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A Data Acquisition System Experiment for Gas Temperature and Pressure Measurements on a Liquid-Nitrogen-Powered Vehicle
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.
Design of a Monitoring System for a Plasma Cleaning Machine
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.
Development of a Coaxiality Indicator
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.
Computer Virus Spread Containment Using Feedback Control.
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 ...
Design and Validation of an Automated Multiunit Composting System.
This thesis covers the design of an automated multiunit composting system (AMUCS) that was constructed to meet the experimental apparatus requirements of the ASTM D5338 standard. The design of the AMUCS is discussed in full detail and validated with two experiments. The first experiment was used to validate the operation of the AMUCS with a 15 day experiment. During this experiment visual observations were made to visually observe degradation. Thermal properties and stability tests were performed to quantify the effects of degradation on the polymer samples, and the carbon metabolized from the degradation of samples was measured. The second experiment used the AMUCS to determine the effect of synthetic clay nanofiller on the aerobic biodegradability behavior of poly (3-hydroxybutyrate-co-3-hydroxyvalerate).
Determination of the Shelf Life of Aluminum Electrolytic Capacitors.
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.
Cost Savings Realized Through Proper Sizing of an Excessive Instrument Air System.
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.
Effects of Minimum Quantity Lubrication in Drilling 1018 Steel.
A common goal for industrial manufacturers is to create a safer working environment and reduce production costs. One common method to achieve this goal is to drastically reduce cutting fluid use in machining. Recent advances in machining technologies have made it possible to perform machining with minimum-quantity lubrication (MQL). Drilling takes a key position in the realization of MQL machining. In this study the effects of using MQL in drilling AISI 1018 steel with HSS tools using a vegetable based lubricant were investigated. A full factorial experiment was conducted and regression models were generated for both surface finish and hole size. Lower surface roughness and higher tool life were observed in the lowest speed and feed rate combination.
Knowledge Based System and Decision Making Methodologies in Materials Selection for Aircraft Cabin Metallic Structures
Materials selection processes have been the most important aspects in product design and development. Knowledge-based system (KBS) and some of the methodologies used in the materials selection for the design of aircraft cabin metallic structures are discussed. Overall aircraft weight reduction means substantially less fuel consumption. Part of the solution to this problem is to find a way to reduce overall weight of metallic structures inside the cabin. Among various methodologies of materials selection using Multi Criterion Decision Making (MCDM) techniques, a few of them are demonstrated with examples and the results are compared with those obtained using Ashby's approach in materials selection. Pre-defined constraint values, mainly mechanical properties, are employed as relevant attributes in the process. Aluminum alloys with high strength-to-weight ratio have been second-to-none in most of the aircraft parts manufacturing. Magnesium alloys that are much lighter in weight as alternatives to the Al-alloys currently in use in the structures are tested using the methodologies and ranked results are compared. Each material attribute considered in the design are categorized as benefit and non-benefit attribute. Using Ashby's approach, material indices that are required to be maximized for an optimum performance are determined, and materials are ranked based on the average of consolidated indices ranking. Ranking results are compared for any disparity among the methodologies.
Effects of a Surface Engineered Metallic Coating on Elastomeric Valve Stem Seal Leakage
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.
Effect of Engineered Surfaces on Valve Performance
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.
Hardware and Software Codesign of a JPEG2000 Watermarking Encoder
Analog technology has been around for a long time. The use of analog technology is necessary since we live in an analog world. However, the transmission and storage of analog technology is more complicated and in many cases less efficient than digital technology. Digital technology, on the other hand, provides fast means to be transmitted and stored. Digital technology continues to grow and it is more widely used than ever before. However, with the advent of new technology that can reproduce digital documents or images with unprecedented accuracy, it poses a risk to the intellectual rights of many artists and also on personal security. One way to protect intellectual rights of digital works is by embedding watermarks in them. The watermarks can be visible or invisible depending on the application and the final objective of the intellectual work. This thesis deals with watermarking images in the discrete wavelet transform domain. The watermarking process was done using the JPEG2000 compression standard as a platform. The hardware implementation was achieved using the ALTERA DSP Builder and SIMULINK software to program the DE2 ALTERA FPGA board. The JPEG2000 color transform and the wavelet transformation blocks were implemented using the hardware-in-the-loop (HIL) configuration.
