enhancement via shale fracturing (fracking) technology. However, recent studies suggest that air emissions from shale fracking have significantly contributed to the growing air pollution problem in North Texas. In this study, air emissions from the Barnett shale basin during the production phase of the oil and gas activities (once the product is collected from the wells) are quantified. Oil and gas production data were acquired from the Texas Railroad Commission for the baseline years of 2010 through 2013. Methodology from prior studies on shale basins approved by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality was employed in this study and the emission inventories from the production phase sources were quantified. Accordingly, the counties with the most gas operations in the basin, Tarrant, Johnson, Denton and Wise, were found to be the highest emitters of air pollutants. Tarrant County was responsible for the highest emitted NOx (42,566 tons) and CO (17,698 tons) in the basin, while Montague County released the maximum VOC emissions (87,601 tons) during the study period. Amongst the concerned emitted pollutants, VOC was the largest emitted pollutant during the study period (417,804 tons), followed by NOx (126,691 tons) and CO (47,884 tons). Significant Sources of air emissions include: storage tanks, wellhead compressor engines, and pneumatic devices. Storage tanks and pneumatic devices contributed to about 62% and 28% of the total VOC emissions, respectively. Whereas, wellhead compressor engines are primarily responsible for about 97% of the total NOx emissions. Finally, in Tarrant, Wise and Denton counties, the emissions increased during the study period due to increase in the oil and gas production, while Johnson County’s emission ...
Commercial aviation is a vital part of the United States economy. It generates over $1 trillion annually, which is more than 5% of the U.S. GDP, and produces approximately 10 million jobs. Every year there is an increase in commercial air traffic. This is attributed to expanding trade between states and other countries, which requires larger amounts of cargo aircraft in operation, and also catering to the growing number of middle and upper class passengers who travel for business and pleasure purposes. A rise in commercial aviation leads to the use of more aviation fuel on a monthly and annual basis. This in turn leads to escalated levels of combustion by-products from jet and turbofan engines into the atmosphere. The negative effects of these by-products range from producing poor air quality and consequent health hazards to contributing to global warming. This study is aimed at assessing the impacts of aircraft emissions on the local air quality in Corpus Christi using the Emissions and Dispersion Modeling System. Flight data for the study was obtained from the Department of Transportation's Research and Innovative Technology Administration. Analyses of the emissions were compared on monthly, annual, engine type and airline provider bases. Climatic, economic and anthropogenic factors were identified in the analyses.
Emissions of air pollutants from non-conventional sources have been on the rise in the North Texas area over the past decade. These include primary pollutants such as volatile organic compound (VOC) and oxides of nitrogen (NOx) which also act as precursors in the formation of ozone. Most of these have been attributed to a significant increase in oil and gas production activities since 2000 within the Barnett Shale region adjacent to the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex region. In this study, air quality concentrations measured at the Denton Airport and Dallas Hinton monitoring sites operated by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) were evaluated. VOC concentration data from canister-based sampling along with continuous measurement of oxides of nitrogen (NOx), ozone (O3), particulate matter (PM2.5), and meteorological conditions at these two sites spanning from 2000 through 2014 were employed in this study. The Dallas site is located within the urban core of one of the fastest growing cities in the United States, while the Denton site is an exurban site with rural characteristics to it. The Denton Airport site was influenced by natural gas pads surrounding it while there are very few natural gas production facilities within close proximity to the Dallas Hinton site. As of 2013, there were 1362 gas pads within a 10 mile radius to the Denton Airport site but there were only 2 within a 10 mile radius to Dallas Hinton site. The Dallas site displayed higher concentrations of NOx and much lower concentrations of VOC than the Denton site. Extremely high levels of VOC measured at the Denton site corresponded with the increase in oil and gas production activities in close proximity to the monitoring site. Ethane and propane are two major contributors to the measured VOC concentration, suggesting the influence of fugitive emissions of natural gas. ...
Fluidization of biomass particles is an important process in the gasification, pyrolysis and combustion in order to extract energy from biomass. Studies on the fluidization of biomass particles (corn cob and walnut shell), inert particles (sand, glass bead, and alumina), which are added to facilitate fluidization of biomass, and biomass/sand mixture were performed. Experiments were carried out in a 14.5 cm internal diameter cold flow fluidization bed to determine minimum fluidization velocities with air as fluidizing medium. On the of basis of experimental data from both present work and those found in the literature, new correlations were developed to predict minimum fluidization velocity for inert particles as well as biomass particles. It was found that the proposed correlations satisfactorily predict minimum fluidization velocities and was in well agreement with experimental data. Furthermore, effect of weight percentage of biomass in the biomass/sand mixtures was studied. The weight fraction of biomass particles in the mixture was chosen in the range of 0 ~ 100 wt. %. The results show that minimum fluidization velocity of the mixtures increases with an increase in biomass content. Using the present experimental data, a new correlation was developed in terms of mass ratio for predicting values of minimum fluidization velocity of these mixtures. However, the validity of the proposed correlation should be further studied by conducting more experiments using the biomass/sand mixtures of different particle size, shape, and density.
