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Angular Analysis of a Wide-Band Energy Harvester based on Mutually Perpendicular Vibrating Piezoelectric Beams

Description: The recent advancements in electronics and the advents of small scaled instruments has increased the attachment of life and functionality of devices to electrical power sources but at the same time granted the engineers and companies the ability to use smaller sources of power and batteries. Therefore, many scientists have tried to come up with new solutions for a power alternatives. Piezoelectric is a promising material which can readily produce continuous electric power from mechanical inputs. However, their power output is dependent upon several factors such as, system natural frequency, their position in the system, the direction of vibration and many other internal and external factors. In this research the working bandwidth of the system is increased through utilizing of two different piezoelectric beam in different directions. The dependency of output power with respect to rotation angle and also the frequency shift due to the rotation angle is studied.
Date: December 2016
Creator: Mirzaabedini, Sohrab

Compostable Soy-Based Polyurethane Foam with Kenaf Core Modifiers

Description: Building waste and disposable packaging are a major component in today's landfills. Most of these are structural or thermally insulative polymer foams that do not degrade over a long period of time. Currently, there is a push to replace these foams with thermoplastic or biodegradable foams that can either be recycled or composted. We propose the use of compostable soy-based polyurethane foams (PU) with kenaf core modifiers that will offer the desired properties with the ability to choose responsible end-of-life decisions. The effect of fillers is a critical parameter in investigating the thermal and mechanical properties along with its effect on biodegradability. In this work, foams with 5%, 10%, and 15% kenaf core content were created. Two manufacturing approaches were used: the free foaming used by spray techniques and the constrained expansion complementary to a mold cavity. Structure-property relations were examined using differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), dynamic mechanical analysis (DMA), thermal conductivity, compression values, scanning electron microscopy (SEM), x-ray micro-computed tomography (micro-CT), and automated multiunit composting system (AMCS). The results show that mechanical properties are reduced with the introduction of kenaf core reinforcement while thermal conductivity and biodegradability display a noticeable improvement. This shows that in application properties can be improved while establishing a responsible end-of-life choice.
Date: August 2016
Creator: Hoyt, Zachary

Development of a Novel Grease Resistant Functional Coatings for Paper-based Packaging and Assessment of Application by Flexographic Press

Description: Recent commercial developments have created a need for alternative materials and methods for imparting oil/grease resistance to paper and/or paperboard used in packaging. The performance of a novel grease resistant functional coating comprised of polyvinyl alcohol (PVA), sodium tetraborate pentahydrate (borate) and acetonedicarboxylic acid (ACDA) and the application of said coating by means of flexographic press is presented herein. Application criteria is developed, testing procedures described, and performance assessment of the developed coating materials are made. SEM images along with contact angle data suggest that coating performance is probably attributable to decreased mean pore size in conjunction with a slightly increased surface contact angle facilitated by crosslinking of PVA molecules by both borate ions and ACDA.
Date: August 2004
Creator: Brown, Robert W.

Effect of Retting on Surface Chemistry and Mechanical Performance Interactions in Natural Fibers for High Performance Polymer Composites

Description: Sustainability through replacement of non-renewable fibers with renewable fibers is an ecological need. Impact of transportation costs from South-east Asia on the life cycle analysis of the composite is detrimental. Kenaf is an easily grown crop in America. Farm based processing involves placing the harvested crop in rivers and ponds, where retting of the fibers from the plant (separation into fibers) can take 2 weeks or more. The objective of this thesis is to analyze industrially viable processes for generating fibers and examine their synergistic impact on mechanical performance, surface topography and chemistry for functional composites. Comparison has been made with commercial and conventional retting process, including alkali retting, enzymatic retting, retting in river and pond water (retting occurs by natural microbial population) with controlled microbial retting. The resulting kenaf fibers were characterized by dynamic mechanical analysis (DMA), Raman spectroscopy (FT-Raman), Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FT-IR), polarized optical microscopy (POM), X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) optical fluorescence microscopy, atomic force microscopy (AFM) and carbohydrate analysis. DMA results showed that pectinase and microbe treated fibers have superior viscoelastic properties compared to alkali retting. XPS, Raman, FT-IR and biochemical analysis indicated that the controlled microbial and pectinase retting was effective in removing pectin, hemicellulose and lignin. SEM, optical microscopy and AFM analysis showed the surface morphology and cross sectional architecture were preserved in pectinase retting. Experimental results showed that enzymatic retting at 48 hours and controlled microbial retting at 72 hours yield uniform and superior quality fibers compared to alkali and natural retting process. Controlled microbial retting is an inexpensive way to produce quality fibers for polymer composite reinforcement.
Date: May 2013
Creator: Ramesh, Dinesh