A Computer-Based Process Control System for a Target Station in a LINAC Facility
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.
Two-Phase Spray Cooling with Water/2-Propanol Binary Mixtures for High Heat Flux Focal Source
Two-phase spray cooling has been an emerging thermal management technique offering high heat transfer coefficients and critical heat flux levels, near-uniform surface temperatures, and efficient coolant usage that enables to design of compact and lightweight systems. Due to these capabilities, spray cooling is a promising approach for high heat flux applications in computing, power electronics, and optics. Two-phase spray cooling inherently depends on saturation temperature-pressure relationships of the working fluid to take advantage of high heat transfer rates associated with liquid-vapor phase change. When a certain application requires strict temperature and/or pressure conditions, thermo-physical properties of the working fluid play a critical role in attaining proper efficiency, reliability, or packaging structure. However, some of the commonly used single-component working fluids have relatively poor properties and heat transfer performance. For example, water is the best coolant in terms of properties, yet in certain applications where the system operates at low temperature ambient, it cannot be implemented due to freezing risk. The common solution for this problem is to use the antifreeze mixtures (binary mixtures of water and alcohol) to reduce the freezing point. In such cases, utilizing binary mixtures to tune working fluid properties becomes an alternative approach. This study has two main objectives; (1) to experimentally investigate the two-phase spray cooling performance of water/2-propanol binary mixture, and (2) to numerically investigate the performance of an advanced heat spreader featuring high and directional thermal conductivity materials for high heat flux focal sources. The first part of the study involves experimental characterization of heat transfer performance. Tests are conducted on a small-scale, closed loop spray cooling system featuring a pressure atomized spray nozzle. The test section, made of copper, measures 10 mm x 10 mm x 2 mm with a plain, smooth surface. A cylindrical copper block, with a matching size square ...
Innovative Cold-Formed Steel Shear Walls with Corrugated Steel Sheathing
This thesis presents two major sections with the objective of introducing a new cold-formed steel (CFS) shear wall system with corrugated steel sheathings. The work shown herein includes the development of an optimal shear wall system as well as an optimal slit configuration for the CFS corrugated sheathings which result in a CFS shear wall with high ductility, high strength, high stiffness and overall high performance. The conclusion is based on the results of 36 full-scale shear wall tests performed in the structural laboratory of the University of North Texas. A variety of shear walls were the subject of this research to make further discussions and conclusions based on different sheathing materials, slit configurations, wall configurations, sheathing connection methods, wall dimensions, shear wall member thicknesses, and etc. The walls were subject to cyclic (CUREE protocol) lateral loading to study their deformations and structural performances. The optimal sit configuration for CFS shear walls with corrugated steel sheathings was found to be 12×2 in. vertical slits in 6 rows. The failure mode observed in this shear wall system was the connection failure between the sheathing and the framing members. Also, most of the shear walls tested displayed local buckling of the chord framing members located above the hold-down locations. The second section includes details of developing a Finite Element Model (FEM) in ABAQUS software to analyze the lateral response of the new shear wall systems. Different modeling techniques were used to define each element of the CFS shear wall and are reported herein. Material properties from coupon test results are applied. Connection tests are performed to define pinching paths to model fasteners with hysteretic user-defined elements. Element interactions, boundary conditions and loading applications are consistent with full scale tests. CFS members and corrugated sheathings are modeled with shell elements, sheathing-to-frame fasteners are ...