Dynamic tensile characterization of geo-materials is critical to the modeling and design of protective structures that are often made of concrete. One of the most commonly used techniques currently associated with this type of testing is performed with a Kolsky bar and is known as the spall technique. The validity of the data from the spall technique is highly debated because the necessary boundary conditions for the experiment are not satisfied. By using a technique called pulse shaping, a new “controlled” spall technique was developed to satisfy all boundary conditions so that the analyzed data may be useful in modeling and design. The results from this project were promising and show the potential to revolutionize the way Kolsky bar testing is performed.
Commercially pure titanium can take up to six months to successfully manufacture a six-inch in diameter ingot in which can be shipped to be melted and shaped into other useful components. The applications to the corrosion-resistant, light weight, strong metal are endless, yet so is the manufacturing processing time. At a cost of around $80 per pound of certain grades of titanium powder, the everyday consumer cannot afford to use titanium in the many ways it is beneficial simply because the number of processing steps it takes to manufacture consumes too much time, energy, and labor. In this research, the steps it takes from the raw powder form to the final part are proposed to be reduced from 4-8 steps to only 2 steps utilizing a new technology that may even improve upon the titanium properties at the same time as it is reducing the number of steps of manufacture. The two-step procedure involves selecting a cylindrical or rectangular die and punch to compress a small amount of commercially pure titanium to a strong-enough compact for transportation to the friction stir welder to be consolidated. Friction stir welding invented in 1991 in the United Kingdom uses a tool, similar to a drill bit, to approach a sample and gradually plunge into the material at a certain rotation rate of between 100 to 2,100 RPM. In the second step, the friction stir welder is used to process the titanium powder held in a tight holder to consolidate into a harder titanium form. The resulting samples are cut to expose the cross section and then grinded, polished, and cleaned to be observed and tested using scanning electron microscopy (SEM), electron dispersive spectroscopy (EDS), and a Vickers microhardness tester. The results were that the thicker the sample, the harder the resulting consolidated sample ...
Heat pumps are a vital part of each building for their role in keeping the space conditioned for the occupant. This study focuses on developing a model for the ground-source heat pump at the Zero Energy lab at the University of North Texas, and finding the minimum data required for generating the model. The literature includes many models with different approaches to determine the performance of the heat pump. Each method has its pros and cons. In this research the equation-fit method was used to generate a model based on the data collected from the field. Two experiments were conducted for the cooling mode: the first one at the beginning of the season and the second one at the peak of the season to cover all the operation conditions. The same procedure was followed for the heating mode. The models generated based on the collected data were validated against the experiment data. The error of the models was within ±10%. The study showed that the error could be reduced by 20% to 42% when using the field data to generate the model instead of the manufacturer’s catalog data. Also it was found that the minimum period to generate the cooling mode model was two days and two hours from each experiment, while for the heating mode it was four days and two hours from each experiment.
A recent trend in the development of renewable and biodegradable materials has led to the development of composites from renewal sources such as natural fibers. This agricultural activity generates a large amount of waste in the form of peanut shells. The motivation for this research is based on the utilization of peanut shells as a viable source for the manufacture of biocomposites. High-density polyethylene (HDPE) is a plastic largely used in the industry due to its durability, high strength to density ratio, and thermal stability. This research focuses in the mechanical and thermal properties of HDPE/peanut shell composites of different qualities and compositions. The samples obtained were subjected to dynamic mechanical analysis (DMA), differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), and mechanical tensile strength tests. TO prepare the samples for analysis, the peanut shells were separated into different mesh sizes and then mixed with HDPE at different concentrations. The results showed that samples with fiber size number 10 exhibited superior strength modulus of 1.65 GPa versus results for HDPE alone at 1.32 GPa. The analysis from the previous experiments helped to determine that the fiber size number 10 at 5%wt. ratio in HDPE provides the most optimal mechanical and thermal results. From tensile tests the highest modulus of elasticity of 1.33 GPa was achieved from the samples of peanut shells size number 10 in HDPE at 20%wt. ratio, while the results for HDPE alone were only of 0.8 GPa. The results proved the hypothesis that the addition of peanut shells to HDPE enhances both the thermal and mechanical properties of the composite.
