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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)

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.

A Data Acquisition System Experiment for Gas Temperature and Pressure Measurements on a Liquid-Nitrogen-Powered Vehicle

Description: A data acquisition system was set up to measure gas temperatures and pressures at various points on a liquid-nitrogen-powered vehicle. The experiment was attempted to develop a data acquisition method for applications on engines that use liquid air as the fuel. Two thermocouples and a pressure transducer were connected using data acquisition instruments interfaced to a laptop computer to acquire data.
Date: May 1998
Creator: Lui, Samson Sze-Sang

A Computer-Based Process Control System for a Target Station in a LINAC Facility

Description: An event-driven, sequential, process control system was designed for International Isotopes, Inc., to automate and remotely control a target station at the company's linear accelerator facility. The designed system consisted of two major sections: a software program (virtual instrument), which was developed by LabVIEW, and a hardware interface (FieldPoint Modular Distributed I/O System by National Instrument), which had to be a pre-developed system that did not require customization. The designed virtual instrument was tested on a simulation model that mimed the target station. The result was a valid design.
Date: May 1999
Creator: Al-Shantaf, Abdulraouf O.

Design of a Monitoring System for a Plasma Cleaning Machine

Description: Plasma cleaning is the most effective dry process to remove surface contaminates from a SAW (Surface Acoustical Wave) device. Consistent gas pressures, flows, and good electrical connections between the chamber shelves are necessary for the process to function predictably. In addition, operation of the monitoring system must be transparent to the plasma cleaning unit. This thesis describes a simple solution to the complex problem of monitoring a plasma cleaning system. The monitoring system uses the LabVIEW® G programming language and hardware, both products of National Instruments, Inc.®, to monitor critical parameters necessary to achieve a consistent process when cleaning these devices.
Date: May 1999
Creator: Fooks, Terry M. (Terry Max)

Development of a Coaxiality Indicator

Description: The geometric dimensioning and tolerancing concept of coaxiality is often required by design engineers for balance of rotating parts and precision mating parts. In current practice, it is difficult for manufacturers to measure coaxiality quickly and inexpensively. This study examines feasibility of a manually-operated, mechanical device combined with formulae to indicate coaxiality of a test specimen. The author designs, fabricates, and tests the system for measuring coaxiality of holes machined in a steel test piece. Gage Repeatability and Reproducibility (gage R&R) and univariate analysis of variance is performed in accordance with Measurement System Analysis published by AIAG. Results indicate significant design flaws exist in the current configuration of the device; observed values vary greatly with operator technique. Suggestions for device improvements conclude the research.
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Date: December 1999
Creator: Arendsee, Wayne C.

Linearity and monotonicity of a 10-bit, 125 MHz, segmented current steering digital to analog converter

Description: The purpose of this research is to determine the linearity and monotonicity of the THS5651IDW digital to analog converter (DAC), a prototype of the future Texas Instruments TLV5651, 10-bit, 125 MHz communication DAC. Testing was conducted at the Texas Instruments facility on Forest Lane, Dallas, Texas. Texas Instruments provided test equipment, software and laboratory space to obtain test data. Analysis of the data found the DAC to be monotonic since the magnitude of the differential nonlinearity (DNL) was less than ± 1 least significant bit (LSB) and the integral nonlinearity (INL) was less than ± 0.5 LSB. The study also showed that the DAC has primarily negative DNL although the DNL is well within the desired specification.
Date: May 2000
Creator: Bittle, Charles C.

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.

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

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

A model for designing a new telecommunication system in Mongolia

Description: The objective of this research is to design, and determine the feasibility of, a telecommunication system for the city of Erdenet, Mongolia. The Mongolian Telecommunication Company, Telecommunication Company of Erdenet city, and the National Statistical Office of Mongolia provided the data required for telecommunication forecasting of Erdenet. The literature review and analysis of the telecommunication forecasting indicate the need for a model of a new Telecommunication system in Erdenet, Mongolia. The model, as indicated, should become a useful example for planning and updating the telecommunication system in Mongolia. The design of a proposed telecommunication network involves the following considerations: analyzing and forecasting telephone traffic, calculating the required number of channels, determining exchange locations, traffic matrix, and establishing a basic hierarchical structure.
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Date: May 2001
Creator: Baatarjav, Enkhbat

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

Using Motor Electrical Signature Analysis to Determine the Mechanical Condition of Vane-Axial Fans

Description: The purpose of this research was a proof of concept using a fan motor stator as transducer to monitor motor rotor and attached axial fan for mechanical motion. The proof was to determine whether bearing faults and fan imbalances could be detected in vane-axial fans using Motor Electrical Signature Analysis (MESA). The data was statistically analyzed to determine if the MESA systems could distinguish between baseline conditions and discrete fault frequencies for the three test conditions: bearing inner race defect, bearing outer race defect, and fan imbalance. The statistical conclusions for these proofs of concept were that MESA could identify all three faulted conditions.
Date: August 2002
Creator: Doan, Donald Scott

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.

