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Development of a Simplified Fracture Toughness Tool for Polymers

Description: This thesis presents research toward the development of a simple inexpensive fracture toughness tool for polymeric materials. Experiments were conducted to test the specimen configuration and the fracture toughness tool against an established ASTM standard for polymer fracture toughness, D5045, and a commonly used four-point bend method. The materials used in this study were polycarbonate and high density polyethylene. Reductions in both the production time and the variability resulting from the preparation of the specimens were addressed through the use of specially designed fixtures. The effects from the razor cut depths used in the chevron notch were compared to the fracture toughness values obtained in order to determine the effect upon the validity of the fracture toughness.
Date: August 1997
Creator: Marnock, Patrick J. (Patrick Joseph)

Laser Cutting Machine: Justification of initial costs

Description: The Industrial Laser is firmly established in metalcutting as the tool of choice for many applications. The elevator division of Montgomery KONE Inc., in an effort to move towards quality, ontime, complete deliveries and 100% customer satisfaction, decided to invest in new equipment to improve manufacturing processes. A huge investment is proposed for a laser-cutting machine. It is the responsibility of Manufacturing Engineering to direct the management by justifying its benefits, which includes payback time and financial gains. Factors such as common line cutting, automated material handling system and cutting time were involved in justification of the initial cost of a laser-cutting machine. Comparative statistics on appropriate factors accurately determine and justify the initial cost of a laser-cutting machine.
Date: May 2001
Creator: Nagaraja, Dwarakish

Design of Power Amplifier Test Signals with a User-Defined Multisine

Description: Cellular radio communication involves wireless transmission and reception of signals at radio frequencies (RF). Base stations house equipment critical to the transmission and reception of signals. Power amplifier (PA) is a crucial element in base station assembly. PAs are expensive, take up space and dissipate heat. Of all the elements in the base station, it is difficult to design and operate a power amplifier. New designs of power amplifiers are constantly tested. One of the most important components required to perform this test successfully is a circuit simulator model of an entire communication system that generates a standard test signal. Standard test signals 524,288 data points in length require 1080 hours to complete one test of a PA model. In order to reduce the time taken to complete one test, a 'simulated test signal,' was generated. The objective of this study is to develop an algorithm to generate this 'simulated' test signal such that its characteristics match that of the 'standard' test signal.
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Date: May 2004
Creator: Nagarajan, Preeti

Flow Accelerated Corrosion Experience at Comanche Peak Steam Electric Station

Description: Flow accelerated corrosion (FAC) is a major concern in the power industry as it causes thinning of the pipes by the dissolution of the passive oxide layer formed on the pipe surface. Present research deals with comparing the protection offered by the magnetite (Fe3O4) versus maghemite (γ-Fe2O3) phases thickness loss measurements. Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) is used in distinguishing these two elusive phases of iron oxides. Representative pipes are collected from high pressure steam extraction line of the secondary cycle of unit 2 of Comanche Peak Steam Electric Station (CPSES). Environmental scanning electron microscopy (ESEM) is used for morphological analysis. FTIR and X-ray diffraction (XRD) are used for phase analysis. Morphological analysis showed the presence of porous oxide surfaces with octahedral crystals, scallops and "chimney" like vents. FTIR revealed the predominance of maghemite at the most of the pipe sections. Results of thickness measurements indicate severe thickness loss at the bend areas (extrados) of the pipes.
Date: May 2008
Creator: Nakka, Ravi Kumar

Characterization of Iron Oxide Deposits Formed at Comanche Peak Steam Electric Station

Description: The presence of deposits leading to corrosion of the steam generator (SG) systems is a major contributor to operation and maintenance cost of pressurized water reactor (PWR) plants. Formation and transport of corrosion products formed due to the presence of impurities, metallic oxides and cations in the secondary side of the SG units result in formation of deposits. This research deals with the characterization of deposit samples collected from the two SG units (unit 1 and unit 2) at Comanche Peak Steam Electric Station (CPSES). X-ray diffraction (XRD), Fourier transform infrared spectrophotometry (FTIR), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), and energy dispersive spectroscopy (EDS) techniques have been used for studying the compositional and structural properties of iron oxides formed in the secondary side of unit 1 and unit 2. Magnetite (Fe3O4) was found to be predominant in samples from unit 1 and maghemite (g-Fe2O3) was found to be the dominant phase in case of unit 2. An attempt has been made to customize FTIR technique for analyzing different iron oxide phases present in the deposits of PWR-SG systems.
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Date: May 2003
Creator: Namduri, Haritha