The thesis describes novel glass micropipette thermal sensor fabricated in cost-effective manner and thermal conductivity measurement of carbon nanotubes (CNT) thin film using the developed sensor. Various micrometer-sized sensors, which range from 2 µm to 30 µm, were produced and tested. The capability of the sensor in measuring thermal fluctuation at micro level with an estimated resolution of ±0.002oC is demonstrated. The sensitivity of sensors was recorded from 3.34 to 8.86 µV/oC, which is independent of tip size and dependent on the coating of Nickel. The detailed experimental setup for thermal conductivity measurement of CNT film is discussed and 73.418 W/moC was determined as the thermal conductivity of the CNT film at room temperature.
This thesis aims to develop a new type of highly stretchable strain sensor to measure large deformation of a specimen subjected to dynamic loading. The sensor was based on the piezo-resistive response of carbon nanotube(CNT)/polydimethysiloxane (PDMS) composites thin films, some nickel particles were added into the sensor composite to improve the sensor performance. The piezo-resistive response of CNT composite gives high frequency response in strain measurement, while the ultra-soft PDMS matrix provides high flexibility and ductility for large strain measuring large strain (up to 26%) with an excellent linearity and a fast frequency response under quasi-static test, the delay time for high strain rate test is just 30 μs. This stretchable strain sensor is also able to exhibit much higher sensitivities, with a gauge factor of as high as 80, than conventional foil strain gauges.
In this study the author reports the effects of surface roughness on dynamic behavior of water droplets on different types of rough structures. First, the influence of roughness geometry on the Wenzel/ Cassie-Baxter transition of water droplets on one-tier (solid substrates with Si micropillars) surfaces is studied (Chapter 3). In order to address distinct wetting behaviors of the advancing and receding motions, the author investigates the Wenzel/ Cassie-Baxter transition of water droplets on one-tier surfaces over a wide range of contact line velocities and droplet volumes in both advancing and receding movements. The discussions are strengthened by experimental results. According to the author’s analysis, the advancing contact zone tends to follow the Cassie-Baxter behavior for a wider range of geometric ratios than the receding contact zone. Physical phenomena such as advancing contact line rolling mechanism and the pinning of the receding contact line are introduced to justify distinct transition points of the advancing and receding movements respectively. Based on the analysis provided in Chapter 3, the author experimentally investigates the contact line fluctuations and contact line friction coefficients of water droplets on smooth, one-tier, and two-tier (with carbon nanotubes (CNTs) grown on Si micropillars) surfaces in Chapters 4 and 5. Both the advancing and receding contact line fluctuations/friction coefficients have been measured, analyzed and compared on smooth, one-tier, and two-tier surfaces over a wide range of contact line velocities and droplet volumes. A comprehensive analysis is provided to explain the experimental observations.
Cellular metals exhibit combinations of mechanical, thermal and acoustic properties that provide opportunities for various implementations and applications; light weight aerospace and automobile structures, impact and noise absorption, heat dissipation, and heat exchange. Engineered cell topologies enable one to control mechanical, thermal, and acoustic properties of the gross cell structures. A possible way to manufacture complex 3D metallic cellular solids for mass production with a relatively low cost, the investment casting (IC) method may be used by combining the rapid prototyping (RP) of wax or injection molding. In spite of its potential to produce mass products of various 3D cellular metals, the method is known to have significant casting porosity as a consequence of the complex cellular topology which makes continuous fluid's access to the solidification interface difficult. The effects of temperature on the viscosity of the fluids were studied. A comparative cost analysis between AM-IC and additive manufacturing methods is carried out. In order to manufacture 3D cellular metals with various topologies for multi-functional applications, the casting porosity should be resolved. In this study, the relations between casting porosity and processing conditions of molten metals while interconnecting with complex cellular geometries are investigated. Temperature, and pressure conditions on the rapid prototyping – investment casting (RP-IC) method are reported, thermal stresses induced are also studied. The manufactured samples are compared with those made by additive manufacturing methods.
Semiconductor die attach materials for high voltage, high reliability analog devices require high thermal conductivity and retention of dielectric strength. A comparative study of effective thermal conductivity and dielectric strength of selected thermoset/ceramic composites was conducted to determine the effect of ceramic particle size and ceramic particle loading on thermoset polymers. The polymer chosen for this study is bismaleimide, a common aerospace material chosen for its strength and thermal stability. The reinforcing material chosen for this study is a ceramic, hexagonal boron nitride. Thermal conductivity and dielectric breakdown strength are measured in low and high concentrations of hexagonal boron nitride. Adhesive fracture toughness of the composite is evaluated on copper to determine the composite’s adhesive qualities. SEM imaging of composite cross-sections is used to visualize particle orientation within the matrix. Micro-indentation is used to measure mechanical properties of the composites which display increased mechanical performance in loading beyond the percolation threshold of the material. Thermal conductivity of the base polymer increases by a factor of 50 in 80%wt loading of 50µm hBN accompanied by a 10% increase in composite dielectric strength. A relationship between particle size and effective thermal conductivity is established through comparison of experimental data with an empirical model of effective thermal conductivity of composite materials.