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

Increasing the Dynamic Range of Audio THD Measurements Using a Novel Noise and Distortion Canceling Methodology

Description: The objective of this study was to determine how a new experimental methodology for measuring Total-Harmonic-Distortion (THD) of operational amplifiers functioned when compared with two standard methodologies, and whether the new methodology offers any improvement in noise floor and dynamic range along with distortion canceling of the sine-wave source used in the testing. The new methodology (THD) is being tested against two standard methodologies: Spectral Analysis using a tuned receiver type Spectrum Analyzer with Notch Filter pre-processing, and a digitized Fast Fourier Transform (FFT) using Notch Filter pre-processing. The THD results appear to agree across all methodologies, and across all items of the sample within all methodologies, to within a percent or less. The distortion and noise canceling feature of the new methodology appeared to function as expected and in accordance with theory. The sample tested in the study consisted of thirty-five NE5534 operational amplifiers produced by Texas Instruments, Inc. and purchased from a local store. The NE5534 is a low-noise, low-distortion, operational amplifier that is widely used in industry and is representative of today's best audio amplifiers.
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Date: May 2003
Creator: Dunipace, Richard Alan

Cost Savings Realized Through Proper Sizing of an Excessive Instrument Air System.

Description: The purpose of this research was to determine if installing a smaller air compressor could reduce the electrical usage of a large semiconductor manufacturing plant. A 200 horsepower Atlas Copco compressor was installed with the existing 500 horsepower Ingersoll-Rand compressors. Testing was conducted during the regular manufacturing process at MEMC Southwest in Sherman, Texas. Analysis of the data found that installing the new compressor could reduce electrical consumption. The study also found there are specific operational setpoints that allow the compressor to operate more efficiently.
Date: December 2003
Creator: Condron, Ewell D.

Susceptibility of a digital turbine control system to IEEE 802.11 compliant emissions.

Description: Within the nuclear industry, there have been numerous instances of radio transmissions interfering with sensitive plant equipment. Instances documented vary from minor instrument fluctuations to major plant transients including reactor trips. With the nuclear power industry moving toward digital technologies for control and reactor protection systems, concern exists regarding their potential susceptibility to contemporary wireless telecommunications technologies. This study evaluates the susceptibility of Comanche Peak's planned turbine controls upgrade to IEEE 802.11 compliant wireless radio emissions. The study includes a review of previous research, industry emissions standards, and technical overview of the various IEEE 802.11 protocols and details the testing methodology utilized to evaluate the digital control system. The results of this study concluded that the subject digital control system was unaffected by IEEE 802.11 compliant emissions even when the transmitter was in direct contact with sensitive components.
Date: December 2003
Creator: Carter, Clinton E.

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

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

Sunlight readability and luminance characteristics of light-emitting diode push button switches.

Description: Lighted push button switches and indicators serve many purposes in cockpits, shipboard applications and military ground vehicles. The quality of lighting produced by switches is vital to operators' understanding of the information displayed. Utilizing LED technology in lighted switches has challenges that can adversely affect lighting quality. Incomplete data exists to educate consumers about potential differences in LED switch performance between different manufacturers. LED switches from four different manufacturers were tested for six attributes of lighting quality: average luminance and power consumption at full voltage, sunlight readable contrast, luminance contrast under ambient sunlight, legend uniformity, and dual-color uniformity. Three of the four manufacturers have not developed LED push button switches that meet lighting quality standards established with incandescent technology.
Date: May 2004
Creator: Fitch, Robert J.

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

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

Effect of Amines as Corrosion Inhibitors for a Low Carbon Steel in Power Industry

Description: Commonly used amines in power industry, including morpholine, DBU (1,8-diazabicyclo[5.4.0]undec-7-ene), and DMA (dimethylallylamine) were evaluated for their effect on AISI 1018 steel at 250oF. Samples were exposed to an autoclave containing amine added aqueous solution at pH of 9.5 for 1, 2, 4, 6, 8, and 12 hours. Morphology studies were carried using scanning electron microscope (SEM), phase analysis was done utilizing Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), and weight loss was performed to assess kinetics of oxidation. Control samples showed the highest metal dissolution rate. DBU showed the best performance in metal protection and SEM indicated the presence of a free-crack layer formed by fine particles in that set. FTIR showed that DBU apparently favored the formation of magnetite. It is believed that fine particles impede intrusion of aggressive ions into the metal surface by forming a barrier layer. FTIR demonstrated that DMA formed more oxyhydroxides, whereas morpholine presented magnetite to hematite transformation as early as 2 hours. SEM revealed that control and DMA produced acicular particles characteristic of oxyhydroxides while morpholine and DBU presented more equiaxed particles.
Date: December 2004
Creator: Díaz, Jorge G.