Spray Cooling with HFC-134a and HFO-1234yf for Thermal Management of Automotive Power Electronics
This study aims to experimentally investigate the spray cooling characteristics for active two-phase cooling of automotive power electronics. Tests are conducted on a small-scale, closed loop spray cooling system featuring a pressure atomized spray nozzle. Two types of refrigerants, HFC-134a (R-134a) and HFO-1234yf, are selected as the working fluids. The test section (heater), made out of oxygen-free copper, has a 1-cm2 plain, smooth surface prepared following a consistent procedure, and would serve as a baseline case. Matching size thick film resistors, attached onto the copper heaters, generate heat and simulate high heat flux power electronics devices. The tests are conducted by controlling the heat flux in increasing steps, and recording the corresponding steady-state temperatures to obtain cooling curves. The working fluid is kept at room temperature level (22oC). Performance comparisons are made based on heat transfer coefficient (HTC) and critical heat flux (CHF) values. Effects of spray characteristics and liquid flow rates on the cooling performance are investigated with the selected coolants. Three types of commercially available nozzles that generate full-cone sprays with fine droplets are utilized in the tests. Effect of liquid flow rate is evaluated varying flow rates at 2, 3, 4 ml/s. The experimental results obtained from this study provide a framework for spray cooling performance with the current and next-generation refrigerants aimed for advanced thermal management of automotive power electronics.
Electrical resistivity as a measure of change of state in substrates: Design, development and validation of a microprocessor-based system.
Smart structures are relevant and significant because of their relevance to phenomena such as hazard mitigation, structural health monitoring and energy saving. Electrical resistance could potentially serve as an indicator of structural well-being or damage in the structure. To this end, the development of a microprocessor-based automated resistance measurement system with customized GUI is desired. In this research, a nodal electrical resistance acquisition circuit (NERAC) system was designed. The system hardware interfaces to a laptop, which houses a customized GUI developed using DAQFactory software. Resistance/impedance was measured using DC/AC methods with four-point probes technique, on three substrates. Baseline reading before damage was noted and compared with the resistance measured after damage. The device was calibrated and validated on three different substrates. Resistance measurements were taken from PVDF samples, composite panels and smart concrete. Results conformed to previous work done on these substrates, validating the effective working of the NERAC device.
Dynamic Behaviors of Historical Wrought Iron Truss Bridges – a Field Testing Case Study
Civil infrastructure throughout the world serves as main arteries for commerce and transportation, commonly forming the backbone of many societies. Bridges have been and remain a crucial part of the success of these civil networks. However, the crucial elements have been built over centuries and have been subject to generations of use. Many current bridges have outlived their intended service life or have been retrofitted to carry additional loads over their original design. A large number of these historic bridges are still in everyday use and their condition needs to be monitored for public safety. Transportation infrastructure authorities have implemented various inspection and management programs throughout the world, mainly visual inspections. However, careful visual inspections can provide valuable information but it has limitations in that it provides no actual stress-strain information to determine structural soundness. Structural Health Monitoring (SHM) has been a growing area of research as officials need to asses and triage the aging infrastructure with methods that provide measurable response information to determine the health of the structure. A rapid improvement in technology has allowed researchers to start using new sensors and algorithms to understand the structural parameters of tested structures due to known and unknown loading scenarios. One of the most promising methods involves the use of wireless sensor nodes to measure structural responses to loads in real time. The structural responses can be processed to help understand the modal parameters, determine the health of the structure, and potentially identify damage. For example, modal parameters of structures are typically used when designing the lateral system of a structure. A better understanding of these parameters can lead to better and more efficient designs. Usually engineers rely on a finite element analysis to identify these parameters. By observing the actual parameters displayed during field testing, the theoretical FE models ...