Evaluation of hydrogen trapping in HfO2 high-κ dielectric thin films.

Description: Hafnium based high-κ dielectrics are considered potential candidates to replace SiO2 or SiON as the gate dielectric in complementary metal oxide semiconductor (CMOS) devices. Hydrogen is one of the most significant elements in semiconductor technology because of its pervasiveness in various deposition and optimization processes of electronic structures. Therefore, it is important to understand the properties and behavior of hydrogen in semiconductors with the final aim of controlling and using hydrogen to improve electronic performance of electronic structures. Trap transformations under annealing treatments in hydrogen ambient normally involve passivation of traps at thermal SiO2/Si interfaces by hydrogen. High-κ dielectric films are believed to exhibit significantly higher charge trapping affinity than SiO2. In this thesis, study of hydrogen trapping in alternate gate dielectric candidates such as HfO2 during annealing in hydrogen ambient is presented. Rutherford backscattering spectroscopy (RBS), elastic recoil detection analysis (ERDA) and nuclear reaction analysis (NRA) were used to characterize these thin dielectric materials. It was demonstrated that hydrogen trapping in bulk HfO2 is significantly reduced for pre-oxidized HfO2 prior to forming gas anneals. This strong dependence on oxygen pre-processing is believed to be due to oxygen vacancies/deficiencies and hydrogen-carbon impurity complexes that originate from organic precursors used in chemical vapor depositions (CVD) of these dielectrics.
Date: August 2006
Creator: Ukirde, Vaishali

Interspecimen Study of Bone to Relate Macromechanical, Nanomechanical and Compositional Changes Across the Femoral Cortex of Bone

Description: Mechanics of bone is widely studied and researched, mainly for the study of fracture. This has been done mostly on a macro scale. In this work hierarchical nature of bone has been explored to investigate bone mechanics in more detail. Flexural test were done to classify the bones according to their strength and deflection. Raman spectroscopy analysis was done to map the mineralization, collagen crosslinking changes across the thickness of the bone. Nanoindentation was done to map indentation hardness and indentation modulus across femoral cortex of the bone. The results indicate that the composition of the bone changes across the thickness of the femoral cortex. The hypothesis is confirmed as increase in mineralization, carbonate to phosphate ratio and collagen crosslinking shows the effect as increased indentation hardness and modulus and decreased deflection.
Date: May 2013
Creator: Nar, Mangesh

Microstructural Phase Evolution In Laser Deposited Compositionally Graded Titanium-Chromium Alloys

Description: A compositionally graded Ti-xCr (10≤x≤30 wt%) alloy has been fabricated using Laser Engineered Net Shaping (LENSTM) to study the microstructural phase evolution along a compositional gradient in both as-deposited and heat treated conditions (1000°C followed by furnace cooling or air cooling). The alloys were characterized by SEM BSE imaging, XRD, EBSD, TEM and micro-hardness measurements to determine processing-structure-property relations. For the as-deposited alloy, α-Ti, β-Ti, and TiCr2 (C15 Laves) phases exist in varying phase fractions, which were influential in determining hardness values. With the furnace cooled alloy, there was more homogeneous nucleation of α phase throughout the sample with a larger phase fraction of TiCr2 resulting in increased hardness values. When compared to the air cooled alloy, there was absence of wide scale nucleation of α phase and formation of ω phase within the β phase due to the quicker cooling from elevated temperature. At lower concentrations of Cr, the kinetics resulted in a diffusionless phase transformation of ω phase with increased hardness and a lower phase fraction of TiCr2. In contrast at higher Cr concentrations, α phase separation reaction occurs where the β phase is spinodally decomposed to Cr solute-lean β1 and solute-rich β2 resulting in reduced hardness.
Date: May 2016
Creator: Thomas, Jonova