Laminar natural convection heat transfer from the vertical surface of a cylinder is a classical subject, which has been studied extensively. Furthermore, this subject has generated some recent interest in the literature. In the present investigation, numerical experiments were performed to determine average Nusselt numbers for isothermal vertical cylinders (103 < RaL < 109, 0.5 < L/D <10, and Pr = 0.7) with and without an adiabatic top in a quiescent ambient environment which will allow for plume growth. Results were compared with commonly used correlations and new average Nusselt number correlations are presented. Furthermore, the limit for which the heat transfer results for a vertical flat plate may be used as an approximation for the heat transfer from a vertical cylinder was investigated.
Cellular materials, often called lattice materials, are increasingly receiving attention for their ultralight structures with high specific strength, excellent impact absorption, acoustic insulation, heat dissipation media and compact heat exchangers. In alignment with emerging additive manufacturing (AM) technology, realization of the structural applications of the lattice materials appears to be becoming faster. Considering the direction dependent material properties of the products with AM, by directionally dependent printing resolution, effective moduli of lattice structures appear to be directionally dependent. In this paper, a constitutive model of a lattice structure, which is an octet-truss with a base material having an orthotropic material property considering AM is developed. In a case study, polyjet based 3D printing material having an orthotropic property with a 9% difference in the principal direction provides difference in the axial and shear moduli in the octet-truss by 2.3 and 4.6%. Experimental validation for the effective properties of a 3D printed octet-truss is done for uniaxial tension and compression test. The theoretical value based on the micro-buckling of truss member are used to estimate the failure strength. Modulus value appears a little overestimate compared with the experiment. Finite element (FE) simulations for uniaxial compression and tension of octet-truss lattice materials are conducted. New effective properties for the octet-truss lattice structure are developed considering the observed behavior of the octet-truss structure under macroscopic compression and tension trough simulations.
Microchannels have been used in electronics cooling and in air conditioning applications as condensers. Little study has been made in the application of microchannels in automotive heat exchangers, particularly the radiator. The presented research captures the need for the design improvement of radiator heat exchangers in heavy-duty vehicles in order to reduce aerodynamic drag and improve fuel economy. A method for analyzing an existing radiator is set forth including the needed parameters for effective comparisons of alternative designs. An investigation of microchannels was presented and it was determined that microchannels can improve the overall heat transfer of a radiator but this alone will not decrease the dimensions of the radiator. Investigations into improving the air-side heat transfer were considered and an improved fin design was found which allows a reduction in frontal area while maintaining heat transfer. The overall heat transfer of the design was improved from the original design by 7% well as 52% decrease in frontal area but at the cost of 300% increase in auxiliary power. The energy saved by a reduction in frontal area is not substantial enough to justify the increase of auxiliary power. The findings were verified through a computational fluid dynamic model to demonstrate the heat transfer and pressure drop of microchannel tubes. The results confirmed that heat transfer of microchannels does improve the thermal performance of the radiator but the pressure drop is such that the net benefit does not outweigh the operating cost. An additional CFD study of the new fin geometry and air-side heat transfer predictions was conducted. The results of the study confirmed the theoretical calculations for the fin geometry.
Magnesium alloys are a popular research topic for structural applications because they have a lower density than conventional structural materials, including steel, titanium, and aluminum; however, the reliability and safety of their mechanical properties must be further proven. An important mechanical property for this purpose is fracture toughness, which is the measure of the material's resistance to crack propagation. In this study, a model of an experiment to investigate the fracture toughness of a magnesium alloy WE43 before and after friction stir processing (FSP) is developed, and the results are compared to those produced by a digital image correlation (DIC) system during an experiment from another paper. The model results of the material before FSP matched well with the DIC results, but the model of the material after FSP only partially matches the DIC results. In addition, a theoretical approach to calculating the standard fracture toughness value, KIc, from the modeling results is proposed, and is found to be a conservative approach.
