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Local Mechanical Behavior of Hastelloy-X at High Temperatures and Its Relationship to Failure

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The following is a report that will evaluate the microstructure of the nickel-based superalloy Hastelloy X and its relationship to mechanical properties in different load conditions. Hastelloy X is of interest to the company AORA because its strength and oxidation

The following is a report that will evaluate the microstructure of the nickel-based superalloy Hastelloy X and its relationship to mechanical properties in different load conditions. Hastelloy X is of interest to the company AORA because its strength and oxidation resistance at high temperatures is directly applicable to their needs in a hybrid concentrated solar module. The literature review shows that the microstructure will produce different carbides at various temperatures, which can be beneficial to the strength of the alloy. These precipitates are found along the grain boundaries and act as pins that limit dislocation flow, as well as grain boundary sliding, and improve the rupture strength of the material. Over time, harmful precipitates form which counteract the strengthening effect of the carbides and reduce rupture strength, leading to failure. A combination of indentation and microstructure mapping was used in an effort to link local mechanical behavior to microstructure variability. Electron backscatter diffraction (EBSD) and energy dispersive spectroscopy (EDS) were initially used as a means to characterize the microstructure prior to testing. Then, a series of room temperature Vickers hardness tests at 50 and 500 gram-force were used to evaluate the variation in the local response as a function of indentation size. The room temperature study concluded that both the hardness and standard deviation increased at lower loads, which is consistent with the grain size distribution seen in the microstructure scan. The material was then subjected to high temperature spherical indentation. Load-displacement curves were essential in evaluating the decrease in strength of the material with increasing temperature. Through linear regression of the unloading portion of the curve, the plastic deformation was determined and compared at different temperatures as a qualitative method to evaluate local strength.

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2015-05

Adaptive Technologies using Soft Robotic Bladders

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The traditional understanding of robotics includes mechanisms of rigid structures, which can manipulate surrounding objects, taking advantage of mechanical actuators such as motors and servomechanisms. Although these methods provide the underlying fundamental concepts behind much of modern technological infrastructure, in

The traditional understanding of robotics includes mechanisms of rigid structures, which can manipulate surrounding objects, taking advantage of mechanical actuators such as motors and servomechanisms. Although these methods provide the underlying fundamental concepts behind much of modern technological infrastructure, in fields such as manufacturing, automation, and biomedical application, the robotic structures formed by rigid axels on mechanical actuators lack the delicate differential sensors and actuators associated with known biological systems. The rigid structures of traditional robotics also inhibit the use of simple mechanisms in congested and/or fragile environments. By observing a variety of biological systems, it is shown that nature models its structures over millions of years of evolution into a combination of soft structures and rigid skeletal interior supports. Through technological bio-inspired designs, researchers hope to mimic some of the complex behaviors of biological mechanisms using pneumatic actuators coupled with highly compliant materials that exhibit relatively large reversible elastic strain. This paper begins the brief history of soft robotics, the various classifications of pneumatic fluid systems, the associated difficulties that arise with the unpredictable nature of fluid reactions, the methods of pneumatic actuators in use today, the current industrial applications of soft robotics, and focuses in large on the construction of a universally adaptable soft robotic gripper and material application tool. The central objective of this experiment is to compatibly pair traditional rigid robotics with the emerging technologies of sort robotic actuators. This will be done by combining a traditional rigid robotic arm with a soft robotic manipulator bladder for the purposes of object manipulation and excavation of extreme environments.

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2016-05

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Fracture of nanoporous gold

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This research examines several critical aspects of the so-called "film induced cleavage" model of stress corrosion cracking using silver-gold alloys as the parent-phase material. The model hypothesizes that the corrosion generates a brittle nanoporous film, which subsequently fractures forming a

This research examines several critical aspects of the so-called "film induced cleavage" model of stress corrosion cracking using silver-gold alloys as the parent-phase material. The model hypothesizes that the corrosion generates a brittle nanoporous film, which subsequently fractures forming a high-speed crack that is injected into the uncorroded parent-phase alloy. This high speed crack owing to its kinetic energy can penetrate beyond the corroded layer into the parent phase and thus effectively reducing strength of the parent phase. Silver-gold alloys provide an ideal system to study this effect, as hydrogen effect can be ruled out on thermodynamic basis. During corrosion of the silver-gold alloy, the less noble metal i.e. silver is removed from the system leaving behind a nanoporous gold (NPG) layer. In the case of polycrystalline material, this corrosion process proceeds deeper along the grain boundary than the matrix grain. All of the cracks with apparent penetration beyond the corroded (dealloyed) layer are intergranular. Our aim was to study the crack penetration depth along the grain boundary to ascertain whether the penetration occurs past the grain-boundary dealloyed depth. EDS and imaging in high-resolution aberration corrected scanning transmission electron microscope (STEM) and atom probe tomography (APT) have been used to evaluate the grain boundary corrosion depth.