Comparative Analysis and Implementation of High Data Rate Wireless Sensor Network Simulation Frameworks
This thesis focuses on developing a high data rate wireless sensor network framework that could be integrated with hardware prototypes to monitor structural health of buildings. In order to better understand the wireless sensor network architecture and its consideration in structural health monitoring, a detailed literature review on wireless sensor networks has been carried out. Through research, it was found that there are numerous simulation software packages available for wireless sensor network simulation. One suitable software was selected for modelling the framework. Research showed that Matlab/Simulink was the most suitable environment, and as a result, a wireless sensor network framework was designed in Matlab/Simulink. Further, the thesis illustrates modeling of a simple accelerometer sensor, such as those used in wireless sensor networks in Matlab/Simulink using a mathematical description. Finally, the framework operation is demonstrated with 10 nodes, and data integrity is analyzed with cyclic redundancy check and transmission error rate calculations.
Impact of Green Design and Technology on Building Environment
Currently, the public has a strong sense of the need for environment protection and the use of sustainable, or “green,” design in buildings and other civil structures. Since green design elements and technologies are different from traditional design, they probably have impacts on the building environment, such as vibration, lighting, noise, temperature, relative humidity, and overall comfort. Determining these impacts of green design on building environments is the primary objective of this study. The Zero Energy Research (ZOE) laboratory, located at the University of North Texas Discovery Park, is analyzed as a case study. Because the ZOE lab is a building that combines various green design elements and energy efficient technologies, such as solar panels, a geothermal heating system, and wind turbines, it provides an ideal case to study. Through field measurements and a questionnaire survey of regular occupants of the ZOE lab, this thesis analyzed and reported: 1) whether green design elements changed the building’s ability to meet common building environmental standards, 2) whether green design elements assisted in Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) scoring, and 3) whether green design elements decreased the subjective comfort level of the occupants.
Guidelines for Greening (Renovation) of Existing Homes
This Thesis is aimed at evaluating the options of renovation for an existing residential building to make it more energy efficient. The various aspects in the basic structures of residential homes are discussed in order to help the user identify the areas of the house for which renovation is required to improve the energy efficiency of the building. These aspects include doors, roof and wall in addition to various systems of electrical wiring, mechanical systems of ventilation, heating and cooling and plumbing systems for the efficient flow of water throughout the house. The renovation options have been described in detail to provide as many possibilities to the user as possible. The building taken for renovation is a 1953 suburban home which has been awarded the honor of being the first building to be labeled as Zero Energy Home in its vicinity. This has made the home so efficient that its expenditure of energy has become equivalent to its energy generation, therefore, cancelling each other out and creating an estimate of zero energy.
Using Motor Electrical Signature Analysis to Determine the Mechanical Condition of Vane-Axial Fans
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.
A model for designing a new telecommunication system in Mongolia
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.
Laser Cutting Machine: Justification of initial costs
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.
Increasing the Dynamic Range of Audio THD Measurements Using a Novel Noise and Distortion Canceling Methodology
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.
Effect of Polyphosphoric Acid on Aging Characteristics of PG 64-22 Asphalt Binder
This research presents the results on an experimental investigation to identify the effect of polyphosphoric acid (PPA) on aging characteristics of an asphalt binder. Addition of PPA to asphalt binders is said to improve performance of flexible pavements. Asphalt binder PG 64-22 in modified and unmodified conditions was subjected to aging in the laboratory using a regular oven and also simulated short term aging using rolling thin film oven (RTFO) test. Aging experiments were conducted to analyze the extent of oxidation in terms of changes in molecular structure of the asphalt binder. These changes were appraised using Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy, dynamic shear rheometer (DSR), and epifluorescence microscopy tests. FTIR was used to determine the changes in major bands with addition of PPA. Stiffness and viscoelastic behaviors of asphalts were determined from the DSR test. The stiffness is measured by calculating the shear modulus, G* and the viscoelastic behavior is measured by calculating the phase angle, sin δ. Epifluorescence microscopy is a tool used to study properties of organic or inorganic substances. The morphological characteristics of PPA modified asphalt samples were observed through epifluorescence microscopy. Epifluorescence microscopy reveals the polymer phase distribution in the asphalt binders. Results of this investigation show PPA addition to asphalt binders improve G*/sin δ characteristics of asphalt binders. In addition, presence of PPA in polymer containing asphalt did not adversely affect aging of the binders.
