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Investigations in the Mechanism of Carbothermal Reduction of Yttria Stabilized Zirconia for Ultra-high Temperature Ceramics Application and Its Influence on Yttria Contained in It

Description: Zirconium carbide (ZrC) is a high modulus ceramic with an ultra-high melting temperature and, consequently, is capable of withstanding extreme environments. Carbon-carbon composites (CCCs) are important structural materials in future hypersonic aircraft; however, these materials may be susceptible to degradation when exposed to elevated temperatures during extreme velocities. At speeds of exceeding Mach 5, intense heating of leading edges of the aircraft triggers rapid oxidation of carbon in CCCs resulting in degradation of the structure and probable failure. Environmental/thermal barrier coatings (EBC/TBC) are employed to protect airfoil structures from extreme conditions. Yttria stabilized zirconia (YSZ) is a well-known EBC/TBC material currently used to protect metallic turbine blades and other aerospace structures. In this work, 3 mol% YSZ has been studied as a potential EBC/TBC on CCCs. However, YSZ is an oxygen conductor and may not sufficiently slow the oxidation of the underlying CCC. Under appropriate conditions, ZrC can form at the interface between CCC and YSZ. Because ZrC is a poor oxygen ion conductor in addition to its stability at high temperatures, it can reduce the oxygen transport to the CCC and thus increase the service lifetime of the structure. This dissertation investigates the thermodynamics and kinetics of the YSZ/ZrC/CCC system and the resulting structural changes across multiple size scales. A series of experiments were conducted to understand the mechanisms and species involved in the carbothermal reduction of ZrO2 to form ZrC. 3 mol% YSZ and graphite powders were uniaxially pressed into pellets and reacted in a graphite (C) furnace. Rietveld x-ray diffraction phase quantification determined that greater fractions of ZrC were formed when carbon was the majority mobile species. These results were validated by modeling the process thermochemically and were confirmed with additional experiments. Measurements were conducted to examine the effect of carbothermal reduction on the bond lengths in ...
Date: May 2014
Creator: Sondhi, Anchal
Partner: UNT Libraries

A Study of Power Generation From a Low-cost Hydrokinetic Energy System

Description: The kinetic energy in river streams, tidal currents, or other artificial water channels has been used as a feasible source of renewable power through different conversion systems. Thus, hydrokinetic energy conversion systems are attracting worldwide interest as another form of distributed alternative energy. Because these systems are still in early stages of development, the basic approaches need significant research. The main challenges are not only to have efficient systems, but also to convert energy more economically so that the cost-benefit analysis drives the growth of this alternative energy form. One way to view this analysis is in terms of the energy conversion efficiency per unit cost. This study presents a detailed assessment of a prototype hydrokinetic energy system along with power output costs. This experimental study was performed using commercial low-cost blades of 20 in diameter inside a tank with water flow speed up to 1.3 m/s. The work was divided into two stages: (a) a fixed-pitch blade configuration, using a radial permanent magnet generator (PMG), and (b) the same hydrokinetic turbine, with a variable-pitch blade and an axial-flux PMG. The results indicate that even though the efficiency of a simple blade configuration is not high, the power coefficient is in the range of other, more complicated designs/prototypes. Additionally, the low manufacturing and operation costs of this system offer an option for low-cost distributed power applications.
Date: August 2013
Creator: Davila Vilchis, Juana Mariel
Partner: UNT Libraries