The mechanical properties of monolithic NPG are also studied. The motivation behind this is two-fold. The crack injection depth depends on the speed of the crack formed in the nanoporous layer, which in turn depends on the mechanical properties of the NPG. Also NPG has potential applications in actuation, sensing and catalysis. The measured value of the Young's modulus of NPG with 40 nm ligament size and 28% density was ~ 2.5 GPa and the Poisson's ratio was ~ 0.20. The fracture stress was observed to be ~ 11-13 MPa. There was no significant change observed between these mechanical properties on oxidation of NPG at 1.4 V. The fracture toughness value for the NPG was ~ 10 J/m2. Also dynamic fracture tests showed that the NPG is capable of supporting crack velocities ~ 100 - 180 m/s.

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2014

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Role of impurities on deformation of HCP crystal: a multiscale approach

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Commercially pure (CP) and extra low interstitial (ELI) grade Ti-alloys present excellent corrosion resistance, lightweight, and formability making them attractive materials for expanded use in transportation and medical applications. However, the strength and toughness of CP titanium are affected by

Commercially pure (CP) and extra low interstitial (ELI) grade Ti-alloys present excellent corrosion resistance, lightweight, and formability making them attractive materials for expanded use in transportation and medical applications. However, the strength and toughness of CP titanium are affected by relatively small variations in their impurity/solute content (IC), e.g., O, Al, and V. This increase in strength is due to the fact that the solute either increases the critical stress required for the prismatic slip systems ({10-10}<1-210>) or activates another slip system ((0001)<11-20>, {10-11}<11-20>). In particular, solute additions such as O can effectively strengthen the alloy but with an attendant loss in ductility by changing the behavior from wavy (cross slip) to planar nature. In order to understand the underlying behavior of strengthening by solutes, it is important to understand the atomic scale mechanism. This dissertation aims to address this knowledge gap through a synergistic combination of density functional theory (DFT) and molecular dynamics. Further, due to the long-range strain fields of the dislocations and the periodicity of the DFT simulation cells, it is difficult to apply ab initio simulations to study the dislocation core structure. To alleviate this issue we developed a multiscale quantum mechanics/molecular mechanics approach (QM/MM) to study the dislocation core. We use the developed QM/MM method to study the pipe diffusion along a prismatic edge dislocation core. Complementary to the atomistic simulations, the Semi-discrete Variational Peierls-Nabarro model (SVPN) was also used to analyze the dislocation core structure and mobility. The chemical interaction between the solute/impurity and the dislocation core is captured by the so-called generalized stacking fault energy (GSFE) surface which was determined from DFT-VASP calculations. By taking the chemical interaction into consideration the SVPN model can predict the dislocation core structure and mobility in the presence and absence of the solute/impurity and thus reveal the effect of impurity/solute on the softening/hardening behavior in alpha-Ti. Finally, to study the interaction of the dislocation core with other planar defects such as grain boundaries (GB), we develop an automated method to theoretically generate GBs in HCP type materials.

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2014

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3D modeling of incipient spall damage in shocked FCC multicrystals

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Shock loading is a complex phenomenon that can lead to failure mechanisms such as strain localization, void nucleation and growth, and eventually spall fracture. Studying incipient stages of spall damage is of paramount importance to accurately determine initiation sites in

Shock loading is a complex phenomenon that can lead to failure mechanisms such as strain localization, void nucleation and growth, and eventually spall fracture. Studying incipient stages of spall damage is of paramount importance to accurately determine initiation sites in the material microstructure where damage will nucleate and grow and to formulate continuum models that account for the variability of the damage process due to microstructural heterogeneity. The length scale of damage with respect to that of the surrounding microstructure has proven to be a key aspect in determining sites of failure initiation. Correlations have been found between the damage sites and the surrounding microstructure to determine the preferred sites of spall damage, since it tends to localize at and around the regions of intrinsic defects such as grain boundaries and triple points. However, considerable amount of work still has to be done in this regard to determine the physics driving the damage at these intrinsic weak sites in the microstructure. The main focus of this research work is to understand the physical mechanisms behind the damage localization at these preferred sites. A crystal plasticity constitutive model is implemented with different damage criteria to study the effects of stress concentration and strain localization at the grain boundaries. A cohesive zone modeling technique is used to include the intrinsic strength of the grain boundaries in the simulations. The constitutive model is verified using single elements tests, calibrated using single crystal impact experiments and validated using bicrystal and multicrystal impact experiments. The results indicate that strain localization is the predominant driving force for damage initiation and evolution. The microstructural effects on theses damage sites are studied to attribute the extent of damage to microstructural features such as grain orientation, misorientation, Taylor factor and the grain boundary planes. The finite element simulations show good correlation with the experimental results and can be used as the preliminary step in developing accurate probabilistic models for damage nucleation.

