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Processing and Characterization of Polycarbonate Foams with Supercritical Co2 and 5-Phenyl-1H-tetrazole

Description: Since their discovery in the 1930s, polymeric foams have been widely used in the industry for a variety of applications such as acoustical and thermal insulation, filters, absorbents etc. The reason for this ascending trend can be attributed to factors such as cost, ease of processing and a high strength to weight ratio compared to non-foamed polymers. The purpose of this project was to develop an “indestructible” material made of polycarbonate (PC) for industrial applications. Due to the high price of polycarbonate, two foaming methods were investigated to reduce the amount of material used. Samples were foamed physically in supercritical CO2 or chemically with 5-phenyl-1H-tetrazole. After thermal characterization of the foams in differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), we saw that none of the foaming methods had an influence on the glass transition of polycarbonate. Micrographs taken in scanning electron microscopy (SEM) showed that foams obtained in physical and chemical foaming had different structures. Indeed, samples foamed in supercritical CO2 exhibited a microcellular opened-cell structure with a high cell density and a homogeneous cell distribution. On the other hand, samples foamed with 5-phenyl-1H-tetrazole had a macrocellular closed-cell structure with a much smaller cell density and a random cell distribution. Compression testing showed that polycarbonate foamed physically had a compression modulus a lot greater. Then, XLPE mesh 35 or 50 and wollastonite were added to the polymeric matrices to enhance the foaming process and the mechanical properties. DSC experiments showed that the addition of fillers changed the thermal properties of polycarbonate for both foaming methods by inducing a shift in glass transition. SEM revealed that fillers lowered the average cell diameter and increased the cell density. This phenomenon increased the compression modulus for polycarbonate foamed in supercritical CO2. However, mechanical properties decreased for samples foamed with 5-phenyl-1H-tetrazole due to their relative brittleness and ...
Date: May 2015
Creator: Cloarec, Thomas

An Assessment of Uncommon Titanium Binary Systems: Ti-Zn, Ti-Cu, and Ti-Sb

Description: The current study focuses on phase stability and evolution in the titanium-zinc titanium-copper and titanium-antimony systems. The study utilized the Laser Engineering Net Shaping (LENS™) processing technique to deposit compositionally graded samples of three binary system in order to allow the assessment of phase stability and evolution as a function of composition and temperature the material is subjected to. Through LENS™ processing it was possible to create graded samples from Ti-xSb (up to 13wt%) and Ti-xCu (up to 16wt%). The LENS™ deposited gradient were solutionized, and step quenched to specific aging temperature, and the resulting microstructures and phase were characterized utilizing XRD, EDS, SEM, FIB and TEM. The Ti-Zn system proved incapable of being LENS™ deposited due to the low vaporization temperature of Zn; however, a novel processing approach was developed to drip liquid Zn onto Ti powder at temperatures above β transus temperature of Ti (882 ◦C) and below the vaporization temperature of Zn (907 ◦C). The product of this processing technique was characterized in a similar way as the graded LENS™ depositions. From measurements performed on Ti-Sb it seems that Sb could be a potential α stabilizer in Ti due to the presence of a mostly homogeneous α grains throughout the gradient; however, from XRD it can be understood that a titanium antimonide phase is present. From results obtained from the Ti-Zn samples, it can be surmised that the eutectoid reaction seems to be active, i.e. The eutectoid reaction is kinetically fast, as concluded by the presence of pearlitic structures. Finally, for the Ti-Cu system this work has been attempted to prove or disprove the existence of the Ti3Cu through the use of XRD and TEM SAD patterns. From XRD spectra collected there are peaks belonging to the Ti3Cu orthorhombic phase along with Ti2Cu and α-Ti phase. In ...
Date: May 2015
Creator: Brice, David

Atomistic Simulations of Deformation Mechanisms in Ultra-Light Weight Mg-Li Alloys