Liquid Nitrogen Propulsion Systems for Automotive Applications: Calculation of Mechanical Efficiency of a Dual, Double-acting Piston Propulsion System

Description: A dual, double-acting propulsion system is analyzed to determine how efficiently it can convert the potential energy available from liquid nitrogen into useful work. The two double-acting pistons (high- and low-pressure) were analyzed by using a Matlab-Simulink computer simulation to determine their respective mechanical efficiencies. The flow circuit for the entire system was analyzed by using flow circuit analysis software to determine pressure losses throughout the system at the required mass flow rates. The results of the piston simulation indicate that the two pistons analyzed are very efficient at transferring energy into useful work. The flow circuit analysis shows that the system can adequately maintain the mass flow rate requirements of the pistons but also identifies components that have a significant impact on the performance of the system. The results of the analysis indicate that the nitrogen propulsion system meets the intended goals of its designers.
Date: May 2008
Creator: North, Thomas B.

Effects of Thickness and Indenter Tip Geometry in Nanoindentation of Nickel Films

Description: Nanoindentation has become a widely used technique to measure the mechanical properties of materials. Due to its capability to deform materials in micro- and nano-scale, nanoindentation has found more applications in characterizing the deformation behavior and determining the mechanical properties of thin films and coatings. This research deals with the characterization of samples received from Center for Advanced Microstructures and Devices (CAMD) and Integran Technologies Inc., Toronto, Canada and the objective of this investigation was to utilize the experimental data obtained from nanoindentation to determine the deformation behavior, mechanical properties of thin films on substrates and bulk materials, and the effect of geometrically different indenters (Berkovich, cubecorner, and conical). X-ray diffraction (XRD), transmission electron microscope (TEM), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), and atomic force microscopy (AFM) analysis were performed on these materials to determine the crystal orientation, grain size of the material, and also to measure any substrate effects like pile-up or sin-in respectively. The results indicate that indentation size effect (ISE) strongly depends on shape of the indenter and less sensitive to penetration depth where as the hardness measurements depends on shape of indenter and depth of penetration. There is a negligible strain rate dependency of hardness at deeper depths and a significant increase in the hardness due to the decrease in grain size and results also indicate that there is no significant substrate effect on thin films for 10% and 20% of film thicknesses. Nanocrystalline material could not validate a dislocation based mechanisms deformation for indentation made by cubecorner and conical indenters in depths less than 1mm.
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Date: May 2004
Creator: Parakala, Padma

Design, Modeling, and Experiment of a Piezoelectric Pressure Sensor based on a Thickness-Shear Mode Crystal Resonator

Description: This thesis presents the design, modeling, and experiment of a novel pressure sensor using a dual-mode AT-cut quartz crystal resonator with beat frequency analysis based temperature compensation technique. The proposed sensor can measure pressure and temperature simultaneously by a single AT-cut quartz resonator. Apart from AT-cut quartz crystal, a newly developed Langasite (LGS) crystal resonator is also considered in the proposed pressure sensor design, since LGS can operate in a higher temperature environment than AT-cut quartz crystal. The pressure sensor is designed using CAD (computer aided design) software and CAE software - COMSOL Multiphysics. Finite element analysis (FEA) of the pressure sensor is performed to analyze the stress- strain of the sensor's mechanical structure. A 3D printing prototype of the sensor is fabricated and the proposed sensing principle is verified using a force-frequency analysis apparatus. Next to the 3D printing model verification, the pressure sensor with stainless steel housing has been fabricated with inbuilt crystal oscillator circuit. The oscillator circuit is used to excite the piezo crystal resonator at its fundamental vibrational mode and give the frequency as an output signal. Based on the FEA and experimental results, it has been concluded that the maximum pressure that the sensor can measure is 45 (psi). The pressure test results performed on the stainless steel product shows a highly linear relationship between the input (pressure) and the output (frequency).
Date: May 2017
Creator: Pham, Thanh Tuong