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2013

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Mechanics analysis of coupled large deformation and diffusion in gels

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Gels are three-dimensional polymer networks with entrapped solvent (water etc.). They bear amazing features such as stimuli-responsive (temperature, PH, electric field etc.), high water content and biocompatibility and thus find a lot of applications. To understand the complex physics behind

Gels are three-dimensional polymer networks with entrapped solvent (water etc.). They bear amazing features such as stimuli-responsive (temperature, PH, electric field etc.), high water content and biocompatibility and thus find a lot of applications. To understand the complex physics behind gel's swelling phenomenon, it is important to build up fundamental mechanical model and extend to complicated cases. In this dissertation, a coupled large deformation and diffusion model regarding gel's swelling behavior is presented. In this model, free-energy of the total gel is constituted by polymer stretching energy and polymer-solvent mixing energy. In-house nonlinear finite element code is implemented with fast computational capability. Complex phenomenon such as buckling and healing of cracked gel by swelling are studied. Due to the wide coverage of polymeric materials and solvents, solvent diffusion in gels not only follows Fickian diffusion law where concentration map is continuous but also follows non-Fickian diffusion law where concentration map shows high gradient. Phenomenological model with viscoelastic polymer constitutive and concentration dependent diffusivity is created. The model well captures this special diffusion phenomenon such as sharp diffusion front and distinctive swollen and unswollen region.

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2012

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A mesh-free finite element solution for unilateral contact problems

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Current trends in the Computer Aided Engineering (CAE) involve the integration of legacy mesh-based finite element software with newer solid-modeling kernels or full CAD systems in order to simplify laborious or highly specialized tasks in engineering analysis. In particular, mesh

Current trends in the Computer Aided Engineering (CAE) involve the integration of legacy mesh-based finite element software with newer solid-modeling kernels or full CAD systems in order to simplify laborious or highly specialized tasks in engineering analysis. In particular, mesh generation is becoming increasingly automated. In addition, emphasis is increasingly placed on full assembly (multi-part) models, which in turn necessitates an automated approach to contact analysis. This task is challenging due to increases in algebraic system size, as well as increases in the number of distorted elements - both of which necessitate manual intervention to maintain accuracy and conserve computer resources. In this investigation, it is demonstrated that the use of a mesh-free B-Spline finite element basis for structural contact problems results in significantly smaller algebraic systems than mesh-based approaches for similar grid spacings. The relative error in calculated contact pressure is evaluated for simple two dimensional smooth domains at discrete points within the contact zone and compared to the analytical Hertz solution, as well as traditional mesh-based finite element solutions for similar grid spacings. For smooth curved domains, the relative error in contact pressure is shown to be less than for bi-quadratic Serendipity elements. The finite element formulation draws on some recent innovations, in which the domain to be analyzed is integrated with the use of transformed Gauss points within the domain, and boundary conditions are applied via distance functions (R-functions). However, the basis is stabilized through a novel selective normalization procedure. In addition, a novel contact algorithm is presented in which the B-Spline support grid is re-used for contact detection. The algorithm is demonstrated for two simple 2-dimensional assemblies. Finally, a modified Penalty Method is demonstrated for connecting elements with incompatible bases.

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2010

Finite element analysis of silicon thin films on soft substrates as anodes for lithium ion batteries

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The wide-scale use of green technologies such as electric vehicles has been slowed due to insufficient means of storing enough portable energy. Therefore it is critical that efficient storage mediums be developed in order to transform abundant renewable energy into

The wide-scale use of green technologies such as electric vehicles has been slowed due to insufficient means of storing enough portable energy. Therefore it is critical that efficient storage mediums be developed in order to transform abundant renewable energy into an on-demand source of power. Lithium (Li) ion batteries are seeing a stream of improvements as they are introduced into many consumer electronics, electric vehicles and aircraft, and medical devices. Li-ion batteries are well suited for portable applications because of their high energy-to-weight ratios, high energy densities, and reasonable life cycles. Current research into Li-ion batteries is focused on enhancing its energy density, and by changing the electrode materials, greater energy capacities can be realized. Silicon (Si) is a very attractive option because it has the highest known theoretical charge capacity. Current Si anodes, however, suffer from early capacity fading caused by pulverization from the stresses induced by large volumetric changes that occur during charging and discharging. An innovative system aimed at resolving this issue is being developed. This system incorporates a thin Si film bonded to an elastomeric substrate which is intended to provide the desired stress relief. Non-linear finite element simulations have shown that a significant amount of deformation can be accommodated until a critical threshold of Li concentration is reached; beyond which buckling is induced and a wavy structure appears. When compared to a similar system using rigid substrates where no buckling occurs, the stress is reduced by an order of magnitude, significantly prolonging the life of the Si anode. Thus the stress can be released at high Li-ion diffusion induced strains by buckling the Si thin film. Several aspects of this anode system have been analyzed including studying the effects of charge rate and thin film plasticity, and the results are compared with preliminary empirical measurements to show great promise. This study serves as the basis for a radical resolution to one of the few remaining barriers left in the development of high performing Si based electrodes for Li-ion batteries.