Description: Mg alloys have spurred a renewed academic and industrial interest because of their ultra-light-weight and high specific strength properties. Hexagonal close packed Mg has low deformability and a high plastic anisotropy between basal and non-basal slip systems at room temperature. Alloying with Li and other elements is believed to counter this deficiency by activating non-basal slip by reducing their nucleation stress. In this work I study how Li addition affects deformation mechanisms in Mg using atomistic simulations. In the first part, I create a reliable and transferable concentration dependent embedded atom method (CD-EAM) potential for my molecular dynamics study of deformation. This potential describes the Mg-Li phase diagram, which accurately describes the phase stability as a function of Li concentration and temperature. Also, it reproduces the heat of mixing, lattice parameters, and bulk moduli of the alloy as a function of Li concentration. Most importantly, our CD-EAM potential reproduces the variation of stacking fault energy for basal, prismatic, and pyramidal slip systems that influences the deformation mechanisms as a function of Li concentration. This success of CD-EAM Mg-Li potential in reproducing different properties, as compared to literature data, shows its reliability and transferability. Next, I use this newly created potential to study the effect of Li addition on deformation mechanisms in Mg-Li nanocrystalline (NC) alloys. Mg-Li NC alloys show basal slip, pyramidal type-I slip, tension twinning, and two-compression twinning deformation modes. Li addition reduces the plastic anisotropy between basal and non-basal slip systems by modifying the energetics of Mg-Li alloys. This causes the solid solution softening. The inverse relationship between strength and ductility therefore suggests a concomitant increase in alloy ductility. A comparison of the NC results with single crystal deformation results helps to understand the qualitative and quantitative effect of Li addition in Mg on nucleation stress and fault ...
Date: May 2015
Creator: Karewar, Shivraj

Plasma Interactions on Organosilicate Glass Dielectric Films and Emerging Amorphous Materials- Approach to Pore Sealing and Chemical Modifications

Description: In-situ x-ray photoemission (XPS) and ex-situ FTIR studies of nanoporous organosilicate glass (OSG) films point to the separate roles of radicals vs. VUV photons in the carbon abstraction. The studies indicate that reaction with O2 in presence of VUV photons (~123 nm) result in significant carbon abstraction within the bulk and that the kinetics of this process is diffusion-limited. In contrast, OSG exposed to atomic O (no VUV) results in Si-C bond scission and Si-O bond formation, but this process is self-limiting after formation of ~1 nm thick SiO2 surface layer that inhibits further diffusion. Therefore, the diffusion-dominated kinetics of carbon abstraction observed for OSG exposed to O2 plasma is definitively attributed to the diffusion of O2 down OSG nanopores, reacting at photo-activated sites, rather than to the diffusion of atomic O. Pretreatment of OSG by 900 eV Ar+ ion bombardment also results in formation of 1 nm thick SiO2-like surface overlayer that inhibits O2 diffusion, inhibiting VUV+O2 and O2 plasma-induced reactions, and that the effectiveness of this treatment increases with ion kinetic energy. On the contrary, organosilicate glass (OSG) films with backbone carbon (-Si-R-Si-) exhibit significantly enhanced resistance to carbon loss upon exposure to O2 plasma, radicals and VUV+O2 compared to films with terminal methyl groups (Si-CH3). Films incorporating backbone carbon chains (-Si-R-Si-) were deposited from 1,2 bis (triethoxysilyl) ethane (BTESE) precursor by ebeam or plasma cross-linking. The radical effects on BTESE film indicates negligible carbon loss or Si oxidation, combined with C-O bond formation, under conditions where OSG films with terminal methyl groups exhibit > 80% carbon loss within the surface region of the film. C-O bond formation is never observed for terminal CH3 groups. Further, backbone carbon (-Si-R-Si-) films exposed to VUV+O2 exhibit self-limiting, minimal net carbon loss. This indicates that plasma-induced Si-C bond rupture still occurs ...
Date: May 2015
Creator: Kazi, Haseeb

Combinatorial Assessment of the Influence of Composition and Exposure Time on the Oxidation Behavior and Concurrent Oxygen-induced Phase Transformations of Binary Ti-x Systems

Description: The relatively low oxidation resistance and subsequent surface embrittlement have often limited the use of titanium alloys in elevated temperature structural applications. Although extensive effort is spent to investigate the high temperature oxidation performance of titanium alloys, the studies are often constrained to complex technical titanium alloys and neither the mechanisms associated with evolution of the oxide scale nor the effect of oxygen ingress on the microstructure of the base metal are well-understood. In addition lack of systematic oxidation studies across a wider domain of the alloy composition has complicated the determination of composition-mechanism-property relationships. Clearly, it would be ideal to assess the influence of composition and exposure time on the oxidation resistance, independent of experimental variabilities regarding time, temperature and atmosphere as the potential source of error. Such studies might also provide a series of metrics (e.g., hardness, scale, etc) that could be interpreted together and related to the alloy composition. In this thesis a novel combinatorial approach was adopted whereby a series of compositionally graded specimens, (Ti-xMo, Ti-xCr, Ti-xAl and Ti-xW) were prepared using Laser Engineered Net Shaping (LENS™) technology and exposed to still-air at 650 °C. A suite of the state-of-the-art characterization techniques were employed to assess several aspects of the oxidation reaction as a function of local average composition including: the operating oxidation mechanisms; the structure and composition of the oxides; the oxide adherence and porosity; the thickness of the oxide layers; the depth of oxygen ingress; and microstructural evolution of the base material just below the surface but within the oxygen-enriched region. The results showed that for the Ti-Mo, Ti-Al and Ti-W systems a parabolic oxidation rate law is obeyed in the studied composition-time domain while Ti-Cr system experiences a rapid breakaway oxidation regime at low solute concentrations. The only titanium oxide phase present in ...
Date: May 2015
Creator: Samimi, Peyman