Effect of Engineered Surfaces on Valve Performance

Description: Performance of air operated valves is a major maintenance concern in process industries. Anecdotal information indicates that reliability of some high maintenance valves has been improved by using an ion deposition process to achieve engineered surfaces on selected components. This project compared friction for various surface treatments of selected valve components. Results indicate valve performance may be slightly more consistent when an engineered surface is applied in the valve packing area; however surface treatment in this area does not appear to have a dominant affect on reducing valve friction. Results indicate a linear relation between stem friction and torque applied to packing flange nuts, and even after a valve is in service, controlled packing adjustments can be made without significantly changing valve stroke time.
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Date: December 2000
Creator: Pope, Larry G.

FEM of nanoindentation on micro- and nanocrystalline Ni: Analysis of factors affecting hardness and modulus values.

Description: Nanoindentation is a widely used technique to measure the mechanical properties of films with thickness ranging from nanometers to micrometers. A much better understanding of the contact mechanics is obtained mostly through finite element modeling. The experiments were modeled using the software package Nano SP1 that is based on COSMOSM™ (Structural Research & Analysis Corp, www.cosmosm.com), a finite element code. The fundamental material properties affecting pile-up are the ratio of the effective modulus to yield stress Eeff/σ and the work hardening behavior. Two separate cases of work hardening rates were considered; one with no work hardening rate and other with a linear work hardening rate. Specifically, it is observed that pile up is large only when hf/hmax is close to one and degree of work hardening rate is small. It should also be noted that when hf/hmax < 0.7 very little pile-up is observed no matter what the work-hardening behavior of the material. When pile-up occurs the contact area is greater than that predicted by the experimental methods and both the hardness and modulus are overestimated. In this report the amount by which these properties are overestimated are studied and got to be around 22% approx. Bluntness of the tip often leads to the misinterpretation of the load-displacement data. Further analysis was done in order to find out the amount of deviation from the ideal tip due to tip bluntness. Radius of the tips were also calculated for cubecorner (41.35 nm) and conical indenter (986.05 nm).
Date: August 2005
Creator: Pothapragada, Raja Mahesh

Nodal Resistance Measurement System

Description: The latest development in the measurement techniques has resulted in fast improvements in the instruments used for measurement of various electrical quantities. A common problem in such instruments is the automation of acquiring, retrieving and controlling the measurements by a computer or a laptop. In this study, nodal resistance measurement (NRM) system is developed to solve the above problem. The purpose of this study is to design and develop a compact electronic board, which measures electrical resistance, and a computer or a laptop controls the board. For the above purpose, surface nodal points are created on the surface of the sample electrically conductive material. The nodal points are connected to the compact electronic board and this board is connected to the computer. The user selects the nodal points, from the computer, between which the NRM system measures the electrical resistance and displays the measured quantity on the computer.
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Date: May 2005
Creator: Putta, Sunil Kumar

Radio frequency propagation differences through various transmissive materials.

Description: The purpose of this research was to determine which of the commonly used wireless telecommunication site concealment materials has the least effect on signal potency. The tested materials were Tuff Span® fiberglass panels manufactured by Enduro Composite Systems, Lexan® XL-1 polycarbonate plastic manufactured by GE Corporation and Styrofoam™ polystyrene board manufactured by The Dow Chemical Company. Testing was conducted in a double electrically isolated copper mesh screen room at the University of North Texas Engineering Technology Building in Denton, Texas. Analysis of the data found no differences exist between the radio frequency transmissiveness of these products at broadband personal communication service frequencies. However, differences in the signal do exist with regards to the angle of incidence between the material and the transmitting antenna.
Date: December 2002
Creator: Ryan, Patrick L.

Preliminary design of a cryogenic thermoelectric generator.