Laser Surface Treatment of Amorphous Metals

Description: Amorphous materials are used as soft magnetic materials and also as surface coatings to improve the surface properties. Furthermore, the nanocrystalline materials derived from their amorphous precursors show superior soft magnetic properties than amorphous counter parts for transformer core applications. In the present work, laser based processing of amorphous materials will be presented. Conventionally, the nanocrystalline materials are synthesized by furnace heat treatment of amorphous precursors. Fe-based amorphous/nanocrystalline materials due to their low cost and superior magnetic properties are the most widely used soft magnetic materials. However, achieving nanocrystalline microstructure in Fe-Si-B ternary system becomes very difficult owing its rapid growth rate at higher temperatures and sluggish diffusion at low temperature annealing. Hence, nanocrystallization in this system is achieved by using alloying additions (Cu and Nb) in the ternary Fe-Si-B system. Thus, increasing the cost and also resulting in reduction of saturation magnetization. laser processing technique is used to achieve extremely fine nanocrystalline microstructure in Fe-Si-B amorphous precursor. Microstructure-magnetic Property-laser processing co-relationship has been established for Fe-Si-B ternary system using analytical techniques. Laser processing improved the magnetic properties with significant increase in saturation magnetization and near zero coercivity values. Amorphous materials exhibit excellent corrosion resistance by virtue of their atomic structure. Fe-based amorphous materials are economical and due to their ease of processing are of potential interest to synthesize as coatings materials for wear and corrosion resistance applications. Fe-Cr-Mo-Y-C-B amorphous system was used to develop thick coatings on 4130 Steel substrate and the corrosion resistance of the amorphous coatings was improved. It is also shown that the mode of corrosion depends on the laser processing conditions. The microstructure evolution and the corrosion mechanisms operating are evaluated using post processing and post corrosion analysis.
Date: May 2014
Creator: Katakam, Shravana K.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Synthesis and Characterization of Crystalline Assemblies of Functionalized Hydrogel Nanoparticles

Description: Two series monodispersed nanoparticles of hydroxylpropyl cellulose (HPC) and functionalized poly-N-isopropylamide (PNIPAM) particles have been synthesized and used as building blocks for creating three-dimensional networks, with two levels of structural hierarchy. The first level is HPC nanoparticles were made from methacrylated or degradable cross-linker attached HPC. These nanoparticles could be stabilized at room temperature by residual methacrylate or degradable groups are present both within and on the exterior of HPC nanoparticles. Controlled release studies have been performed on the particle and networks .The nearly monodispersed nanoparticles have been synthesized on the basis of a natural polymer of hydropropylcellulose (HPC) with a high molecular weight using the precipitation polymerization method and self-assembly of these particles in water results in bright colors. The HPC nanoparticles can be potential using as crosslinkers to increase the hydrogels mechanical properties, such as high transparency and rapid swelling/de-swelling kinetics. The central idea is to prepare colloidal particles containing C=C bonds and to use them as monomers - vinylparticles, to form stable particle assemblies with various architectures. This is accomplished by mixing an aqueous suspension of hydrogel nanoparticles (PNIPAM-co-allylamine) with the organic solvent (dichloromethane) to grow columnar crystals. The hydrogels with such a unique crystal structure behavior not only like the hydrogel opals, but also have a unique property: anisotropy.
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Date: December 2005
Creator: Cai, Tong
Partner: UNT Libraries

Surface Modifications to Enhance the Wear Resistance and the Osseo-integration Properties of Biomedical Ti-alloy

Description: The current study focuses on improving the wear resistance of femoral head component and enhancing the osseo-integration properties of femoral stem component of a hip implant made of a new generation low modulus alloy, Ti-35Nb-7Zr-5Ta or TNZT. Different techniques that were adopted to improve the wear resistance of low-modulus TNZT alloy included; (a) fabrication of graded TNZT-xB (x= 0, 1, 2 wt%) samples using LENS, (b) oxidation, and (c) LASER nitriding of TNZT. TNZT-1B and TNZT-O samples have shown improved wear resistance when tested against UHMWPE ball in SBF medium. A new class of bio-ceramic coatings based on calcium phosphate (CaP), was applied on the TNZT sample surface and was further laser processed with the objective of enhancing their osseo-integration properties. With optimized LASER parameters, TNZT-CaP samples have shown improved corrosion resistance, surface wettability and cellular response when compared to the base TNZT sample.
Date: August 2013
Creator: Kami, Pavani
Partner: UNT Libraries