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.
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Date: August 2015
Creator: Gu, Jingjing

First Principles Study of Metastable Beta Titanium Alloys

Description: The high temperature BCC phase (b) of titanium undergoes a martensitic transformation to HCP phase (a) upon cooling, but can be stabilized at room temperature by alloying with BCC transition metals such as Mo. There exists a metastable composition range within which the alloyed b phase separates into a + b upon equilibrium cooling but not when rapidly quenched. Compositional partitioning of the stabilizing element in as-quenched b microstructure creates nanoscale precipitates of a new simple hexagonal w phase, which considerably reduces ductility. These phase transformation reactions have been extensively studied experimentally, yet several significant questions remain: (i) The mechanism by which the alloying element stabilizes the b phase, thwarts its transformation to w, and how these processes vary as a function of the concentration of the stabilizing element is unclear. (ii) What is the atomistic mechanism responsible for the non-Arrhenius, anomalous diffusion widely observed in experiments, and how does it extend to low temperatures? How does the concentration of the stabilizing elements alter this behavior? There are many other w forming alloys that such exhibit anomalous diffusion behavior. (iii) A lack of clarity remains on whether w can transform to a -phase in the crystal bulk or if it occurs only at high-energy regions such as grain boundaries. Furthermore, what is the nature of the a phase embryo? (iv) Although previous computational results discovered a new wa transformation mechanism in pure Ti with activation energy lower than the classical Silcock pathway, it is at odds with the a / b / w orientation relationship seen in experiments. First principles calculations based on density functional theory provide an accurate approach to study such nanoscale behavior with full atomistic resolution, allowing investigation of the complex structural and chemical effects inherent in the alloyed state. In the present work, a model Ti-Mo ...
Date: August 2015
Creator: Gupta, Niraj

Precession Electron Diffraction Assisted Characterization of Deformation in α and α+β Titanium Alloys

Description: Ultra-fine grained materials with sub-micrometer grain size exhibit superior mechanical properties when compared with conventional fine-grained material as well as coarse-grained materials. Severe plastic deformation (SPD) techniques have been shown to be an effective way to modify the microstructure in order to improve the mechanical properties of the material. Crystalline materials require dislocations to accommodate plastic strain gradients and maintain lattice continuity. The lattice curvature exists due to the net dislocation that left behind in material during deformation. The characterization of such defects is important to understand deformation accumulation and the resulting mechanical properties of such materials. However, traditional techniques are limited. For example, the spatial resolution of EBSD is insufficient to study materials processed via SPD, while high dislocation densities make interpretations difficult using conventional diffraction contrast techniques in the TEM. A new technique, precession electron diffraction (PED) has gained recognition in the TEM community to solve the local crystallography, including both phase and orientation, of nanocrystalline structures under quasi-kinematical conditions. With the assistant of precession electron diffraction coupled ASTARÔ, the structure evolution of equal channel angular pressing processed commercial pure titanium is studied; this technique is also extended to two-phase titanium alloy (Ti-5553) to investigate the existence of anisotropic deformation behavior of the constituent alpha and beta phases.
Date: August 2015
Creator: Liu, Yue

Deformation Micro-mechanisms of Simple and Complex Concentrated FCC Alloys

Description: The principal objective of this work was to elucidate the effect of microstructural features on the intrinsic dislocation mechanisms in two FCC alloys. First alloy Al0.1CoCrFeNi was from a new class of material known as complex concentrated alloys, particularly high entropy alloys (HEA). The second was a conventional Al-Mg-Sc alloy in ultrafine-grained (UFG) condition. In the case of HEA, the lattice possess significant lattice strain due to the atomic size variation and cohesive energy differences. Moreover, both the lattice friction stress and the Peierls barrier height are significantly larger than the conventional FCC metals and alloys. The experimental evidences, so far, provide a distinctive identity to the nature and motion of dislocations in FCC HEA as compared to the conventional FCC metals and alloys. Hence, the thermally activated dislocation mechanisms and kinetics in HEA has been studied in detail. To achieve the aim of examining the dislocation kinetics, transient tests, both strain rate jump tests and stress relaxation tests, were conducted. Anomalous behavior in dislocation kinetics was observed. Surprisingly, a large rate sensitivity of the flow stress and low activation volume of dislocations were observed, which are unparalleled as compared to conventional CG FCC metals and alloys. The observed trend has been explained in terms of the lattice distortion and dislocation energy framework. As opposed to the constant dislocation line energy and Peierls potential energy (amplitude, ΔE) in conventional metals and alloys, both line energy and Peierls potential undergo continuous variation in the case of HEA. These energy fluctuations have greatly affected the dislocation mobility and can be distinctly noted from the activation volume of dislocations. The proposed hypothesis was tested by varying the grain size and also the test temperature. Activation volume of dislocations was a strong function of temperature and increased with temperature. And the reduction in grain ...
Date: December 2015
Creator: Komarasamy, Mageshwari