Factors influencing horizontal cracking in continuously reinforced concrete pavements (CRCP).
This research presents the results on an experimental investigation to identify the significant factors influencing horizontal cracking in continuously reinforced concrete pavements (CRCP). An in-depth analysis of the microstructure, morphological characteristics of the interfacial transition zone (ITZ) and the observation of cracking using the environmental scanning electron microscope (ESEM) was done. Characterization of oxides using Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) and electron dispersive x-ray spectroscopy (EDS) was also performed. Water to cement ratio (w/c) and rebar temperature had a significant influence on the rebar-concrete bond strength. The 28-day shear strength measurements showed an increase in rebar-concrete bond strength as the water to cement ratio (w/c) was reduced from 0.50 to 0.40. There was a reduction in the peak pullout load as the temperature increased from 14oF to 252oF for the corroded and non-corroded rebar experiments. The corroded rebar pullout test results showed a 20-50 % reduction in bond strength compared to the non-corroded rebars. FTIR measurements indicated a presence of lepidocrocrite (γ -FeOOH) and maghemite (γ -Fe2O3) on the ITZ. ESEM images showed the existence of microcracks as early as three days after casting with the bridging of these cracks between coarse aggregate locations in the interfacial zone propagating through the mortar.
Flow Accelerated Corrosion Experience at Comanche Peak Steam Electric Station
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.
Liquid Nitrogen Propulsion Systems for Automotive Applications: Calculation of Mechanical Efficiency of a Dual, Double-acting Piston Propulsion System
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.
Fracture Toughness Testing of Plastics under Various Environmental Conditions
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.
Development of a Simplified Fracture Toughness Tool for Polymers
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.
Effect of Amines as Corrosion Inhibitors for a Low Carbon Steel in Power Industry
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.
Investigation of the feasibility of non-invasive carbon dioxide detection using spectroscopy in the visible spectrum.
Pulse oximeters are used in operating rooms and recovery rooms as a monitoring device for oxygen in the respiratory system of the patient. The advantage of pulse oximeters over other methods of oxygen monitoring is that they are easy to use and they are non-invasive, which means it is not necessary break the skin to extract blood for information to be obtained. The standard for the measurement of partial pressure of CO2 and O2 is an arterial blood gas analysis (ABG). However routine monitoring using this method on a continuous basis is impractical since it is slow, painful and invasive. Measuring carbon dioxide is critical to preventing ailments such as carbon dioxide poisoning or hypoxia. The problem is, currently there is no known effective non-invasive method for accurately measuring carbon dioxide in the body to properly assess the adequacy of ventilation. The objective of this study was to experimentally use spectroscopy in the visible spectrum and the principles of operation of a pulse oximeter to incorporate a method of non-invasive real-time carbon dioxide monitoring that is as quick and easy to use.
Radio frequency propagation differences through various transmissive materials.
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.
Linearity and monotonicity of a 10-bit, 125 MHz, segmented current steering digital to analog converter
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.
Evaluation of dynamic and static electrical characteristics for the DY8 and YI8 process gallium diodes in comparison to the DI8 process boron diodes.
A rectifier is an electrical device, comprising one or more semiconductor devices arranged for converting alternating current to direct current by blocking the negative or positive portion of the waveform. The purpose of this study would be to evaluate dynamic and static electrical characteristics of rectifier chips fabricated with (a) DY8 process and (b) YI8 process and compare them with the existing DI8 process rectifiers. These new rectifiers were tested to compare their performance to meet or exceed requirements of lower forward voltages, leakage currents, reverse recovery time, and greater sustainability at higher temperatures compared to diodes manufactured using boron as base (DI8 process diodes) for similar input variables.