Thermoplastic and Thermoset Natural Fiber Composite and Sandwich Performance

Description: The objective of this thesis is to investigate the effects of adding natural fiber (kenaf fiber, retted kenaf fiber, and sugarcane fiber) into polymer materials. The effects are obtained by considering three main parts. 1. Performance in thermoplastic composites. The effect of fiber retting on polymer composite crystallization and mechanical performance was investigated. PHBV/PBAT in 80/20 blend ratio was modified using 5% by weight kenaf fiber. Dynamic mechanical analysis of the composites was done to investigate the glass transition and the modulus at sub-ambient and ambient temperatures. ESEM was conducted to analyze fiber topography which revealed smoother surfaces on the pectinase retted fibers. 2. Performance in thermoset composites. The effect of the incorporation of natural fibers of kenaf and of sugarcane combined with the polyester resin matrix is investigated. A comparison of mechanical properties of kenaf polyester composite, sugarcane polyester composite and pure polyester in tensile, bending, dynamic mechanical thermal analysis (DMA) and moisture test on performance is measured.. 3. Performance in sandwich composites. The comparison of the performance characteristics and mechanical properties of natural fiber composites panels with soft and rigid foam cores are evaluated. A thorough test of the mechanical behavior of composites sandwich materials in tensile, bending and DCB is presented here.
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Date: May 2014
Creator: Yang, Bing
Partner: UNT Libraries

Processing and Characterization of Nickel-Carbon Base Metal Matrix Composites

Description: Carbon nanotubes (CNTs) and graphene nanoplatelets (GNPs) are attractive reinforcements for lightweight and high strength metal matrix composites due to their excellent mechanical and physical properties. The present work is an attempt towards investigating the effect of CNT and GNP reinforcements on the mechanical properties of nickel matrix composites. The CNT/Ni (dry milled) nanocomposites exhibiting a tensile yield strength of 350 MPa (about two times that of SPS processed monolithic nickel ~ 160 MPa) and an elongation to failure ~ 30%. In contrast, CNT/Ni (molecular level mixed) exhibited substantially higher tensile yield strength (~ 690 MPa) but limited ductility with an elongation to failure ~ 8%. The Ni-1vol%GNP (dry milled) nanocomposite exhibited the best balance of properties in terms of strength and ductility. The enhancement in the tensile strength (i.e. 370 MPa) and substantial ductility (~40%) of Ni-1vol%GNP nanocomposites was achieved due to the combined effects of grain refinement, homogeneous dispersion of GNPs in the nickel matrix, and well-bonded Ni-GNP interface, which effectively transfers stress across metal-GNP interface during tensile deformation. A second emphasis of this work was on the detailed 3D microstructural characterization of a new class of Ni-Ti-C based metal matrix composites, developed using the laser engineered net shaping (LENSTM) process. These composites consist of an in situ formed and homogeneously distributed titanium carbide (TiC) as well as graphite phase reinforcing the nickel matrix. 3D microstructure helps in determining true morphology and spatial distribution of TiC and graphite phase as well as the phase evolution sequence. These Ni-TiC-C composites exhibit excellent tribological properties (low COF), while maintaining a relatively high hardness.
Date: May 2014
Creator: Borkar, Tushar Murlidhar
Partner: UNT Libraries

Charge Interaction Effects in Epoxy with Cation Exchanged Montmorillonite Clay and Carbon Nanotubes.

Description: The influence of charge heterogeneity in nanoparticles such as montmorillonite layered silicates (MLS) and hybrid systems of MLS + carbon nanotubes was investigated in cured and uncured epoxy. Epoxy nanocomposites made with cation-exchanged montmorillonite clay were found to form agglomerates near a critical concentration. Using differential scanning calorimetry it was determined that the mixing temperature of the epoxy + MLS mixture prior to the addition of the curing agent critically influenced the formation of the agglomerate. Cured epoxy samples showed evidence of the agglomerate being residual charge driven by maxima and minima in the concentration profiles of thermal conductivity and dielectric permittivity respectively. A hybrid nanocomposite of MLS and aniline functionalized multi walled nanotubes indicated no agglomerates. The influence of environmentally and process driven properties on the nanocomposites was investigated by examination of moisture, ultrasound, microwaves and mechanical fatigue on the properties of the hybrid systems. The results point to the importance of charge screening by adsorbed or reacted water and on nanoparticulates.
Date: May 2005
Creator: Butzloff, Peter Robert
Partner: UNT Libraries

Saturation and foaming of thermoplastic nanocomposites using supercritical CO2.