Due to the multi-tasking and miniaturization of electronic devices, faster heat transfer is required from the device to avoid the thermal failure. Die-attached polymer adhesives are used to bond the chips in electronic packaging. These adhesives have to hold strong mechanical, thermal, dielectric, and moisture resistant properties. As polymers are insulators, heat conductive particles are inserted in it to enhance the thermal flow with an attention that there would be no electrical conductivity as well as no reduction in dielectric strength. This thesis focuses on the characterization of polymer nanocomposites for thermal and electrical properties with experimental and computational tools. Platelet geometry of hexagonal boron nitride offers highly anisotropic properties. Therefore, their alignment and degree of orientation offers tunable properties in polymer nanocomposites for thermal, electrical, and mechanical properties. This thesis intends to model the anisotropic behavior of thermal and dielectric properties using finite element and molecular dynamics simulations as well as experimental validation.
Ground source heat pump (GSHP) uses earth’s heat to heat or cool space. Absorbing heat from earth or rejecting heat to the earth, changes soil’s constant temperature over the multiple years. In this report we have studied about Soil temperature change over multiple years due to Ground loop heat exchanger (GLHE) for Zero Energy Research Laboratory (ZØE) which is located in Discovery Park, University of North Texas, Denton, TX. We did 2D thermal analysis GLHP at particular Depth. For simulation we have used ANSYS workbench for pre-processing and FLUENT ANYS as solver. TAC Vista is software that monitors and controls various systems in ZØE. It also monitors temperature of water inlet/outlet of GLHE. For Monitoring Ground temperatures at various depths we have thermocouples installed till 8ft from earth surface, these temperatures are measured using LabVIEW. From TAC Vista and LabVIEW Reading’s we have studied five parameters in this report using FLUENT ANSYS, they are; (1) Effect of Time on soil Temperature change over Multi-years, (2) Effect of Load on soil temperature change over Multi-years, (3) Effect of Depth on soil temperature change over Multi-years, (4) Effect of Doubling ΔT of inlet and outlet of GLHE on soil temperature change over multi-years and (5) Effect on soil temperature change for same ZØE Laboratory, if it’s in Miami, Florida. For studying effect of time on soil temperature change for multi-years, we have varied heating and cooling seasons. We have four cases they are Case A: GSHP always “ON” (1) 7 months cooling and 5 month cooling and (2) 257 days are cooling and 108 days heating. Case B: GSHP “OFF” for 2 months (1) 7 months cooling and 3 months heating and (2) 6 months cooling and 4 month heating. For Studying Effect of Load on soil temperature change over multi-years, we ...
In the past decade, the condensation on superhydrophobic surfaces has been investigated abundantly to achieve dropwise condensation. There is not a specific approach in choosing the size of the roughness of the superhydrophobic surfaces and it was mostly selected arbitrarily to investigate the behavior of condensates on these surfaces. In this research, we are optimizing the size of the roughness of the superhydrophobic surface in order to achieve dropwise condensation. By minimizing the resistances toward the transition of the tails of droplets from the cavities of the roughness to the top of the roughness, the size of the roughness is optimized. It is shown that by decreasing the size of the roughness of the superhydrophobic surface, the resistances toward the transition of the tails of droplets from Wenzel state to Cassie state decrease and consequently dropwise condensation becomes more likely.
The effect of shale gas activities on ground-level ozone pollution in the Dallas-Fort Worth area is studied in detail here. Ozone is a highly reactive species with harmful effects on human and environment. Shale gas development, or fracking, involves activities such as hydraulic fracturing, drilling, fluid mixing, and trucks idling that are sources of nitrogen oxides (NOX) and volatile organic compounds (VOC), two of the most important precursors of ozone. In this study two independent approaches have been applied in evaluating the influences on ozone concentrations. In the first approach, the influence of meteorology were removed from ozone time series through the application of Kolmogorov-Zurbenko low-pass filter, logarithmic transformation, and subsequent multi-linear regression. Ozone measurement data were acquired from Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) monitoring stations for 14 years. The comparison between ozone trends in non-shale gas region and shale gas region shows increasing ozone trends at the monitoring stations in close proximity to the Barnett Shale activities. In the second approach, the CAMx photochemical model was used to assess the sensitivity of ozone to the NOX and VOC sources associated with shale oil and gas activities. Brute force method was applied on Barnett Shale and Haynesville Shale emission sources to generate four hypothetical scenarios. Ozone sensitivity analysis was performed for a future year of 2018 and it was based on the photochemical simulation that TCEQ had developed for demonstrating ozone attainment under the State Implementation Plan (SIP). Results showed various level of ozone impact at different locations within the DFW region attributed to area and point sources of emissions in the shale region. Maximum ozone impact due to shale gas activities is expected to be in the order of several parts per billion, while lower impacts on design values were predicted. The results from the photochemical modeling can ...