Description: A cryogenic thermoelectric generator is proposed to increase the efficiency of a vehicle propulsion system that uses liquid nitrogen as its fuel. The proposed design captures some of the heat required for vaporizing or initial heating of the liquid nitrogen to produce electricity. The thermoelectric generator uses pressurized liquid nitrogen as its cold reservoir and ambient air as the high-temperature reservoir to generate power. This study concentrated on the selection of thermoelectric materials whose properties would result in the highest efficiency over the operating temperature range and on estimating the initial size of the generator. The preliminary selection of materials is based upon their figure of merit at the operating temperatures. The results of this preliminary design investigation of the cryogenic thermoelectric generator indicate that sufficient additional energy can be used to increase overall efficiency of the thermodynamic cycle of a vehicle propulsion system.
Date: May 2007
Creator: Sivapurapu, Sai Vinay Kumar

MBE Growth and Instrumentation

Description: This thesis mainly aims at application of principles of engineering technology in the field of molecular beam epitaxy (MBE). MBE is a versatile technique for growing epitaxial thin films of semiconductors and metals by impinging molecular beams of atoms onto a heated substrate under ultra-high vacuum (UHV) conditions. Here, a LabVIEW® (laboratory virtual instrument engineering workbench) software (National Instruments Corp., http://www.ni.com/legal/termsofuse/unitedstates/usH) program is developed that would form the basis of a real-time control system that would transform MBE into a true-production technology. Growth conditions can be monitored in real-time with the help of reflection high energy electron diffraction (RHEED) technique. The period of one RHEED oscillation corresponds exactly to the growth of one monolayer of atoms of the semiconductor material. The PCI-1409 frame grabber card supplied by National Instruments is used in conjunction with the LabVIEW software to capture the RHEED images and capture the intensity of RHEED oscillations. The intensity values are written to a text file and plotted in the form of a graph. A fast Fourier transform of these oscillations gives the growth rate of the epi-wafer being grown. All the data being captured by the LabVIEW program can be saved to file forming a growth pedigree for future use. Unattended automation can be achieved by designing a control system that monitors the growth in real-time and compares it with the data recorded from the LabVIEW program from the previous growth and adjusts the growth parameters automatically thereby growing accurate device structures.
Date: May 2006
Creator: Tarigopula, Sriteja

Effects of a Surface Engineered Metallic Coating on Elastomeric Valve Stem Seal Leakage

Description: Valve stem seal leakage is a major source of fugitive emissions, and controlling these emissions can result in added expense in leak detection and repair programs. Elastomeric O-rings can be used as valve stem seals, and O-ring manufacturers recommend lubrication of elastomeric seals to prevent damage and to assure proper sealing. In this research, a metallic coating was applied as a lubricant using a vacuum vapor deposition process to the surface of elastomeric valve stem seals. Valve stem leak measurements were taken to determine if the coated O-rings, alone or with the recommended lubrication, reduced valve stem seal leakage. This research determined that the metallic coating did not reduce valve stem leakage.
Date: December 2000
Creator: Taylor, John Abner

Indoor Propagation Modeling at 2.4 GHz for IEEE 802.11 Networks

Description: Indoor use of wireless systems poses one of the biggest design challenges. It is difficult to predict the propagation of a radio frequency wave in an indoor environment. To assist in deploying the above systems, characterization of the indoor radio propagation channel is essential. The contributions of this work are two-folds. First, in order to build a model, extensive field strength measurements are carried out inside two different buildings. Then, path loss exponents from log-distance path loss model and standard deviations from log-normal shadowing, which statistically describe the path loss models for a different transmitter receiver separations and scenarios, are determined. The purpose of this study is to characterize the indoor channel for 802.11 wireless local area networks at 2.4 GHz frequency. This thesis presents a channel model based on measurements conducted in commonly found scenarios in buildings. These scenarios include closed corridor, open corridor, classroom, and computer lab. Path loss equations are determined using log-distance path loss model and log-normal shadowing. The chi-square test statistic values for each access point are calculated to prove that the observed fading is a normal distribution at 5% significance level. Finally, the propagation models from the two buildings are compared to validate the generated equations.
Date: December 2005
Creator: Tummala, Dinesh

Propagation analysis of a 900 MHz spread spectrum centralized traffic signal control system.