Description: Polystyrene (PS) nanocomposite foams were prepared using supercritical fluid (SCF) CO2 as a solvent and blowing agent. PS was first in-situ polymerized with a range of concentrations of montmorillonite layered silicate (MLS). The polymerized samples were then compression molded into 1 to 2mm thick laminates. The laminates were foamed in a batch supercritical CO2 process at various temperatures and pressures from 60°-85°C and 7.6-12MPa. The resulting foams were analyzed by scanning electron microscopy to determine effect of MLS on cellular morphology. Differential scanning calorimetry was used to determine the impact of nanocomposite microstructure on glass transition of the foamed polymer. X-ray diffraction spectra suggested that the PS/MLS composite had an intercalated structure at both the 1% and 3% mixtures, and that the intercalation may be enhanced by the foaming process.
Date: May 2005
Creator: Strauss, William C.
Partner: UNT Libraries

A magnetorheological study of single-walled and multi-walled carbon nanotube dispersions in mineral oil and epoxy resin.

Description: Single wall carbon nanotubes (SWNTs) and multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWNTs) were dispersed in mineral oil and epoxy resin. The magnetorheological properties of these dispersions were studied using a parallel plate rheometer. Strain sweeps, frequency sweeps, magneto sweeps and steady shear tests were conducted in various magnetic fields. G', G", h* and ty increased with increasing magnetic field, which was partially attributed to the increasing degree of the alignment of nanotubes in a stronger magnetic field. The SWNT/mo dispersions exhibited more pronounced magnetic field dependence than SWNT/ep and MWNT/mo counterparts due to their much lower viscosity. The alignment of SWNTs in mineral oil increased with rising nanotube concentration up to 2.5vol% but were significantly restricted at 6.41vol% due to nanotube flocculation.
Date: May 2005
Creator: Yang, Zhengtao
Partner: UNT Libraries

Morphological properties of poly (ethylene terephthalate) (PET) nanocomposites in relation to fracture toughness.

Description: The effect of incorporation of montmorillonite layered silicate (MLS) on poly (ethylene terephthalate) (PET) matrix was investigated. MLS was added in varying concentration of 1 to 5 weight percent in the PET matrix. DSC and polarized optical microscopy were used to determine the crystallization effects of MLS addition. Non isothermal crystallization kinetics showed that the melting temperature and crystallization temperature decrease as the MLS percent increases. This delayed crystallization along with the irregular spherulitic shape indicates hindered crystallization in the presence of MLS platelets. The influence of this morphology was related with the fracture toughness of PET nanocomposites using essential work of fracture coupled with the infra red (IR) thermography. Both the essential as well as non essential work of fracture decreased on addition of MLS with nanocomposite showing reduced toughness.
Date: August 2005
Creator: Pendse, Siddhi
Partner: UNT Libraries

Amorphization and De-vitrification in Immiscible Copper-Niobium Alloy Thin Films

Description: While amorphous phases have been reported in immiscible alloy systems, there is still some controversy regarding the reason for the stabilization of these unusual amorphous phases. Direct evidence of nanoscale phase separation within the amorphous phase forming in immiscible Cu-Nb alloy thin films using 3D atom probe tomography has been presented. This evidence clearly indicates that the nanoscale phase separation is responsible for the stabilization of the amorphous phase in such immiscible systems since it substantially reduces the free energy of the undercooled liquid (or amorphous) phase, below that of the competing supersaturated crystalline phases. The devitrification of the immiscible Cu-Nb thin film of composition Cu-45% Nb has been studied in detail with the discussion on the mechanism of phase transformation. The initial phase separation in the amorphous condition seems to play a vital role in the crystallization of the thin film. Detailed analysis has been done using X-ray diffraction, transmission electron microscopy and 3D atom probe tomography.
Date: May 2007
Creator: Puthucode Balakrishnan, Anantharamakrishnan
Partner: UNT Libraries

Bulk and Interfacial Effects on Density in Polymer Nanocomposites

Description: The barrier properties of polymers are a significant factor in determining the shelf or device lifetime in polymer packaging. Nanocomposites developed from the dispersion of nanometer thick platelets into a host polymer matrix have shown much promise. The magnitude of the benefit on permeability has been different depending on the polymer investigated or the degree of dispersion of the platelet in the polymer. In this dissertation, the effect of density changes in the bulk and at the polymer-platelet interface on permeability of polymer nanocomposites is investigated. Nanocomposites of nylon, PET, and PEN were processed by extrusion. Montmorillonite layered silicate (MLS) in a range of concentrations from 1 to 5% was blended with all three resins. Dispersion of the MLS in the matrix was investigated by using one or a combination of X-ray diffraction (XRD), scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and transmission electron microscopy (TEM). Variation in bulk density via crystallization was analyzed using differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) and polarized optical microscopy. Interfacial densification was investigated using force modulation atomic force microscopy (AFM) and ellipsometry. Mechanical properties are reported. Permeability of all films was measured in an in-house built permeability measurement system. The effect of polymer orientation and induced defects on permeability was investigated using biaxially stretched, small and large cycle fatigue samples of PET and nylon nanocomposites. The effect of annealing in nylon and nanocomposites was also investigated. The measured permeability was compared to predicted permeability by considering the MLS as an ideal dispersion and the matrix as a system with concentration dependent crystallinity.
Date: May 2007
Creator: Sahu, Laxmi Kumari
Partner: UNT Libraries

