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Development of an Ionic Liquid Electrolyte for Seismometer Applications

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Iodide-based ionic liquids have been widely employed as sources of iodide in electrolytes for applications utilizing the triiodide/iodide redox couple. While adding a low-viscosity solvent such as water to ionic liquids can greatly enhance their usefulness, mixtures of highly viscous

Iodide-based ionic liquids have been widely employed as sources of iodide in electrolytes for applications utilizing the triiodide/iodide redox couple. While adding a low-viscosity solvent such as water to ionic liquids can greatly enhance their usefulness, mixtures of highly viscous iodide-containing ILs with water have never been studied. Thus, this paper investigates, for the first time, mixtures of water and the ionic liquid 1-butyl-3-methylimidazolium iodide ([BMIM][I]) through a combined experimental and molecular dynamics study. The density, melting point, viscosity and conductivity of these mixtures were measured experimentally. The composition region below 50% water by mole was found to be dramatically different from the region above 50% water, with trends in density and melting point differing before and after that point. Water was found to have a profound effect on viscosity and conductivity of the IL, and the effect of hydrogen bonding was discussed. Molecular dynamics simulations representing the same mixture compositions were performed. Molecular ordering was observed, as were changes in this ordering corresponding to water content. Molecular ordering was related to the experimentally measured mixture properties, providing a possible explanation for the two distinct composition regions identified by experiment.

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2015-05

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Nano- and micro-scale temperature measurements using laser-induced fluorescence thermometry

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A method of determining nanoparticle temperature through fluorescence intensity levels is described. Intracellular processes are often tracked through the use of fluorescence tagging, and ideal temperatures for many of these processes are unknown. Through the use of fluorescence-based thermometry, cellular

A method of determining nanoparticle temperature through fluorescence intensity levels is described. Intracellular processes are often tracked through the use of fluorescence tagging, and ideal temperatures for many of these processes are unknown. Through the use of fluorescence-based thermometry, cellular processes such as intracellular enzyme movement can be studied and their respective temperatures established simultaneously. Polystyrene and silica nanoparticles are synthesized with a variety of temperature-sensitive dyes such as BODIPY, rose Bengal, Rhodamine dyes 6G, 700, and 800, and Nile Blue A and Nile Red. Photographs are taken with a QImaging QM1 Questar EXi Retiga camera while particles are heated from 25 to 70 C and excited at 532 nm with a Coherent DPSS-532 laser. Photographs are converted to intensity images in MATLAB and analyzed for fluorescence intensity, and plots are generated in MATLAB to describe each dye's intensity vs temperature. Regression curves are created to describe change in fluorescence intensity over temperature. Dyes are compared as nanoparticle core material is varied. Large particles are also created to match the camera's optical resolution capabilities, and it is established that intensity values increase proportionally with nanoparticle size. Nile Red yielded the closest-fit model, with R2 values greater than 0.99 for a second-order polynomial fit. By contrast, Rhodamine 6G only yielded an R2 value of 0.88 for a third-order polynomial fit, making it the least reliable dye for temperature measurements using the polynomial model. Of particular interest in this work is Nile Blue A, whose fluorescence-temperature curve yielded a much different shape from the other dyes. It is recommended that future work describe a broader range of dyes and nanoparticle sizes, and use multiple excitation wavelengths to better quantify each dye's quantum efficiency. Further research into the effects of nanoparticle size on fluorescence intensity levels should be considered as the particles used here greatly exceed 2 ìm. In addition, Nile Blue A should be further investigated as to why its fluorescence-temperature curve did not take on a characteristic shape for a temperature-sensitive dye in these experiments.

