Granular Flows and Materials

CAMP Professor Hayley Shen (of Clarkson University’s Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering) and Clarkson Professor Brian Helenbrook (of the Department of Mechanical and Aeronautical Engineering), along with two Clarkson students, have been working on a project at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Their project is to help space shuttle launch engineers determine whether the insulation material used inside the liquid hydrogen tank ( that stores fuel for the shuttle launch) should be changed. A new material that can provide higher flowability ( a better thermal insulation property) has been proposed. The Clarkson team is collaborating with NASA engineers to obtain information and to determine whether this new material will have a longer life span than the material already being used.

Ultra-Fine Grain Nickel by Pulsed Electrodeposition

Professor David Morrison and Professor John Moosbrugger of the Department of Mechanical and Aeronautical Engineering have a project underway on the processing, microstructure and mechanical properties of ultra-fine grain nickel. Sub-micron grain size nickel is being produced by a pulsed electrodeposition (ED) technique. Thus far, bulk 10 mm diameter and 60 mm long cylinders and 25 mm diameter/2 mm wall thickness cylinders have been produced. X-ray diffraction has verified submicron grain sizes and energy dispersive spectroscopy (EDS) has verified that relatively pure nickel is produced. Cylinders have been machined into test specimens for reversed tension-compression fatigue tests which were performed on as-electroformed specimens and on specimens subjected to an annealing treatment that produces no significant grain growth. Cyclic stress strain curves show enhanced cyclic strength relative to conventional grain size nickel but generally reduced fatigue life. Annealed specimens demonstrate enhanced fatigue life relative to the as-electroformed specimens. Transmission electron microscopy (TEM) has been used to the examine post cycling grain and dislocation structure.

Friction Stir Welding Process (FSW)

Chair / Professor Daryush Aidun of the Department of Mechanical and Aeronautical Engineering and his group at Clarkson are carrying out research using the Friction Stir Welding (FSW) process. This method is becoming a viable solid-state joining process for metallic materials like the welding of Al to Al, steel to steel, and Al to steel. Professor Aidun’s group used the FSW process to join thermoplastics such as polyethylene (PE) and plexi-glass. Using a 0.4 inch diameter pin, a rotation rate of 200 rpm, and a weld travel speed of 2 in./min., the strength of the weld reached to over 90% of the strength of the base material. Figure 4 shows the tensile test results for different tool geometry, and Figure 5 shows a typical welded PE.

The FSW process can be used to weld thermoplastics with joint strengths comparable to its base material strength.

Figure 4 – The effect of tool geometry on the tensile strength of the PE welds.
Figure 5 – A top view of the ¼ in. thick welded PE.

 The Laboratory of Synergetic Technologies Established at Clarkson University

Dr. Benjamin Dorfman, who joined CAMP in 2004 as a Research Professor in Clarkson University’s Department of Physics, is a scientist for the Laboratory of Synergetic Technologies. Recently, in cooperation with Clarkson University and NY industrial companies, this new Laboratory was founded based on the discovery of an unusual, nearly quantum-like, dependence of a basic law underlying the relationship of supersonic abrasivejet interaction with subject materials. Conventional abrasivejet technology wastes billions of pounds of abrasive materials each year, while this new breakthrough would potentially transform current abrasivejet methods into a virtually waste free technology. Precious byproducts such as nano-powders and materials with nano-structured surfaces are also realized as a result of the new approach, which allows for up to three products to be made simultaneously in one operation. It is anticipated that another branch of the new Laboratory (Synergetic Thermal-Impact Activated Synthesis) will be established in the near future. This new branch will be used by Dr. Dorfman to conduct research and development relating to stabilized non-equilibrium solids with hierarchical atomic arrangement, in particular synergetic carbon; carbon-carbon and metal-carbon composites of atomic-scale. His work will also include synthesis, structures and non-classical physical properties. Various commercial and military applications of these novel technologies are currently being developed.

Process Intensification  

Professor Roshan Jachuck’s research interest is in the field of Process Intensification (PI) which is a novel design philosophy which aims to revolutionize process engineering by revisiting the fundamentals of fluid dynamics and transport phenomena. The next generation processing plants for manufacturing advanced functional polymeric materials, nanostructured alloys and composites with improved product characteristics, will emerge from the activities in the areas of process intensification and miniaturization. Nano to microscale multi-functional modules equipped with nanosensors for real time data management will form an integral part of the process manufacturing plant. This innovative approach could make the process plants mobile, thereby creating more opportunities for flexible distributed manufacture of high value products with improved product quality, while reducing waste, increasing energy efficiency and improving inherent safety.

Development of Novel Sensors for Monitoring of Sand Compaction Stage in Lost Foam Casting

Professor Kerop Janoyan, of the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department at Clarkson University, is working on the development of novel sensors for measurement and monitoring of the sand compaction stage in Lost Foam Casting (LFC). Professor Janoyan’s research utilizes advanced MEMS-based sensors coupled with wireless sensors and sensor networks to measure key parameters such as flask accelerations and sand-foam pattern interface pressures. The testing and development of the sensor arrays are being conducted at the Clarkson Geomechanics Laboratory before being deployed at the plant level.  


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