Surface Engineering and Characterization of Laser Deposited Metallic Biomaterials

Description: Novel net shaping technique Laser Engineered Net shaping™ (LENS) laser based manufacturing solution (Sandia Corp., Albuquerque, NM); Laser can be used to deposit orthopedic implant alloys. Ti-35Nb-7Zr-5Ta (TNZT) alloy system was deposited using LENS. The corrosion resistance being an important prerequisite was tested electrochemically and was found that the LENS deposited TNZT was better than conventionally used Ti-6Al-4V in 0.1N HCl and a simulated body solution. A detailed analysis of the corrosion product exhibited the presence of complex oxides which are responsible for the excellent corrosion resistance. In addition, the in vitro tests done on LENS deposited TNZT showed that they have excellent biocompatibility. In order to improve the wear resistance of the TNZT system boride reinforcements were carried out in the matrix using LENS processing. The tribological response of the metal matrix composites was studied under different conditions and compared with Ti-6Al-4V. Usage of Si3N4 balls as a counterpart in the wear studies showed that there is boride pullout resulting in third body abrasive wear with higher coefficient of friction (COF). Using 440C stainless steel balls drastically improved the COF of as deposited TNZT+2B and seemed to eliminate the effect of “three body abrasive wear,” and also exhibited superior wear resistance than Ti-6Al-4V.
Date: May 2007
Creator: Samuel, Sonia
Partner: UNT Libraries

Trapping of hydrogen in Hf-based high κ dielectric thin films for advanced CMOS applications.

Description: In recent years, advanced high κ gate dielectrics are under serious consideration to replace SiO2 and SiON in semiconductor industry. Hafnium-based dielectrics such as hafnium oxides, oxynitrides and Hf-based silicates/nitrided silicates are emerging as some of the most promising alternatives to SiO2/SiON gate dielectrics in complementary metal oxide semiconductor (CMOS) devices. Extensive efforts have been taken to understand the effects of hydrogen impurities in semiconductors and its behavior such as incorporation, diffusion, trapping and release with the aim of controlling and using it to optimize the performance of electronic device structures. In this dissertation, a systematic study of hydrogen trapping and the role of carbon impurities in various alternate gate dielectric candidates, HfO2/Si, HfxSi1-xO2/Si, HfON/Si and HfON(C)/Si is presented. It has been shown that processing of high κ dielectrics may lead to some crystallization issues. Rutherford backscattering spectroscopy (RBS) for measuring oxygen deficiencies, elastic recoil detection analysis (ERDA) for quantifying hydrogen and nuclear reaction analysis (NRA) for quantifying carbon, X-ray diffraction (XRD) for measuring degree of crystallinity and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) were used to characterize these thin dielectric materials. ERDA data are used to characterize the evolution of hydrogen during annealing in hydrogen ambient in combination with preprocessing in oxygen and nitrogen.
Date: December 2007
Creator: Ukirde, Vaishali
Partner: UNT Libraries

Micro and nano composites composed of a polymer matrix and a metal disperse phase.