Cold-Formed Steel Bolted Connections without Washers on Oversized and Slotted Holes
The use of the cold-formed steel sheet bolted connections without washers is so significant; however, the North American Specifications for the Design of Cold Formed Steel Structural Members, NASPEC, doesn't provide provisions for such connections. The bearing failure of sheet and the shear failure of sheet were considered in this study. For the sheet shear strength, it was found that the NASPEC (2007) design provisions can be used for oversized holes in both single and double shear configurations and for the double shear connections on short slotted holes. For the sheet bearing strength, a new design method was proposed to be used for low and high ductile steel sheets. The method was compared with the NASPEC and the University of Waterloo approach. Washers were still required for single shear connections on short slotted holes. Besides, connections using ASTM A325 bolts yielded higher bearing strength than connections using ASTM A307 bolts.
Design of Power Amplifier Test Signals with a User-Defined Multisine
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.
Recommended Modified zone Method Correction Factor for Determining R-values of Cold-Formed Steel Wall Assemblies
Currently, ASHRAE has determined the zone method and modified zone method are appropriate calculation methods for materials with a high difference in conductivity, such as cold-formed steel (CFS) walls. Because there is currently no standard U-Factor calculation method for CFS walls, designers and code officials alike tend to resort to the zone method. However, the zone method is restricted to larger span assemblies because the zone factor coefficient is 2.0. This tends to overestimate the amount of surface area influenced by CFS. The modified zone method is restricted to C-shaped stud, clear wall assemblies with framing factors between 9 and 15%. The objective of the research is to narrow the gap of knowledge by re-examining the modified zone method in order to more accurately determine R-Values and U-Factors for CFS wall assemblies with whole wall framing factor percentages of 22% and above.
FPGA Prototyping of a Watermarking Algorithm for MPEG-4
In the immediate future, multimedia product distribution through the Internet will become main stream. However, it can also have the side effect of unauthorized duplication and distribution of multimedia products. That effect could be a critical challenge to the legal ownership of copyright and intellectual property. Many schemes have been proposed to address these issues; one is digital watermarking which is appropriate for image and video copyright protection. Videos distributed via the Internet must be processed by compression for low bit rate, due to bandwidth limitations. The most widely adapted video compression standard is MPEG-4. Discrete cosine transform (DCT) domain watermarking is a secure algorithm which could survive video compression procedures and, most importantly, attacks attempting to remove the watermark, with a visibly degraded video quality result after the watermark attacks. For a commercial broadcasting video system, real-time response is always required. For this reason, an FPGA hardware implementation is studied in this work. This thesis deals with video compression, watermarking algorithms and their hardware implementation with FPGAs. A prototyping VLSI architecture will implement video compression and watermarking algorithms with the FPGA. The prototype is evaluated with video and watermarking quality metrics. Finally, it is seen that the video qualities of the watermarking at the uncompressed vs. the compressed domain are only 1dB of PSNR lower. However, the cost of compressed domain watermarking is the complexity of drift compensation for canceling the drifting effect.
Preliminary design of a cryogenic thermoelectric generator.
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.
Effects of Thickness and Indenter Tip Geometry in Nanoindentation of Nickel Films
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.
Susceptibility of a digital turbine control system to IEEE 802.11 compliant emissions.
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.
Sunlight readability and luminance characteristics of light-emitting diode push button switches.
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.
Micro-fabrication of a Mach-Zehnder interferometer combining laser direct writing and fountain pen micropatterning for chemical/biological sensing applications.