An Initial Study of Binary and Ternary Ti-based Alloys Manufactured Using Laser Engineered Net Shaping (LENSTM)

Description: In this study an initial assessment of the composition – microstructure – property relationships in binary and ternary Ti – based systems are made possible using LENSTM technology. Laser Engineering Net Shaping (LENSTM), a rapid prototyping, directed laser deposition methodology of additive manufacturing (AM) was used to create bulk homogenous specimens that are compositionally graded. Compositionally graded specimens were made possible by incorporating elemental blends of powder during the LENSTM process. While there have been numerous studies assessing the influence of common elements (e.g., V, Mo, Al, and Cr) on the resulting microstructure in titanium alloys, other elements have been neglected. A systematic study of the Ti – Fe – Al ternary system based upon varying compositions of the eutectoid former, Fe with Al to stabilize the a and b phases respectively has also been neglected. This research effort focuses on exploiting the LENSTM process by rapidly assessing the composition – microstructure – property relationships in a combinatorial approach for the Ti – W, Ti – Fe, and Ti – Fe – Al systems. Compositionally graded specimens of Ti – xW (0<x<40wt.%(14.79at.%)), Ti – xFe (0<x<35wt.%(36.37at.%)), and Ti – xFe – yAl (0<x<40wt.%(36.37at.%)), y=5,10, 15wt.%) have been heat treated to also assess the influence of thermal history on microstructural features such as phase composition and volume fraction. Lastly, a Ti – xMo (0<x<40wt.%(24.96at.%)) compositionally graded specimen was deposited to re-assess the Mo-equivalency nature of W, as well as assess the role of phase separation in microstructural evolution at temperatures above and below the invariant point (~695°C) of the Ti – W binary system.
Date: December 2015
Creator: Gray, Alyn M.

Characterization of Ti-6Al-4V Produced Via Electron Beam Additive Manufacturing

Description: In recent years, additive manufacturing (AM) has become an increasingly promising method used for the production of structural metallic components. There are a number of reasons why AM methods are attractive, including the ability to produce complex geometries into a near-net shape and the rapid transition from design to production. Ti-6Al-4V is a titanium alloy frequently used in the aerospace industry which is receiving considerable attention as a good candidate for processing via electron beam additive manufacturing (EBAM). The Sciaky EBAM method combines a high-powered electron beam, weld-wire feedstock, and a large build chamber, enabling the production of large structural components. In order to gain wide acceptance of EBAM of Ti-6Al-4V as a viable manufacturing method, it is important to understand broadly the microstructural features that are present in large-scale depositions, including specifically: the morphology, distribution and texture of the phases present. To achieve such an understanding, stereological methods were used to populate a database quantifying key microstructural features in Ti-6Al-4V including volume fraction of phases, a lath width, colony scale factor, and volume fraction of basket weave type microstructure. Microstructural features unique to AM, such as elongated grains and banded structures, were also characterized. Hardness and tensile testing were conducted and the results were related to the microstructural morphology and sample orientation. Lastly, fractured surfaces and defects were investigated. The results of these activities provide insight into the process-structure-properties relationships found in EBAM processed Ti-6Al-4V.
Date: December 2015
Creator: Hayes, Brian J.

Effect of Alloy Composition, Free Volume and Glass Formability on the Corrosion Behavior of Bulk Metallic Glasses