Description: The objective of this research is to investigate different propagation models to determine if specified models accurately predict received signal levels for short path 900 MHz spread spectrum radio systems. The City of Denton, Texas provided data and physical facilities used in the course of this study. The literature review indicates that propagation models have not been studied specifically for short path spread spectrum radio systems. This work should provide guidelines and be a useful example for planning and implementing such radio systems. The propagation model involves the following considerations: analysis of intervening terrain, path length, and fixed system gains and losses.
Date: May 2006
Creator: Urban, Brian L.

Fracture Toughness Testing of Plastics under Various Environmental Conditions

Description: The primary objective of this study is to test the applicability to plastics of a fracture toughness testing tool developed for metals. The intent is to study pre-test conditioning of several plastic materials and the effect of the depth of the razor notch cut in the chevron notched fracture toughness test specimens. The study includes the careful preparation of samples followed by conditioning in various environments. Samples were subjected to laboratory air for a specific duration or to a controlled temperature-humidity condition as per the ASTM D1870. Some of the samples were subjected to vacuum conditioning under standard test specifications. Testing was conducted using the conventional three-point bend test as per ASTM D5045-95. ASTM E1304, which sets a standard for short rod and bar testing of metals and ceramics provides some basis for conducting chevron notched four-point bend tests to duplicate the toughness tool. Correlation of these results with the ASTM test samples is determined. The four-point bend test involves less specimen machining as well as time to perform the fracture toughness tests. This study of fracture toughness testing has potential for quality control as well as the fracture property determination.
Date: December 1997
Creator: Velpuri, Seshagirirao V.

Surface Plasmon Based Nanophotonic Optical Emitters

Description: Group- III nitride based semiconductors have emerged as the leading material for short wavelength optoelectronic devices. The InGaN alloy system forms a continuous and direct bandgap semiconductor spanning ultraviolet (UV) to blue/green wavelengths. An ideal and highly efficient light-emitting device can be designed by enhancing the spontaneous emission rate. This thesis deals with the design and fabrication of a visible light-emitting device using GaN/InGaN single quantum well (SQW) system with enhanced spontaneous emission. To increase the emission efficiency, layers of different metals, usually noble metals like silver, gold and aluminum are deposited on GaN/InGaN SQWs using metal evaporator. Surface characterization of metal-coated GaN/InGaN SQW samples was carried out using atomic force microscopy (AFM) and scanning electron microscopy (SEM). Photoluminescence is used as a tool for optical characterization to study the enhancement in the light emitting structures. This thesis also compares characteristics of different metals on GaN/InGaN SQW system thus allowing selection of the most appropriate material for a particular application. It was found out that photons from the light emitter couple more to the surface plasmons if the bandgap of former is close to the surface plasmon resonant energy of particular metal. Absorption of light due to gold reduces the effective mean path of light emitted from the light emitter and hence quenches the quantum well emission peak compared to the uncoated sample.
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Date: December 2005
Creator: Vemuri, Padma Rekha

Synthesis of cubic boron nitride thin films on silicon substrate using electron beam evaporation.

Description: Cubic boron nitride (cBN) synthesis has gained lot of interest during the past decade as it offers outstanding physical and chemical properties like high hardness, high wear resistance, and chemical inertness. Despite of their excellent properties, every application of cBN is hindered by high compressive stresses and poor adhesion. The cost of equipment is also high in almost all the techniques used so far. This thesis deals with the synthesis of cubic phase of boron nitride on Si (100) wafers using electron beam evaporator, a low cost equipment that is capable of depositing films with reduced stresses. Using this process, need of ion beam employed in ion beam assisted processes can be eliminated thus reducing the surface damage and enhancing the film adhesion. Four sets of samples have been deposited by varying substrate temperature and the deposition time. scanning electron microscopy (SEM), energy dispersive spectroscopy (EDS), X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) techniques have been used to determine the structure and composition of the films deposited. X-ray diffraction (XRD) was performed on one of the samples to determine the thickness of the film deposited for the given deposition rate. Several samples showed dendrites being formed as a stage of film formation. It was found that deposition at substrate temperature of 400oC and for a period of one hour yielded high quality cubic boron nitride films.
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Date: May 2004
Creator: Vemuri, Prasanna

Determination of the Shelf Life of Aluminum Electrolytic Capacitors.