Study of Conductance Quantization by Cross-Wire Junction

Description: The thesis studied quantized conductance in nanocontacts formed between two thin gold wires with one of the wires coated by alkainthiol self assembly monolayers (SAM), by using the cross-wire junction. Using the Lorenz force as the driving force, we can bring the two wires in contact in a controlled manner. We observed conductance with steps of 2e2 / h. The conductance plateaus last several seconds. The stability of the junction is attributed to the fact that the coating of SAM improves the stability and capability of the formed contact.
Date: May 2004
Creator: Zheng, Tao

Supercritical Silylation and Stability of Silyl Groups

Description: Methylsilsesquioxane (MSQ) and organosilicate glass (OSG) are the materials under this study because they exhibit the dielectric constant values necessary for future IC technology requirements. Obtaining a low-k dielectric value is critical for the IC industry in order to cope time delay and cross talking issues. These materials exhibit attractive dielectric value, but there are problems replacing conventional SiO2, because of their chemical, mechanical and electrical instability after plasma processing. Several techniques have been suggested to mitigate process damage but supercritical silylation offers a rapid single repair step solution to this problem. Different ash and etch damaged samples were employed in this study to optimize an effective method to repair the low-k dielectric material and seal the surface pores via supercritical fluid processing with various trialkylchlorosilanes. Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), contact angle, capacitance- voltage measurements, and x-ray photoemission spectroscopy, dynamic secondary ion mass spectroscopy (DSIMS), characterized the films. The hydrophobicity and dielectric constant after exposure to elevated temperatures and ambient conditions were monitored and shown to be stable. The samples were treated with a series of silylating agents of the form R3-Si-Cl where R is an alkyl groups (e.g. ethyl, propyl, isopropyl). Reactivity with the surface hydroxyls was inversely proportional to the length of the alkyl group, perhaps due to steric effects. Contact angle measurements revealed that heating the films in ambient diminished hydrophobicity. Depth and surface profiling using (DSIMS) and (XPS) were utilized to develop a model for surface coverage.
Date: May 2006
Creator: Nerusu, Pawan Kumar

Surface Topography and Aesthetics of Recycled Cross-Linked Polyethylene Wire and Cable Coatings

Description: Our research focuses on re-using a waste a material, cross-linked polyethylene abbreviated XLPE, which is a widely used coating for wires. XLPE is strong and has excellent thermal properties due to its chemical structure - what leads to the significance of recycling this valuable polymer. Properties of XLPE include good resistance to heat, resistance to chemical corrosion, and high impact strength. A wire is usually composed of a metal core conductor and polymeric coating layers. One creates a new coating, including little pieces of recycled XLPE in the lower layer adjacent to the wire, and virgin XLPE only in the upper layer. Industries are often wasting materials which might be useful. Mostly, some returned or excess products could be recycled to create a new type of product or enable the original use. This method helps cleaning the waste, lowers the costs, and enhances the income of the manufacturing company. With the changing of the thickness of the outer layer, the roughness changes significantly. Moreover, different processing methods result in surfaces that look differently.
Date: December 2014
Creator: Xie, Wa

Synchrotron Radiation X-Ray Diffraction of Nickel-Titanium Shape Memory Alloy Wires during Mechanical Deformation