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2011

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Multiscale Modeling & Virtual Sensing for Structural Health Monitoring

Description

Damage assessment and residual useful life estimation (RULE) are essential for aerospace, civil and naval structures. Structural Health Monitoring (SHM) attempts to automate the process of damage detection and identification. Multiscale modeling is a key element in SHM. It not

Damage assessment and residual useful life estimation (RULE) are essential for aerospace, civil and naval structures. Structural Health Monitoring (SHM) attempts to automate the process of damage detection and identification. Multiscale modeling is a key element in SHM. It not only provides important information on the physics of failure, such as damage initiation and growth, the output can be used as "virtual sensing" data for detection and prognosis. The current research is part of an ongoing multidisciplinary effort to develop an integrated SHM framework for metallic aerospace components. In this thesis a multiscale model has been developed by bridging the relevant length scales, micro, meso and macro (or structural scale). Micro structural representations obtained from material characterization studies are used to define the length scales and to capture the size and orientation of the grains at the micro level. Parametric studies are conducted to estimate material parameters used in this constitutive model. Numerical and experimental simulations are performed to investigate the effects of Representative Volume Element (RVE) size, defect area fraction and distribution. A multiscale damage criterion accounting for crystal orientation effect is developed. This criterion is applied for fatigue crack initial stage prediction. A damage evolution rule based on strain energy density is modified to incorporate crystal plasticity at the microscale (local). Optimization approaches are used to calculate global damage index which is used for the RVE failure prediciton. Potential cracking directions are provided from the damage criterion simultaneously. A wave propagation model is incorporated with the damage model to detect changes in sensing signals due to plastic deformation and damage growth.

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2011

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Integrated structural health management of complex carbon fiber reinforced composite structures

Description

Structural health management (SHM) is emerging as a vital methodology to help engineers improve the safety and maintainability of critical structures. SHM systems are designed to reliably monitor and test the health and performance of structures in aerospace, civil, and

Structural health management (SHM) is emerging as a vital methodology to help engineers improve the safety and maintainability of critical structures. SHM systems are designed to reliably monitor and test the health and performance of structures in aerospace, civil, and mechanical engineering applications. SHM combines multidisciplinary technologies including sensing, signal processing, pattern recognition, data mining, high fidelity probabilistic progressive damage models, physics based damage models, and regression analysis. Due to the wide application of carbon fiber reinforced composites and their multiscale failure mechanisms, it is necessary to emphasize the research of SHM on composite structures. This research develops a comprehensive framework for the damage detection, localization, quantification, and prediction of the remaining useful life of complex composite structures. To interrogate a composite structure, guided wave propagation is applied to thin structures such as beams and plates. Piezoelectric transducers are selected because of their versatility, which allows them to be used as sensors and actuators. Feature extraction from guided wave signals is critical to demonstrate the presence of damage and estimate the damage locations. Advanced signal processing techniques are employed to extract robust features and information. To provide a better estimate of the damage for accurate life estimation, probabilistic regression analysis is used to obtain a prediction model for the prognosis of complex structures subject to fatigue loading. Special efforts have been applied to the extension of SHM techniques on aerospace and spacecraft structures, such as UAV composite wings and deployable composite boom structures. Necessary modifications of the developed SHM techniques were conducted to meet the unique requirements of the aerospace structures. The developed SHM algorithms are able to accurately detect and quantify impact damages as well as matrix cracking introduced.

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2012

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Mechanics analysis of coupled large deformation and diffusion in gels

Description

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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Multiscale modeling of heterogeneous material systems

Description

Damage detection in heterogeneous material systems is a complex problem and requires an in-depth understanding of the material characteristics and response under varying load and environmental conditions. A significant amount of research has been conducted in this field to enhance

Damage detection in heterogeneous material systems is a complex problem and requires an in-depth understanding of the material characteristics and response under varying load and environmental conditions. A significant amount of research has been conducted in this field to enhance the fidelity of damage assessment methodologies, using a wide range of sensors and detection techniques, for both metallic materials and composites. However, detecting damage at the microscale is not possible with commercially available sensors. A probable way to approach this problem is through accurate and efficient multiscale modeling techniques, which are capable of tracking damage initiation at the microscale and propagation across the length scales. The output from these models will provide an improved understanding of damage initiation; the knowledge can be used in conjunction with information from physical sensors to improve the size of detectable damage. In this research, effort has been dedicated to develop multiscale modeling approaches and associated damage criteria for the estimation of damage evolution across the relevant length scales. Important issues such as length and time scales, anisotropy and variability in material properties at the microscale, and response under mechanical and thermal loading are addressed. Two different material systems have been studied: metallic material and a novel stress-sensitive epoxy polymer.