Description: Bulk metallic glasses (BMGs) have received significant research interest due to their completely amorphous structure which results in unique structural and functional properties. Absence of grain boundaries and secondary phases in BMGs results in high corrosion resistance in many different environments. Understanding and tailoring the corrosion behavior can be significant for various structural applications in bulk form as well as coatings. In this study, the corrosion behavior of several Zr-based and Fe-Co based BMGs was evaluated to understand the effect of chemistry as well as quenched in free volume on corrosion behavior and mechanisms. Presence of Nb in Zr-based alloys was found to significantly improve corrosion resistance due to the formation of a stable passive oxide. Relaxed glasses showed lower rates compared to the as-cast alloys. This was attributed to lowering of chemical potential from the reduced fraction of free volume. Potentiodynamic polarization and Electrochemical Impedance Spectroscopy (EIS) techniques helped in quantifying the corrosion rate and polarization resistance. The effect of alloy composition was quantified by extensive surface analysis using Raman spectroscopy, energy dispersive x-ray spectroscopy and auger spectroscopy. Pitting intensity was higher in the as-cast glasses than the relaxed glasses. The electrochemical behavior of a Zr-Ti-Cu-Ni-Be bulk metallic glass subjected to high strain processing was studied. High strain processing caused shear band formation and an increase in the free volume. Potentiodynamic polarization and EIS showed a strong correlation between the enthalpy of structural relaxation and corrosion rate and polarization resistance. Pitting was observed to preferentially occur on shear bands in the processed samples, while it was stochastic in unprocessed glass. The corrosion analysis of Co-Fe glasses showed an increase in corrosion current density when Fe content was increased from 0 to 7 at%. The corrosion resistance improved when Fe content was further increased to 15 at%. Similar trend was ...
Date: December 2015
Creator: Ayyagari, Venkata Aditya

Determining the Emissivity of Roofing Samples: Asphalt, Ceramic and Coated Cedar

Description: The goal is to perform heat measurements examine of selected roofing material samples. Those roofing materials are asphalt shingles, ceramics, and cedar. It’s important to understand the concept of heat transfer, which consists of conduction, convection, and radiation. Research work was reviewed on different infrared devices to see which one would be suitable for conducting my experiment. In this experiment, the main focus was on a specific property of radiation. That property is the emissivity, which is the amount of heat a material is able to radiate compared to a blackbody. An infrared measuring device, such as the infrared camera was used to determine the emissivity of each sample by using a measurement formula consisting of certain equations. These equations account for the emissivity, transmittance of heat through the atmosphere and temperatures of the samples, atmosphere and background. The experiment verifies how reasonable the data is compared to values in the emissivity table. A blackbody method such as electrical black tape was applied to help generate the correct data. With this data obtained, the emissivity was examined to understand what factors and parameters affect this property of the materials. This experiment was conducted using a suitable heat source to heat up the material samples to high temperature. The measurements were taken during the experiment and displayed by the IR camera. The IR images show the behavior of surface temperatures being distributed throughout the different materials. The main challenge was to determine the most accurate emissivity values for all material samples. The results obtained by the IR camera were displayed in figures and tables at different distances, which was between the heap lamp and materials. The materials exhibited different behaviors in temperature and emissivity at certain distances. The emissivity of each material varied with different temperatures. The results led to suggestions ...
Date: December 2015
Creator: Adesanya, Oludamilola

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.
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Date: December 2015
Creator: Zhang, Baozhuo

Influence of High Strain Rate Compression on Microstructure and Phase Transformation of NiTi Shape Memory Alloys

Description: Since NiTi shape memory alloy (SMA) was discovered in the early 1960s, great progress has been made in understanding the properties and mechanisms of NiTi SMA and in developing associated products. For several decades, most of the scientific research and industrial interests on NiTi SMA has focused on its superelastic applications in the biomedical field and shape memory based “smart” devices, which involves the low strain rate (around 0.001 s^-1) response of NiTi SMA. Due to either stress-induced martensite phase transformation or stress induced martensite variant reorientation under the applied load, NiTi SMA has exhibited a high damping capacity in both austenitic and martensitic phase. Recently, there has been an increasing interest in exploitation of the high damping capacity of NiTi SMA to develop high strain rate related applications such as seismic damping elements and energy absorbing devices. However, a systematic study on the influence of strain, strain rate and temperature on the mechanical properties, phase transformation, microstructure and crystal structure is still limited, which leads to the difficulties in the design of products being subjected to high strain rate loading conditions. The four main objectives of the current research are: (1) achieve the single loading and the control of strain, constant strain rate and temperature in high strain rate compression tests of NiTi SMA specimens using Kolsky (split Hopkinson) compression bar; (2) explore the high strain rate compressive responses of NiTi SMA specimens as a function of strain (1.4%, 1.8%, 3.0%, 4.8%, and 9.6%), strain rate (400, 800 and 1200 s^-1), and temperature (room temperature (294 K) and 373 K); (3) characterize and compare the microstructure, phase transformation and crystal structure of NiTi SMAs before and after high strain rate compression; and (4) correlate high strain rate deformation with the changes of microstructure, phase transformation characteristics and crystal structure. ...
Date: May 2016
Creator: Qiu, Ying