Description: Shape memory alloys (SMAs) are a new generation material which exhibits unique nonlinear deformations due to a phase transformation which allows it to return to its original shape after removal of stress or a change in temperature. It shows a shape memory effect (martensitic condition) and pseudoelasticity (austenitic condition) properties depends on various heat treatment conditions. The reason for these properties depends on phase transformation through temperature changes or applied stress. Many technological applications of austenite SMAs involve cyclical mechanical loading and unloading in order to take advantage of pseudoelasticity, but are limited due to poor fatigue life. In this thesis, I investigated two important mechanical feature to fatigue behavior in pseudoelastic NiTi SMA wires using high energy synchrotron radiation X-ray diffraction (SR-XRD). The first of these involved simple bending and the second of these involved relaxation during compression loading. Differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) was performed to identify the phase transformation temperatures. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) images were collected for the initial condition of the NiTi SMA wires and during simple bending, SEM revealed that micro-cracks in compression regions of the wire propagate with increasing bend angle, while tensile regions tend to not exhibit crack propagation. SR-XRD patterns were analyzed to study the phase transformation and investigate micromechanical properties. By observing the various diffraction peaks such as the austenite (200) and the martensite (100), (110), and (101) planes, intensities and residual strain values exhibit strong anisotropy depending upon whether the sample is in compression or tension during simple bending. This research provides insight into two specific mechanical features in pseudoelastic NiTi SMA wires.
Date: December 2015
Creator: Zhang, Baozhuo

Ternary Oxide Structures for High Temperature Lubrication

Description: In this research, a temperature dependent tribological investigation of selected ternary oxides was undertaken. Based on the promising results of previous studies on silver based ternary oxides, copper based ternary oxides were selected to conduct a comparative study since both copper and silver are located in the same group in the periodic table of the elements. Two methods were used to create ternary oxides: (i) solid chemical synthesis to create powders and (ii) sputtering to produce thin films. X-ray diffraction was used to explore the evolution of phases, chemical properties, and structural properties of the coatings before and after tribotesting. Scanning electron microscopy, Auger scanning nanoprobe spectroscopy, and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy were used to investigate the chemical and morphological properties of these materials after sliding tests. These techniques revealed that chameleon coatings of copper ternary oxides produce a friction coefficient of 0.23 when wear tested at 430 °C. The low friction is due to the formation of copper tantalate phase and copper in the coatings. All sputtering coatings showed similar tribological properties up to 430 °C.
Date: August 2015
Creator: Gu, Jingjing

Thermoplastic and Thermoset Natural Fiber Composite and Sandwich Performance

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

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

Description: Monolithic composites are needed that combine low friction and wear, high mechanical hardness, and high fracture toughness. Thin films and coatings are often unable to meet this engineering challenge as they can delaminate and fracture during operation ceasing to provide beneficial properties during service life. Two material systems were synthesized by spark plasma sintering (SPS) and were studied for their ability to meet these criteria. A dual hybrid composite was fabricated and consisted of a nickel matrix for fracture toughness, TiC for hardness and graphite for solid/self‐lubrication. An in‐situ reaction during processing resulted in the formation of TiC from elemental Ti and C powders. The composition was varied to determine its effects on tribological behavior. Stellite 21, a cobalt‐chrome‐molybdenum alloy, was also produced by SPS. Stellite 21 has low stacking fault energy and a hexagonal phase which forms during sliding that both contribute to low interfacial shear and friction. Samples were investigated by x‐ray diffraction (XRD), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), energy dispersive x‐ray spectroscopy (EDS), and electron back‐scattered diffraction (EBSD). Tribological properties were characterized by pin on disc tribometry and wear rates were determined by profilometry and abrasion testing. Solid/self‐lubrication in the TiC/C/Ni system was investigated by Raman and Auger mapping. A tribofilm, which undergoes a stress‐induced phase transformation from polycrystalline graphite to amorphous carbon, was formed during sliding in the TiC/C/Ni system that is responsible for low friction and wear. TiC additions help to further decrease wear. Stellite 21 was also found to exhibit acceptably low friction and wear properties arising from the presence of Cr23C6 in the matrix and work hardening of the cobalt and chromium during sliding.
Date: December 2013
Creator: Kinkenon, Douglas