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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

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

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

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

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

Compostable Soy-Based Polyurethane Foam with Kenaf Core Modifiers

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

Friction Stir Welding of High Strength Precipitation Strengthened Aluminum Alloys

Description: Rising demand for improved fuel economy and structural efficiency are the key factors for use of aluminum alloys for light weighting in aerospace industries. Precipitation strengthened 2XXX and 7XXX aluminum alloys are the key aluminum alloys used extensively in aerospace industry. Welding and joining is the critical step in manufacturing of integrated structures. Joining of precipitation strengthened aluminum alloys using conventional fusion welding techniques is difficult and rather undesirable in as it produces dendritic microstructure and porosities which can undermine the structural integrity of weldments. Friction stir welding, invented in 1991, is a solid state joining technique inherently benefitted to reduces the possibility of common defects associated with fusion based welding techniques. Weldability of various 2XXX and 7XXX aluminum alloys via friction stir welding was investigated. Microstructural and mechanical property evolution during welding and after post weld heat treatment was studied using experimental techniques such as transmission electron microscopy, differential scanning calorimetry, hardness testing, and tensile testing. Various factors such as peak welding temperature, cooling rate, external cooling methods (thermal management) which affects the strength of the weldment were studied. Post weld heat treatment of AL-Mg-Li alloy produced joint as strong as the parent material. Modified post weld heat treatment in case of welding of Al-Zn-Mg alloy also resulted in near 100% joint efficiency whereas the maximum weld strength achieved in case of welds of Al-Cu-Li alloys was around 80-85% of parent material strength. Low dislocation density and high nucleation barrier for the precipitates was observed to be responsible for relatively low strength recovery in Al-Cu-Li alloys as compared to Al-Mg-Li and Al-Zn-Mg alloys.
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Date: August 2016
Creator: Sidhar, Harpreet

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

In Vitro Behavior of AZ31B Mg-Hydroxyapatite Metallic Matrix Composite Surface Fabricated via Friction Stir Processing

Description: Magnesium and its alloys have been considered for load-bearing implant materials due to their similar mechanical properties to the natural bone, excellent biocompatibility, good bioactivity, and biodegradation. Nevertheless, the uncontrollable corrosion rate in biological environment restrains their application. Hydroxyapatite (HA, Ca10(PO4)6(OH)2) is a widely used bio-ceramic which has bone-like mineral structure for bone fixation. Poor fracture toughness of HA makes it not suitable for load-bearing application as a bulk. Thus, HA is introduced into metallic surface in various forms for improving biocompatibility. Recently friction stir processing (FSP) has emerged as a surface modification tool for surface/substrate grain refinement and homogenization of microstructure in biomaterial. In the pressent efforts, Mg-nHA composite surface on with 5-20 wt% HA on Mg substrate were fabricated by FSP for biodegradation and bioactivity study. The results of electrochemical measurement indicated that lower amount (~5% wt%) of Ca in Mg matrix can enhance surface localized corrosion resistance. The effects of microstructure,the presence of HA particle and Mg-Ca intermetallic phase precipitates on in vitro behavior of Mg alloy were investigated by TEM, SEM, EDX,XRD ,and XPS. The detailed observations will be discussed during presentation.
Date: August 2016
Creator: Ho, Yee Hsien

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

Improving the Long-term Performance of PVC Compositions

Description: PVC are extensively applied in many fields, such as cables, pipes, vehicles, shoes, toys and infusion bags. Generally, plasticizers are blended with PVC to improve the ability of process in industrial production; however, the toxic plasticizers will gradually migrate to the surface of products and such a leakage results in brittleness of plasticized PVC and environmental pollution. In other words, humans are frequently exposed to the potential risks. According to previous researches, cross-linked PVC was proved that it was able to hinder the migration of plasticizer. Thus, in this research, we selected some commercially used cross-linking agents and employed six different tests based on mechanical, tribological and microscopy analysis in order to seek the best solution against plasticizer migration. Thus, we expected to develop a cross-linked flexible PVC which performed improved long-term performance and extended lifetime.
Date: December 2016
Creator: Yang, Yu Chia

Sliding Friction and Wear Behavior of High Entropy Alloys at Room and Elevated Temperatures

Description: Structure-tribological property relations have been studied for five high entropy alloys (HEAs). Microhardness, room and elevated (100°C and 300°C) temperature sliding friction coefficients and wear rates were determined for five HEAs: Co0.5 Cr Cu0.5 Fe Ni1.5 Al Ti0.4; Co Cr Fe Ni Al0.25 Ti0.75; Ti V Nb Cr Al; Al0.3CoCrFeNi; and Al0.3CuCrFeNi2. Wear surfaces were characterized with scanning electron microscopy and micro-Raman spectroscopy to determine the wear mechanisms and tribochemical phases, respectively. It was determined that the two HEAs Co0.5 Cr Cu0.5 Fe Ni1.5 Al Ti0.4 and Ti V Nb Cr Al exhibit an excellent balance of high hardness, low friction coefficients and wear rates compared to 440C stainless steel, a currently used bearing steel. This was attributed to their more ductile body centered cubic (BCC) solid solution phase along with the formation of tribochemical Cr oxide and Nb oxide phases, respectively, in the wear surfaces. This study provides guidelines for fabricating novel, low-friction, and wear-resistant HEAs for potential use at room and elevated temperatures, which will help reduce energy and material losses in friction and wear applications.
Date: December 2016
Creator: Kadhim, Dheyaa