Fatigue Behavior of A356 Aluminum Alloy

Description: Metal fatigue is a recurring problem for metallurgists and materials engineers, especially in structural applications. It has been responsible for many disastrous accidents and tragedies in history. Understanding the micro-mechanisms during cyclic deformation and combating fatigue failure has remained a grand challenge. Environmental effects, like temperature or a corrosive medium, further worsen and complicate the problem. Ultimate design against fatigue must come from a materials perspective with a fundamental understanding of the interaction of microstructural features with dislocations, under the influence of stress, temperature, and other factors. This research endeavors to contribute to the current understanding of the fatigue failure mechanisms. Cast aluminum alloys are susceptible to fatigue failure due to the presence of defects in the microstructure like casting porosities, non-metallic inclusions, non-uniform distribution of secondary phases, etc. Friction stir processing (FSP), an emerging solid state processing technique, is an effective tool to refine and homogenize the cast microstructure of an alloy. In this work, the effect of FSP on the microstructure of an A356 cast aluminum alloy, and the resulting effect on its tensile and fatigue behavior have been studied. The main focus is on crack initiation and propagation mechanisms, and how stage I and stage II cracks interact with the different microstructural features. Three unique microstructural conditions have been tested for fatigue performance at room temperature, 150 °C and 200 °C. Detailed fractography has been performed using optical microscopy, scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and electron back scattered diffraction (EBSD). These tools have also been utilized to characterize microstructural aspects like grain size, eutectic silicon particle size and distribution. Cyclic deformation at low temperatures is very sensitive to the microstructural distribution in this alloy. The findings from the room temperature fatigue tests highlight the important role played by persistent slip bands (PSBs) in fatigue crack initiation. At room ...
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Date: May 2016
Creator: Nelaturu, Phalgun

Stable Nanocrystalline Au Film Structures for Sliding Electrical Contacts

Description: Hard gold thin films and coatings are widely used in electronics as an effective material to reduce the friction and wear of relatively less expensive electrically conductive materials while simultaneously seeking to provide oxidation resistance and stable sliding electrical contact resistance (ECR). The main focus of this dissertation was to synthesize nanocrystalline Au films with grain structures capable of remaining stable during thermal exposure and under sliding electrical contact stress and the passing of electrical current. Here we have utilized a physical vapor deposition (PVD) technique, electron beam evaporation, to synthesize Au films modified by ion implantation and codeposited ZnO hardened Au nanocomposites. Simultaneous friction and ECR experiments of low fluence (< 1x10^17 cm^-2) He and Ar ion implanted Au films showed reduction in friction coefficients from ~1.5 to ~0.5 and specific wear rates from ~4x10^-3 to ~6x10^-5 mm^3/N·m versus as-deposited Au films without significant change in sliding ECR (~16 mΩ). Subsurface microstructural changes of He implanted films due to tribological stress were analyzed via site-specific cross-sectional transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and revealed the formation of nanocrystalline grains for low energy (22.5 keV) implantation conditions as well as the growth and redistribution of cavities. Nanoindentation hardness results revealed an increase from 0.84 GPa for as-deposited Au to ~1.77 GPa for Au uniformly implanted with 1 at% He. These strength increases are correlated with an Orowan hardening mechanism that increases proportionally to (He concentration)1/3. Au-ZnO nanocomposite films in the oxide dilute regime (< 5 vol% ZnO) were investigated for low temperature aging stability in friction and ECR. Annealing at 250 °C for 24 hours Au-(2 vol%)ZnO retained a friction coefficient comparable to commercial Ni hardened Au of ~ 0.3 and sliding ECR values of ~35 mΩ. Nanoindentation hardness increases of these films (~2.6 GPa for 5 vol% ZnO) are correlated to ...
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Date: May 2016
Creator: Mogonye, Jon-Erik

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.
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Date: May 2016
Creator: Thomas, Jonova

Reactions and Interfacial Behaviors of the Water–Amorphous Silica System from Classical and Ab Initio Molecular Dynamics Simulations

Description: Due to the wide application of silica based systems ranging from microelectronics to nuclear waste disposal, detailed knowledge of water-silica interactions plays an important role in understanding fundamental processes, such as glass corrosion and the long term reliability of devices. In this dissertation, atomistic computer simulation methods have been used to explore and identify the mechanisms of water-silica reactions and the detailed processes that control the properties of the water-silica interfaces due to their ability to provide atomic level details of the structure and reaction pathways. The main challenges of the amorphous nature of the silica based systems and nano-porosity of the structures were overcome by a combination of simulation methodologies based on classical molecular dynamics (MD) simulations with Reactive Force Field (ReaxFF) and density functional theory (DFT) based ab initio MD simulations. Through the development of nanoporous amorphous silica structure models, the interactions between water and the complex unhydroxylated internal surfaces identified the unusual stability of strained siloxane bonds in high energy ring structure defects, as well as the hydroxylation reaction kinetics, which suggests the difficulty in using DFT methods to simulate Si-O bond breakage with reasonable efficiency. Another important problem addressed is the development of silica gel structures and their interfaces, which is considered to control the long term residual dissolution rate in borosilicate glasses. Through application of the ReaxFF classical MD potential, silica gel structures which mimic the development of interfacial layers during silica dissolution were created A structural model, consisting of dense silica, silica gel, and bulk water, and the related interfaces was generated, to represent the dissolution gel structure. High temperature evolution of the silica-gel-water (SGW) structure was performed through classical MD simulation of the system, and growth of the gel into the water region occurred, as well as the formation of intermediate range structural ...
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Date: May 2016
Creator: Rimsza, Jessica M