This research lays the foundation of a highly simplified maskless micro-fabrication technique which involves incorporation of laser direct writing technique combined with fountain pen based micro-patterning method to fabricate polymer-based Mach-Zehnder interferometer sensor arrays' prototype for chemical/biological sensing applications. The research provides methodology that focuses on maskless technology, allowing the definition and modification of geometric patterns through the programming of computer software, in contrast to the conventional mask-based photolithographic approach, in which a photomask must be produced before the device is fabricated. The finished waveguide sensors are evaluated on the basis of their performance as general interferometers. The waveguide developed using the fountain pen-based micro-patterning system is compared with the waveguide developed using the current technique of spin coating method for patterning of upper cladding of the waveguide. The resulting output power profile of the waveguides is generated to confirm their functionality as general interferometers. The results obtained are used to confirm the functionality of the simplified micro-fabrication technique for fabricating integrated optical polymer-based sensors and sensor arrays for chemical/biological sensing applications.
A Verilog 8051 Soft Core for FPGA Applications
The objective of this thesis was to develop an 8051 microcontroller soft core in the Verilog hardware description language (HDL). Each functional unit of the 8051 microcontroller was developed as a separate module, and tested for functionality using the open-source VHDL Dalton model as benchmark. These modules were then integrated to operate as concurrent processes in the 8051 soft core. The Verilog 8051 soft core was then synthesized in Quartus® II simulation and synthesis environment (Altera Corp., San Jose, CA, www.altera.com) and yielded the expected behavioral response to test programs written in 8051 assembler residing in the v8051 ROM. The design can operate at speeds up to 41 MHz and used only 16% of the FPGA fabric, thus allowing complex systems to be designed on a single chip. Further research and development can be performed on v8051 to enhance performance and functionality.
Effects of Rebar Temperature and Water to Cement Ratio on Rebar-Concrete Bond Strength of Concrete Containing Fly Ash
This research presents the results on an experimental investigation to identify the effects of rebar temperature, fly ash and water to cement ratio on concrete porosity in continuously reinforced concrete pavements (CRCP). Samples were cast and analyzed using pullout tests. Water to cement ratio (w/c) and rebar temperature had a significant influence on the rebar-concrete bond strength. The 28-day shear strength measurements showed an increase in rebar-concrete bond strength as the water to cement ratio (w/c) was reduced from 0.50 to 0.40 for both fly ash containing and non fly ash control samples. There was a reduction in the peak pullout load as the rebar surface temperature increased from 77o F to 150o F for the cast samples. A heated rebar experiment was performed simulating a rebar exposed to hot summer days and the rebar cooling curves were plotted for the rebar temperatures of 180o F - 120o F. Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy was performed to show the moisture content of cement samples at the rebar-concrete interface. Mercury intrusion porosimetry test results on one batch of samples were used for pore size distribution analysis. An in-depth analysis of the morphological characteristics of the rebar-concrete interface and the observation of pores using the scanning electron microscope (SEM) was done.
Development of a Hybrid Molecular Ultraviolet Photodetector based on Guanosine Derivatives
Modern studies on charge transfer reaction and conductivity measurements of DNA have shown that the electrical behavior of DNA ranges from that of an insulator to that of a wide bandgap semiconductor. Based on this property of DNA, a metal-semiconductor-metal photodetector is fabricated using a self-assembled layer of deoxyguanosine derivative (DNA base) deposited between gold electrodes. The electrodes are lithographically designed on a GaN substrate separated by a distance L (50nm < L < 100nm). This work examines the electrical and optical properties of such wide-bandgap semiconductor based biomaterial systems for their potential application as photodetectors in the UV region wherein most of the biological agents emit. The objective of this study was to develop a biomolecular electronic device and design an experimental setup for electrical and optical characterization of a novel hybrid molecular optoelectronic material system. AFM results proved the usage of Ga-Polar substrate in conjugation with DG molecules to be used as a potential electronic based sensor. A two-terminal nanoscale biomolectronic diode has been fabricated showing efficient rectification ratio. A nanoscale integrated ultraviolet photodetector (of dimensions less than 100 nm) has been fabricated with a cut-off wavelength at ~ 320 nm.
Surface Plasmon Based Nanophotonic Optical Emitters
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.
Synthesis of cubic boron nitride thin films on silicon substrate using electron beam evaporation.
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.