Description: The aluminum electrolytic capacitor is used extensively in the electric utility industry. A factor limiting the storage of spare capacitors is the integrity of the aluminum oxide dielectric, which over time breaks down contributing to a shelf life currently estimated at one nuclear power electric generating station to be approximately five years. This project examined the electrical characteristics of naturally aged capacitors of several different styles to determine if design parameters were still within limits. Additionally, the effectiveness of a technique known as “Reforming” was examined to determine its impact on those characteristics.
Date: May 2002
Creator: Wynne, Edward McFaddin

Investigation of Spray Cooling Schemes for Dynamic Thermal Management

Description: This study aims to investigate variable flow and intermittent flow spray cooling characteristics for efficiency improvement in active two-phase thermal management systems. Variable flow spray cooling scheme requires control of pump input voltage (or speed), while intermittent flow spray cooling scheme requires control of solenoid valve duty cycle and frequency. Several testing scenarios representing dynamic heat load conditions are implemented to characterize the overall performance of variable flow and intermittent flow spray cooling cases in comparison with the reference, steady flow spray cooling case with constant flowrate, continuous spray cooling. Tests are conducted on a small-scale, closed loop spray cooling system featuring a pressure atomized spray nozzle. HFE-7100 dielectric liquid is selected as the working fluid. Two types of test samples are prepared on 10 mm x 10 mm x 2 mm copper substrates with matching size thick film resistors attached onto the opposite side, to generate heat and simulate high heat flux electronic devices. The test samples include: (i) plain, smooth surface, and (ii) microporous surface featuring 100 μm thick copper-based coating prepared by dual stage electroplating technique. Experimental conditions involve HFE-7100 at atmospheric pressure and 30°C and ~10°C subcooling. Steady flow spray cooling tests are conducted at flow rates of 2 - 5 ml/cm².s, by controlling the heat flux in increasing steps, and recording the corresponding steady-state temperatures to obtain cooling curves in the form of surface superheat vs. heat flux. Variable flow and intermittent flow spray cooling tests are done at selected flowrate and subcooling conditions to investigate the effects of dynamic flow conditions on maintaining the target surface temperatures defined based on reference steady flow spray cooling performance.
Date: May 2017
Creator: Yata, Vishnu Vardhan Reddy

Computer Virus Spread Containment Using Feedback Control.

Description: In this research, a security architecture based on the feedback control theory has been proposed. The first loop has been designed, developed and tested. The architecture proposes a feedback model with many controllers located at different stages of network. The controller at each stage gives feedback to the one at higher level and a decision about network security is taken. The first loop implemented in this thesis detects one important anomaly of virus attack, rate of outgoing connection. Though there are other anomalies of a virus attack, rate of outgoing connection is an important one to contain the spread. Based on the feedback model, this symptom is fed back and a state model using queuing theory is developed to delay the connections and slow down the rate of outgoing connections. Upon implementation of this model, whenever an infected machine tries to make connections at a speed not considered safe, the controller kicks in and sends those connections to a delay queue. Because of delaying connections, rate of outgoing connections decrease. Also because of delaying, many connections timeout and get dropped, reducing the spread. PID controller is implemented to decide the number of connections going to safe or suspected queue. Multiple controllers can be implemented to control the parameters like delay and timeout. Control theory analysis is performed on the system to test for stability, controllability, observability. Sensitivity analysis is done to find out the sensitivity of the controller to the delay parameter. The first loop implemented gives feedback to the architecture proposed about symptoms of an attack at the node level. A controller needs to be developed to receive information from different controllers and decision about quarantining needs to be made. This research gives the basic information needed for the controller about what is going on at individual nodes of ...
Date: December 2004
Creator: Yelimeli Guruprasad, Arun