Enhancement of Light Emission from Metal Nanoparticles Embedded Graphene Oxide

Description: A fully oxidized state of graphene behaves as a pure insulating while a pristine graphene behaves as a pure conducting. The in-between oxide state in graphene which is the controlled state of oxide behaves as a semiconducting. This is the key condition for tuning optical band gap for the better light emitting property. The controlling method of oxide in graphene structure is known as reduction which is the mixed state of sp2 and sp3 hybrid state in graphene structure. sp2 hybridized domains correspond to pure carbon-carbon bond i.e. pristine graphene while sp3 hybridized domains correspond to the oxide bond with carbon i.e. defect in graphene structure. This is the uniqueness of the graphene-base material. Graphene is a gapless material i.e. having no bandgap energy and this property prevents it from switching device applications and also from the optoelectronic devices applications. The main challenge for this material is to tune as a semiconducting which can open the optical characteristics and emit light of desired color. There may be several possibilities for the modification of graphene-base material that can tune a band gap. One way is to find semiconducting property by doping the defects into pristine graphene structure. Other way is oxides functional groups in graphene structure behaves as defects. The physical properties of graphene depend on the amount of oxides present in graphene structure. So if there are more oxides in graphene structure then this material behaves as a insulating. By any means if it can be reduced then oxides amount to achieve specific proportion of sp2 and sp3 that can emit light of desired color. Further, after achieving light emission from graphene base material, there is more possibility for the study of non-linear optical property. In this work, plasmonic effect in graphene oxide has been focused. Mainly there are two ...
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Date: May 2016
Creator: Karna, Sanjay K

Thermomechanical Processing, Additive Manufacturing and Alloy Design of High Strength Mg Alloys

Description: The recent emphasis on magnesium alloys can be appreciated by following the research push from several agencies, universities and editorial efforts. With a density equal to two-thirds of Al and one-thirds of steel, Mg provides the best opportunity for lightweighting of metallic components. However, one key bottleneck restricting its insertion into industrial applications is low strength values. In this respect, Mg-Y-Nd alloys have been promising due to their ability to form strengthening precipitates on the prismatic plane. However, if the strength is compared to Al alloys, these alloys are not attractive. The primary reason for low structural performance in Mg is related to low alloying and microstructural efficiency. In this dissertation, these terminologies are discussed in detail. A simple calculation showed that the microstructural efficiency in Mg-4Y-3Nd alloy is 30% of its maximum potential. Guided by the definitions of alloying and microstructural efficiency, the two prime objectives of this thesis were to: (i) to use thermomechanical processing routes to tailor the microstructure and achieve high strength in an Mg-4Y-3Nd alloy, and (ii) optimize the alloy chemistry of the Mg-rare earth alloy and design a novel rare—earth free Mg alloy by Calphad approach to achieve a strength of 500 MPa. Experimental, theoretical and computational approaches have been used to establish the process-structure-property relationships in an Mg-4Y-3Nd alloy. For example, increase in strength was observed after post aging of the friction stir processed/additive manufactured microstructure. This was attributed to the dissolution of Mg2Y particles which increased the alloying and microstructural efficiency. Further quantification by numerical modeling showed that the effective diffusivity during friction stir processing and friction stir welding is 60 times faster than in the absence of concurrent deformation leading to the dissolution of thermally stable particles. In addition, the investigation on the interaction between dislocations and strengthening precipitate revealed that, ...
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Date: May 2016
Creator: Palanivel, Sivanesh