A particle image velocimetry (PIV) computer software is analyzed in this work by applying automatic differentiation on it. We create two artificial images that contained particles that where moved with a known velocity field over time. These artificial images were created with parameters that we would have on real PIV experiments. Then we applied a PIV software to find the velocity output vectors. As we mentioned before, we applied automatic differentiation through all the algorithm to track the derivatives of the output vectors regarding interesting parameters declared as inputs. By analyzing these derivatives we analyze the sensitivity of the output vectors to changes on each one of the parameters analyzed. One of the most important derivatives calculated in this project was the derivative of the output regarding the image intensity. In future work we plan to use this derivative combined with the intensity probability distribution of each image pixel, to find PIV uncertainties. If we achieve this goal we will find an uncertainty method that will save computational power and will give uncertainty values with computer accuracy.
The purpose of this investigation is to find out suitability of the solar chimney natural ventilation system in a Zero Energy Lab located at the University of North Texas campus, to figure out performance of the solar chimney. Reduction in the heating and ventilation and air conditioning energy consumption of the house has been also analyzed. The parameters which are considered for investigation are volumetric flow rate of outlet of chimney, the absorber wall temperature and glass wall temperatures. ANSYS FLUENT 14.0 has been employed for the 3-D modeling of the solar chimney. The dimensions of the solar chimney are 14’2” X 7’4” X 6’11”. The flow inside solar chimney is found to be laminar and the simulation results show that maximum outlet volumetric flow rate of about 0.12m3/s or 432 cfm is possible from chimney. The experimental velocity of chimney was found to be 0.21 m/s. Density Boussinesq approximation is considered for the modeling. Velocity and temperature sensors have been installed at inlet and outlet of the chimney in order to validate the modeling results. It is found that based on simulated volumetric flow rate that cooling load of 9.29 kwh can be saved and fan power of 7.85 Watts can be saved.
This paper covers the simulation and comparison among three different HVAC (heating, ventilation & air conditioning)systems to achieve the goal of finding the most effective HVAC among these three in terms of human comfort, efficiency and cost considering North Texas climate. In the Zero Energy Lab at the University of North Texas, Denton, TX, the HVAC system of the building assembles with geothermal heat source. Here, water to water heat pump with radiant floor and water to air heat pump with air ducts provide heating & cooling of the building. In this paper electricity consumption, comfort, cost & efficiency analysis is done for the existing system using Energy Plus simulation software. Calibration of the simulated data of the existing system is done comparing with the actual data. Actual data is measured using 150 sensors that installed in Zero Energy Lab. After the baseline model calibration, simulation for ground source water to water heat pump, evaporative cooler with baseboard electric heater and water cooled electric chiller with baseboard electric heater (as a conventional system) is shown. Simulation results evaluate the life cycle cost (LCC) for these HVAC systems. The results of the comparison analysis among all the three HVAC systems show the most effective HVAC system among these three systems in North Texas weather. The results will make UNT Zero Energy lab a standard model towards a sustainable green future.
The following report chronicles the University of North Texas Wind Turbine Project at Apogee Stadium. The timeline of events will include the feasibility study conducted by and for the university, grant awards from the Texas State Energy Conservation Office to fund the project, and a three-year sample of real time performance data since installation. The purpose of this case study is to compare the energy generation estimates by various stakeholders to the measured energy generation using a new but uniform performance relationship. In order to optimize energy generation in wind turbine generator systems, the most common wind speeds measured at the site should also be the most efficient wind speeds at which the wind turbine can convert the kinetic energy in the wind into mechanical energy and ultimately electrical energy. The tool used to convey this relationship will be a figure plotting the wind speed profile against the efficiency curve of the wind turbine. Applying this relationship tool to the UNT Apogee Stadium wind turbines provided valuable results. The most common wind speeds at Apogee Stadium are not the most efficient wind speed for the turbine. Also, the most common wind speeds were near the lower limit of the wind turbine’s performance parameters. This scenario was evident in both the energy generation predictions as well as the real-time recorded data. This case study will also present the economic analysis of the Apogee Stadium wind turbines using another tool that was not previously used in the feasibility study. The case study concludes with future steps to improve wind turbine performance, and to budget future cost using past, present and future energy savings.