Description: Low density polyethylene (LDPE) and Hytrel (a thermoplastic elastomer) were used as polymeric matrices in polymer + metal composites. The concentration of micrometric (Al, Ag and Ni) as well as nanometric particles (Al and Ag) was varied from 0 to 10 %. Composites were prepared by blending followed by injection molding. The resulting samples were analyzed by scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and focused ion beam (FIB) in order to determine their microstructure. Certain mechanical properties of the composites were also determined. Static and dynamic friction was measured. The scratch resistance of the specimens was determined. A study of the wear mechanisms in the samples was performed. The Al micro- and nanoparticles as well as Ni microparticles are well dispersed throughout the material while Ag micro and nanoparticles tend to form agglomerates. Generally the presence of microcomposites affects negatively the mechanical properties. For the nanoparticles, composites with a higher elastic modulus than that of the neat materials are achievable. For both micro- and nanocomposites it is feasible to lower the friction values with respective to the neat polymers. The addition of metal particles to polymers also improves the scratch resistance of the composites, particularly so for microcomposites. The inclusion of Ag and Ni particles causes an increase in the wear loss volume while Al can reduce the wear for both polymeric matrices.
Date: December 2007
Creator: Olea Mejia, Oscar Fernando
Partner: UNT Libraries

Supercritical CO2 foamed biodegradable polymer blends of polycaprolactone and Mater-Bi.

Description: Supercritical CO2 foam processing of biopolymers represents a green processing route to environmentally friendly media and packaging foams. Mater-Bi, a multiconstituent biopolymer of polyester, starch and vegetable oils has shown much promise for biodegradation. The polymer, however, is not foamable with CO2 so blended with another polymer which is. Polycaprolactone is a biopolymer with potential of 4000% change in volume with CO2. Thus we investigate blends of Mater-Bi (MB) and polycaprolactone (PCL) foamed in supercritical CO2 using the batch process. Characterization of the foamed and unfoamed samples were done using X-ray diffraction (XRD), differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) and scanning electron microscopy (SEM). Micrographs of the samples from the SEM revealed that the cell size of the foams reduced and increased with increase in MB concentration and increase in the foaming temperature respectively. Mechanical tests; tensile, compression, shear and impact were performed on the foamed samples. It was noted that between the 20-25% wt. MB, there was an improvement in the mechanical properties. This suggests that at these compositions, there is a high interaction between PCL and MB at the molecular level compared to other compositions. The results indicate that green processing of polymer blends is viable.
Date: December 2007
Creator: Ogunsona, Emmanuel Olusegun
Partner: UNT Libraries

Supercritical Silylation and Stability of Silyl Groups

Description: Methylsilsesquioxane (MSQ) and organosilicate glass (OSG) are the materials under this study because they exhibit the dielectric constant values necessary for future IC technology requirements. Obtaining a low-k dielectric value is critical for the IC industry in order to cope time delay and cross talking issues. These materials exhibit attractive dielectric value, but there are problems replacing conventional SiO2, because of their chemical, mechanical and electrical instability after plasma processing. Several techniques have been suggested to mitigate process damage but supercritical silylation offers a rapid single repair step solution to this problem. Different ash and etch damaged samples were employed in this study to optimize an effective method to repair the low-k dielectric material and seal the surface pores via supercritical fluid processing with various trialkylchlorosilanes. Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), contact angle, capacitance- voltage measurements, and x-ray photoemission spectroscopy, dynamic secondary ion mass spectroscopy (DSIMS), characterized the films. The hydrophobicity and dielectric constant after exposure to elevated temperatures and ambient conditions were monitored and shown to be stable. The samples were treated with a series of silylating agents of the form R3-Si-Cl where R is an alkyl groups (e.g. ethyl, propyl, isopropyl). Reactivity with the surface hydroxyls was inversely proportional to the length of the alkyl group, perhaps due to steric effects. Contact angle measurements revealed that heating the films in ambient diminished hydrophobicity. Depth and surface profiling using (DSIMS) and (XPS) were utilized to develop a model for surface coverage.
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Date: May 2006
Creator: Nerusu, Pawan Kumar
Partner: UNT Libraries

Synthesis and characterization of crystalline assembly of poly Nisopropylacry-lamide)-co-acrylic acid nanoparticles.