Microstructure for Enhanced Plasticity and Toughness

Description: Magnesium is the lightest metal with a very high specific strength. However, its practical applicability is limited by its toughness and reliability. Mg, being HCP has low ductility. This makes the improvement of toughness a grand challenge in Mg alloys. Friction stir processing (FSP) is a thermomechanical technique used to effect microstructural modification. Here, FSP was utilized to affect the toughness of WE43 sheets through microstructural modification. Room temperature Kahn-type tests were conducted to measure the toughness of WE43 sheets. Microscopic techniques (SEM, TEM) was utilized to study the effect of various microstructural factors like grain size, texture, constituent particles, precipitates on crack initiation and propagation. Tensile properties were evaluated by mini-tensile tests. Crack growth in WE43 sheets was also affected by mechanics and digital image correlation (DIC) was utilized to study the plastic zone size. The underlying mechanisms affecting toughness of these sheets were understood which will help in formulating ways in improving it. WE43 nanocomposites were fabricated via FSP. Uniform distribution of reinforcements was obtained in the composites. Improved mechanical properties like that of enhanced strength, increased hardness and stiffness were obtained. But contrary to other metal matrix composites which show reduction in ductility with incorporation of ceramic reinforcements, the nanocomposites showed good strength-ductility combination. The composites were precisely characterized and mechanisms governing this property were studied. The nano-length of the reinforcements was observed to be the main criteria and the dislocation-particle interaction, the main reason behind the strength-ductility property.
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Date: August 2016
Creator: Das, Shamiparna

Workfunction tuning of AZO Films Through Surface Modification for Anode Application in OLEDs.

Description: Widespread use of organic light emitting diodes (OLEDs) in solid state lighting and display technologies require efficiency and lifetime improvements, as well as cost reductions, inclusive of the transparent conducting oxide (TCO). Indium tin oxide (ITO) is the standard TCO anode in OLEDs, but indium is expensive and the Earth's reserve of this element is limited. Zinc oxide (ZnO) and its variants such as aluminum-doped ZnO (AZO) exhibit comparable electrical conductivity and transmissivity to ITO, and are of interest for TCO applications. However, the workfunction of ZnO and AZO is smaller compared to ITO. The smaller workfunction of AZO results in a higher hole injection barrier at the anode/organic interface, and methods of tuning its workfunction are required. This dissertation tested the hypothesis that workfunction tuning of AZO films could be achieved by surface modification with electronegative oxygen and fluorine plasmas, or, via use of nanoscale transition metal oxide layers (MoOx, VOx and WOx). Extensive UPS, XPS and optical spectroscopy studies indicate that O2 and CFx plasma treatment results in an electronegative surface, surface charge redistribution, and a surface dipole moment which reinforces the original surface dipole leading to workfunction increases. Donor-like gap states associated with partially occupied d-bands due to non-stoichiometry determine the effective increased workfunction of the AZO/transition-metal oxide stacks. Reduced hole injection barriers were engineered by ensuring that the surface ad-layers were sufficiently thin to facilitate Fowler-Nordheim tunneling. Improved band alignments resulted in improved hole injection from the surface modified AZO anodes, as demonstrated by I-V characterization of hole only structures. Energy band alignments are proposed based on the aforementioned spectroscopies. Simple bilayer OLEDs employing the surface modified AZO anodes were fabricated and characterized to compare their performance with standard ITO. Anodes consisting of AZO with MoOx or VOx interfacial layers exhibited 50% and 71% improvement in ...
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Date: August 2016
Creator: Jha, Jitendra

Friction Stir Welding of Precipitation Strengthened Aluminum 7449 Alloys

Description: The Al-Zn-Mg-Cu (7XXX series) alloys are amongst the strongest aluminum available. However, they are considered unweldable with conventional fusion techniques due to the negative effects that arise with conventional welding, including hydrogen porosity, hot cracking, and stress corrosion cracking. For this reason, friction stir welding has emerged as the preferred technique to weld 7XXX series alloys. Aluminum 7449 is one of the highest strength 7XXX series aluminum alloy. This is due to its higher zinc content, which leads to a higher volume fraction of eta' precipitates. It is typically used in a slight overaged condition since it exhibits better corrosion resistance. In this work, the welds of friction stir welded aluminum 7449 were studied extensively. Specific focus was placed in the heat affected zone (HAZ) and nugget. Thermocouples were used in the heat affected zone for three different depths to obtain thermal profiles as well as cooling/heating profiles. Vicker microhardness testing, transmission electron microscope (TEM), and differential scanning calorimeter (DSC) were used to characterize the welds. Two different tempers of the alloy were used, a low overaged temper and a high overaged temper. A thorough comparison of the two different tempers was done. It was found that highly overaged aluminum 7449 tempers show better properties for friction stir welding. A heat gradient along with a high conducting plate (Cu) used at the bottom of the run, resulted in welds with two separate microstructures in the nugget. Due to the microstructure at the bottom of the nugget, higher strength than the base metal is observed. Furthermore, the effects of natural aging and artificial aging were studied to understand re-precipitation. Large improvements in strength are observed after natural aging throughout the welds, including improvements in the HAZ.
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Date: August 2016
Creator: Martinez, Nelson Y