Stirling engines are an external combustion heat engine that converts thermal energy into mechanical work that a closed cycle is run by cyclic compression and expansion of a work fluid (commonly air or Helium) in which, the working fluid interacts with a heat source and a heat sink and produces network. The engine is based on the Stirling cycle which is a subset of the Carnot cycle. The Stirling cycle has recently been receiving renewed interest due to some of its key inherent advantages. In particular, the ability to operate with any form of heat source (including external combustion, flue gases, alternative (biomass, solar, geothermal) energy) provides Stirling engines a great flexibility and potential benefits since it is convinced as engines running with external heat sources. However, several aspects of traditional Stirling engine configurations (namely, the Alpha, Beta, and Gamma), specifically complexity of design, high cost, and relatively low power to size and power to volume ratios, limited their widespread applications to date. This study focuses on an innovative Stirling engine configuration that features a rotary displacer (as opposed to common reciprocating displacers), and aims to utilize analytical and numerical analysis to gain insights on its operation parameters. The results are expected to provide useful design guidelines towards optimization. The present study starts with an overview of the Stirling cycle and Stirling engines including both traditional and innovative rotary displacer configurations, and their major advantages and disadvantages. The first approach considers an ideal analytical model and implements the well-known Schmidt analysis assumptions for the rotary displacer Stirling engine to define the effects of major design and operation parameters on the performance. The analytical model resulted in identifying major variables that could affect the engine performance (such as the dead volume spaces, temperature ratios and the leading phase angle). It was ...
Programmable matter is a material whose properties can be programmed to achieve particular shapes or mechanical properties upon command. This is an essential technique that could one day lead to morphing aircraft and ground vehicles. Metamaterials are the rationally designed artificial materials whose properties are not observed in nature. Their properties are typically controlled by geometry rather than chemical compositions. Combining metamaterials with a programmable function will create a new area in the intelligent material design. The objective of this study is to design and demonstrate a tunable metamaterial and to investigate its thermo-mechanical behavior. An integrated approach to the metamaterial design was used with analytical modeling, numerical simulation, and experimental demonstration. The dynamic thermo-mechanical analysis was used to measure base materials' modulus and thermal expansion coefficient as a function of temperature. CPS, the unit cell of the metamaterial, is composed of circular holes and slits. By decomposing kinematic rotation of the arm and elastic deformation of a bi-material hinge, thermo-mechanical constitutive models of CPS were developed and it was extended to 3D polyhedral structures for securing isotropic properties. Finite element based numerical simulations of CPS and polyhedral models were conducted for comparison with the analytical model. 3D printing of multi-materials was used for sample fabrication followed by tests with uniaxial compressive mechanical tests and thermal tests at 50℃. From the analytical model of the metamaterial, the contour plots were obtained for the effective properties – Poisson's ratio, the effective coefficient of thermal expansion of the metamaterial as a function of geometry and materials. A controllable range of temperature and strain was identified associated with maximized thermal expansion mismatch and contact on the slit surface of CPS, respectively. This work will pave the road toward the design of programmable metamaterials with both mechanically- and thermally- tunable capability and provide unique ...
Texas, due to its geographical area, population, and economy is home to a variety of industrialized areas that have significant air quality problems. These urban areas are affected by elevated levels of fine particulate matter (PM2.5). The primary objective of this study was to identify and quantify local and regional sources of air pollution affecting the city of Houston, Texas. Positive Matrix Factorization (PMF) techniques were applied to observational datasets from two urban air quality monitoring sites in Houston from 2003 through 2008 in order to apportion sources of pollutants affecting the study region. Data from 68 species for Aldine and 91 for Deer Park were collected, evaluated, and revised to create concentration and uncertainty input files for the PMF2 and EPA PMF (PMF3) source apportionment models. A 11-sources solution for Aldine and 10-sources for Deer Park were identified as the optimal solutions with both models. The dominant contributors of fine particulate matter in these sites were found to be biomass burnings (2%-8.9%), secondary sulfates I (21.3%-7.6%) and II (38.8%-22.2%), crustal dust (8.9%-10.9%), industrial activities (10.9%-4.2%), traffic (23.1%-15.6%), secondary nitrates (4.4%-5.5%), fresh (1%-1.6%) and aged(5.1%-4.6%) sea salt and refineries (1.3%-0.6%), representing a strong case to confirm the high influence of local activities from the industrial area and the ship channel around the Houston channel. Additionally, potential source contribution function (PSCF) and conditional probability function (CPF) analyses were performed to identify local and regional source-rich areas affecting this urban airshed during the study period. Similarly, seasonal variations and patterns of the apportioned sources were also studied in detail.
Providing conditioned and fully controlled room is the final goal for having a comfortable building. But on the other hand making smart controllers to provide the required cooling or heating load depending on occupants' real time feeling is necessary. This study has emphasized on finding a meaningful and steady state parameter in human body that can be interpreted as comfort criterion which can be expressed as the general occupants' sensation through their ambient temperature. There are lots of researches on human physiological behavior in different situations and also different body parts reaction to the same ambient situation. Body parts which have the biggest reliable linear fluctuation to the changes are the best subject for this research. For these tests, wrist and palm have been selected and their temperatures on different people have been measured accurately with thermal camera to follow the temperature trend on various comfort levels. It is found that each person reaches to his own unique temperature on these two spots, when he/ she feels comfortable, or in other word each person's body temperature is a precise nominate for comfort feeling of that individual. So in future by having this unique comfort parameter and applying them to the HVAC system temperature control, controlling the dynamic temperature and correlating the indoor condition depending on the occupants instant thermal comfort level, would be a rational choice to bring convenience while energy has been saved more.