Description: In this study, crystalline poly(N-isopropylacrylamide-co-acrylic acid) (PNIPAm-co-AAc) nanoparticle network in organic solvents was obtained by self assembling precursor particles in acetone/epichlorohydrin mixture at room temperature followed by inter-sphere crosslinking at ~98 °C. The crystals thus formed can endure solvent exchanges or large distortions under a temporary compressing force with the reoccurrence of crystalline structures. In acetone, the crystals were stable, independent of temperature, while in water crystals could change their colors upon heating or changing pH values. By passing a focused white light beam through the crystals, different colors were displayed at different observation angles, indicating typical Bragg diffraction. Shear moduli of the gel nanoparticle crystals were measured in the linear stress-yield ranges for the same gel crystals in both acetone and water. Syntheses of particles of different sizes and the relationship between particle size and the color of the gel nanoparticle networks at a constant solid content were also presented. Temperature- and pH- sensitive crystalline PNIPAm-co-AAc hydrogel was prepared using osmosis crosslinking method. Not only the typical Bragg diffraction phenomenon was observed for the hydrogel but also apparent temperature- and pH- sensitive properties were performed. The phase behavior of PNIPAm nanoparticles dispersed in water was also investigated using a thermodynamic perturbation theory combined with lightscattering and spectrometer measurements. It was shown how the volume transition of PNIPAM particles affected the interaction potential and determined a novel phase diagram that had not been observed in conventional colloids. Because both particle size and attractive potential depended on temperature, PNIPAM aqueous dispersion exhibited phase transitions at a fixed particle number density by either increasing or decreasing temperature. The phase transition of PNIPAm-co-AAc colloids was also studied. The results from the comparison between pure PNIPAm and charged PNIPAm colloids showed that the introducing of carboxyl (-COOH) group not only contributed to the synthesis ...
Date: December 2004
Creator: Zhou, Bo
Partner: UNT Libraries

Indentation induced deformation in metallic materials.

Description: Nanoindentation has brought in many features of research over the past decade. This novel technique is capable of producing insights into the small ranges of deformation. This special point has brought a lot of focus in understanding the deformation behavior under the indenter. Nickel, iron, tungsten and copper-niobium alloy system were considered for a surface deformation study. All the samples exhibited a spectrum of residual deformation. The change in behavior with indentation and the materials responses to deformation at low and high loads is addressed in this study. A study on indenter geometry, which has a huge influence on the contact area and subsequently the hardness and modulus value, has been attempted. Deformation mechanisms that govern the plastic flow in materials at low loads of indentation and their sensitivity to the rate of strain imparted has been studied. A transition to elastic, plastic kind of a tendency to an elasto-plastic tendency was seen with an increase in the strain rate. All samples exhibited the same kind of behavior and a special focus is drawn in comparing the FCC nickel with BCC tungsten and iron where the persistence of the elastic, plastic response was addressed. However there is no absolute reason for the inconsistencies in the mechanical properties observed in preliminary testing, more insights can be provided with advanced microscopy techniques where the study can be focused more to understand the deformation behavior under the indenter. These experiments demonstrate that there is a wealth of information in the initial stages of indentation and has led to much more insights into the incipient stages of plasticity.
Date: December 2005
Creator: Vadlakonda, Suman
Partner: UNT Libraries

Mechanisms of Ordered Gamma Prime Precipitation in Nickel Base Superalloys

Description: Commercial superalloys like Rene88DT are used in high temperature applications like turbine disk in aircraft jet engines due to their excellent high temperature properties, including strength, ductility, improved fracture toughness, fatigue resistance, enhanced creep and oxidation resistance. Typically this alloy's microstructure has L12-ordered precipitates dispersed in disordered face-centered cubic γ matrix. A typical industrially relevant heat-treatment often leads to the formation of multiple size ranges of γ¢ precipitates presumably arising from multiple nucleation bursts during the continuous cooling process. The morphology and distribution of these γ′ precipitates inside γ matrix influences the mechanical properties of these materials. Therefore, the study of thermodynamic and kinetic factors influencing the evolution of these precipitates and subsequent effects is both relevant for commercial applications as well as for a fundamental understanding of the underlying phase transformations. The present research is primarily focused on understanding the mechanism of formation of different generations of γ′ precipitates during continuous cooling by coupling scanning electron microscopy (SEM), energy filtered TEM and atom probe tomography (APT). In addition, the phase transformations leading to nucleation of γ′ phase has been a topic of controversy for decades. The present work, for the first time, gives a novel insight into the mechanism of order-disorder transformations and associated phase separation processes at atomistic length scales, by coupling high angle annular dark field (HAADF) - STEM imaging and APT. The results indicate that multiple competing mechanisms can operate during a single continuous cooling process leading to different generations of γ′ including a non-classical mechanism, operative at large undercoolings.
Date: May 2011
Creator: Singh, Antariksh Rao Pratap
Partner: UNT Libraries