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2011

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An evaluation of the mechanical properties and microstructure in uranium dioxide doped with oxide additives

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The United States Department of Energy (DOE) has always held the safety and reliability of the nation's nuclear reactor fleet as a top priority. Continual improvements and advancements in nuclear fuels have been instrumental in maximizing energy generation from nuclear

The United States Department of Energy (DOE) has always held the safety and reliability of the nation's nuclear reactor fleet as a top priority. Continual improvements and advancements in nuclear fuels have been instrumental in maximizing energy generation from nuclear power plants and minimizing waste. One aspect of the DOE Fuel Cycle Research and Development Advanced Fuels Campaign is to improve the mechanical properties of uranium dioxide (UO2) for nuclear fuel applications.

In an effort to improve the performance of UO2, by increasing the fracture toughness and ductility, small quantities of oxide materials have been added to samples to act as dopants. The different dopants used in this study are: titanium dioxide, yttrium oxide, aluminum oxide, silicon dioxide, and chromium oxide. The effects of the individual dopants and some dopant combinations on the microstructure and mechanical properties are determined using indentation fracture experiments in tandem with scanning electron microscopy. Indentation fracture experiments are carried out at room temperature and at temperatures between 450 °C and 1160 °C.

The results of this work find that doping with aluminosilicate produces the largest favorable change in the mechanical properties of UO2. This sample exhibits an increase in fracture toughness at room temperature without showing a change in yield strength at elevated temperatures. The results also show that doping with Al2O3 and TiO2 produce stronger samples and it is hypothesized that this is a result of the sample containing dopant-rich secondary phase particles.

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2014

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Three dimensional characterization of microstructural effects on spall damage in shocked polycrystalline copper

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Shock loading is a complex phenomenon that can lead to failure mechanisms such as strain localization, void nucleation and growth, and eventually spall fracture. The length scale of damage with respect to that of the surrounding microstructure has proven to

Shock loading is a complex phenomenon that can lead to failure mechanisms such as strain localization, void nucleation and growth, and eventually spall fracture. The length scale of damage with respect to that of the surrounding microstructure has proven to be a key aspect in determining sites of failure initiation. Studying incipient stages of spall damage is of paramount importance to accurately determine initiation sites in the material microstructure where damage will nucleate and grow and to formulate continuum models that account for the variability of the damage process due to microstructural heterogeneity, which is the focus of this research. Shock loading experiments were conducted via flyer-plate impact tests for pressures of 2-6 GPa and strain rates of 105/s on copper polycrystals of varying thermomechanical processing conditions. Serial cross sectioning of recovered target disks was performed along with electron microscopy, electron backscattering diffraction (EBSD), focused ion beam (FIB) milling, and 3-D X-ray tomogrpahy (XRT) to gain 2-D and 3-D information on the spall plane and surrounding microstructure. Statistics on grain boundaries (GB) containing damage were obtained from 2-D data and GBs of misorientations 25° and 50° were found to have the highest probability to contain damage in as-received (AR), heat treated (HT), and fully recrystallized (FR) microstructures, while {111} Σ3 GBs were globally strong. The AR microstructure’s probability peak was the most pronounced indicating GB strength is the dominant factor for damage nucleation. 3-D XRT data was used to digitally render the spall planes of the AR, HT, and FR microstructures. From shape fitting the voids to ellipsoids, it was found that the AR microstructure contained greater than 55% intergranular damage, whereas the HT and FR microstructures contained predominantly transgranular and coalesced damage modes, respectively. 3-D reconstructions of large volume damage sites in shocked Cu multicrystals showed preference for damage nucleation at GBs between adjacent grains of a high Taylor factor mismatches as well as an angle between the shock direction and the GB physical normal of ~30°-45°. 3-D FIB sectioning of individual voids led to the discovery of uniform plastic zones ~25-50% the size of the void diameter and plastic deformation directions were characterized via local average misorientation maps. Incipient transgranular voids revealed from the sectioning process were present in grains of high Taylor factors along the shock direction, which is expected as materials with a low Taylor factor along the shock direction are susceptible to growth due their accomodation of plastic deformation. Fabrication of square waves using photolithography and chemical etching was developed to study the nature of plasticity at GBs away from the spall plane. Grains oriented close to <0 1 1> had half the residual amplitudes than grains oriented close to <0 0 1>.

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2015