The study focuses on the sensitivity and uncertainty analysis of occupancy-related parameters using Energyplus modeling method. The model is based on a real building Zero Energy Lab in Discovery Park, at University of North Texas. Four categories of parameters are analyzed: heating/cooling setpoint, lighting, equipment and occupancy. Influence coefficient (IC) is applied in the sensitivity study, in order to compare the impact of individual parameter on the overall building energy consumption. The study is conducted under Texas weather file as well as North Dakota weather file in order to find weather’s influence of sensitivity. Probabilistic collocation method (PCM) is utilized for uncertainty analysis, with an aim of predicting future energy consumption based on history or reference data set. From the study, it is found that cooling setpoint has the largest influence on overall energy consumption in both Texas and North Dakota, and occupancy number has the least influence. The analysis also indicates schedule’s influence on energy consumption. PCM is able to accurately predict future energy consumption with limited calculation, and has great advantage over Monte Carlo Method. The polynomial equations are generated in both 3-order and 6-order, and the 6-order equation is proved to have a better result, which is around 0.1% compared with real value.
The objective of this research is to develop a wearable device that could harvest waste mechanical energy of the human hand movement and utilize this energy to suppress wrist tremors. Piezoelectric material is used to measure the hand movement signals, and the signal of wrist tremor is filtered to be utilized to suppress the tremor. In order to conduct the experiment of energy harvesting and tremor suppression, an experimental rig was fabricated. Two types of piezoelectric materials, PVDF (polyvinylidene fluoride) films and MFC (macro fiber composite) films, are used to harvest mechanical energy and used as actuators to suppress hand tremors. However, due to some shortages of the materials, these two types of materials are not used as actuators to suppress the wrist tremors. Thus, we use Matlab Simulink to simulate the tremor suppression with AVC (active vibration control) algorithm.
Corpus Christi among of the largest industrialized coastal urban areas in Texas. The strategic location of the city along the Gulf of Mexico allows for many important industries and an international business to be located. The cluster of industries and businesses in the region contribute to the air pollution from emissions that are harmful to the environment and to the people living in and visiting the area. Volatile organic compounds (VOC) constitute an important class of pollutants measured in the area. The automated gas chromatography (Auto GC) data was collected from Texas Commission of Environmental Quality (TCEQ) and source apportionment analysis was conducted on this data to identify key sources of VOC affecting this study region. EPA PMF 3.0 was employed in this sources apportionment study of measured VOC concentration during 2005 - 2012 in Corpus Christi, Texas. The study identified nine optimal factors (Source) that could explain the concentration of VOC at two urbane monitoring sites in the study region. Natural gas was found to be the largest contributor of VOC in the area, followed by gasoline and vehicular exhaust. Diesel was the third highest contributor with emissions from manufacturing and combustion processes. Refineries gases and evaporative fugitive emissions were other major contributors in the area; Flaring operations, solvents, and petrochemicals also impacted the measured VOC in the urban area. It was noted that he measured VOC concentrations were significantly influenced by the economic downturn in the region and this was highlighted in the annual trends of the apportioned VOC.
The addition of hexagonal boron nitride (h-BN) has introduced a comprehensive reinforcing effect to the mechanical and electrochemical properties of commercial concrete, including fiber reinforced concrete (FRC) and steel fiber reinforced concrete (SFRC). Although this has been proven effective and applicable, further investigation and study is still required to optimize the strengthen result which will involve the exfoliation of h-BN into single-layered nano sheet, improving the degree of dispersion and dispersion uniformity of h-BN into concrete matrix. There is currently no direct method to test the degree of dispersion of non-conductive particles, including h-BN, in concrete matrix, therefore it is necessary to obtain an analogous quantification method like SEM, etc. The reinforcing mechanism on concrete, including FRC and SFRC is now attracting a great number of interest thanks to the huge potential of application and vast demand across the world. This study briefly describes the reinforcing mechanism brought by h-BN. In this study, different samples under varied conditions were prepared according to the addition of h-BN and dispersant to build a parallel comparison. Characterization is mainly focused on their mechanical properties, corrosive performance and SEM analysis of the cross-section of post-failure samples.
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