Phase Separation and Second Phase Precipitation in Beta Titanium Alloys

Description: The current understanding of the atomic scale phenomenon associated with the influence of beta phase instabilities on the evolution of microstructure in titanium alloys is limited due to their complex nature. Such beta phase instabilities include phase separation and precipitation of nano-scale omega and alpha phases in the beta matrix. The initial part of the present study focuses on omega precipitation within the beta matrix of model binary titanium molybdenum (Ti-Mo) alloys. Direct atomic scale observation of pre-transition omega-like embryos in quenched alloys, using aberration-corrected high resolution scanning transmission electron microscopy and atom probe tomography (APT) was compared and contrasted with the results of first principles computations performed using the Vienna ab initio simulation package (VASP) to present a novel mechanism of these special class of phase transformation. Thereafter the beta phase separation and subsequent alpha phase nucleation in a Ti-Mo-Al ternary alloy was investigated by coupling in-situ high energy synchrotron x-ray diffraction with ex-situ characterization studies performed using aberration corrected transmission electron microscopy and APT to develop a deeper understanding of the mechanism of transformation. Subsequently the formation of the omega phase in the presence of simultaneous development of compositional phase separation within the beta matrix phase of a Ti-10V-6Cu (wt%) alloy during continuous cooling has been investigated using a combination of transmission electron microscopy and atom probe tomography. The results of these investigations provided novel insights into the mechanisms of solid-state transformations in metallic systems by capturing the earliest stages of nucleation at atomic to near atomic spatial and compositional resolution.
Date: May 2011
Creator: Devaraj, Arun
Partner: UNT Libraries

Piezoresistive Polyvinylidene Fluoride/Carbon Filled Nanocomposites

Description: This thesis examines the value of using dispersed conductive fillers as a stress/strain sensing material. The effect of the intrinsic conductivity of the filler on the ability to be effective and the influence of filler concentration on the conductivity are also examined. To meet these objectives, nanocomposites of polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF) with carbon nanofibers (CNFs) and carbon nanotubes (CNTs) were prepared by melt-blending using a twin screw extruder. Since PVDF has a potential to be piezoresistive based on the type of crystalline phase, the effect of CNFs on PVDF crystallinity, crystalline phase, quasi static and dynamic mechanical property was studied concurrently with piezoresponse. Three time dependencies were examined for PVDF/CNTs nanocomposites: quasi-static, transient and cyclic fatigue. The transient response of the strain with time showed viscoelastic behavior and was modeled by the 4-element Burger model. Under quasi-static loading the resistance showed negative pressure coefficient below yield but changed to a positive pressure coefficient after yield. Under cyclic load, the stress-time and resistance-time were synchronous but the resistance peak value decreased with increasing cycles, which was attributed to charge storage in the nanocomposite. The outcomes of this thesis indicate that a new piezoresponsive system based on filled polymers is a viable technology for structural health monitoring.
Date: May 2011
Creator: Vidhate, Shailesh
Partner: UNT Libraries

Bioresorbable Polymer Blend Scaffold for Tissue Engineering

Description: Tissue engineering merges the disciplines of study like cell biology, materials science, engineering and surgery to enable growth of new living tissues on scaffolding constructed from implanted polymeric materials. One of the most important aspects of tissue engineering related to material science is design of the polymer scaffolds. The polymer scaffolds needs to have some specific mechanical strength over certain period of time. In this work bioresorbable aliphatic polymers (PCL and PLLA) were blended using extrusion and solution methods. These blends were then extruded and electrospun into fibers. The fibers were then subjected to FDA standard in vitro immersion degradation tests where its mechanical strength, water absorption, weight loss were observed during the eight weeks. The results indicate that the mechanical strength and rate of degradation can be tailored by changing the ratio of PCL and PLLA in the blend. Processing influences these parameters, with the loss of mechanical strength and rate of degradation being higher in electrospun fibers compared to those extruded. A second effort in this thesis addressed the potential separation of the scaffold from the tissue (loss of apposition) due to the differences in their low strain responses. This hypothesis that using knit with low tension will have better compliance was tested and confirmed.
Date: May 2011
Creator: Manandhar, Sandeep
Partner: UNT Libraries