For metallic material (Al 2024-T351), the methodology initiates at the microscale where extensive material characterization is conducted to capture the microstructural variability. A statistical volume element (SVE) model is constructed to represent the material properties. Geometric and crystallographic features including grain orientation, misorientation, size, shape, principal axis direction and aspect ratio are captured. This SVE model provides a computationally efficient alternative to traditional techniques using representative volume element (RVE) models while maintaining statistical accuracy. A physics based multiscale damage criterion is developed to simulate the fatigue crack initiation. The crack growth rate and probable directions are estimated simultaneously.

Mechanically sensitive materials that exhibit specific chemical reactions upon external loading are currently being investigated for self-sensing applications. The "smart" polymer modeled in this research consists of epoxy resin, hardener, and a stress-sensitive material called mechanophore The mechanophore activation is based on covalent bond-breaking induced by external stimuli; this feature can be used for material-level damage detections. In this work Tris-(Cinnamoyl oxymethyl)-Ethane (TCE) is used as the cyclobutane-based mechanophore (stress-sensitive) material in the polymer matrix. The TCE embedded polymers have shown promising results in early damage detection through mechanically induced fluorescence. A spring-bead based network model, which bridges nanoscale information to higher length scales, has been developed to model this material system. The material is partitioned into discrete mass beads which are linked using linear springs at the microscale. A series of MD simulations were performed to define the spring stiffness in the statistical network model. By integrating multiple spring-bead models a network model has been developed to represent the material properties at the mesoscale. The model captures the statistical distribution of crosslinking degree of the polymer to represent the heterogeneous material properties at the microscale. The developed multiscale methodology is computationally efficient and provides a possible means to bridge multiple length scales (from 10 nm in MD simulation to 10 mm in FE model) without significant loss of accuracy. Parametric studies have been conducted to investigate the influence of the crosslinking degree on the material behavior. The developed methodology has been used to evaluate damage evolution in the self-sensing polymer.

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2014

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Advances in micromechanics modeling of composites structures for structural health monitoring

Description

Although high performance, light-weight composites are increasingly being used in applications ranging from aircraft, rotorcraft, weapon systems and ground vehicles, the assurance of structural reliability remains a critical issue. In composites, damage is absorbed through various fracture processes, including fiber

Although high performance, light-weight composites are increasingly being used in applications ranging from aircraft, rotorcraft, weapon systems and ground vehicles, the assurance of structural reliability remains a critical issue. In composites, damage is absorbed through various fracture processes, including fiber failure, matrix cracking and delamination. An important element in achieving reliable composite systems is a strong capability of assessing and inspecting physical damage of critical structural components. Installation of a robust Structural Health Monitoring (SHM) system would be very valuable in detecting the onset of composite failure. A number of major issues still require serious attention in connection with the research and development aspects of sensor-integrated reliable SHM systems for composite structures. In particular, the sensitivity of currently available sensor systems does not allow detection of micro level damage; this limits the capability of data driven SHM systems. As a fundamental layer in SHM, modeling can provide in-depth information on material and structural behavior for sensing and detection, as well as data for learning algorithms. This dissertation focusses on the development of a multiscale analysis framework, which is used to detect various forms of damage in complex composite structures. A generalized method of cells based micromechanics analysis, as implemented in NASA's MAC/GMC code, is used for the micro-level analysis. First, a baseline study of MAC/GMC is performed to determine the governing failure theories that best capture the damage progression. The deficiencies associated with various layups and loading conditions are addressed. In most micromechanics analysis, a representative unit cell (RUC) with a common fiber packing arrangement is used. The effect of variation in this arrangement within the RUC has been studied and results indicate this variation influences the macro-scale effective material properties and failure stresses. The developed model has been used to simulate impact damage in a composite beam and an airfoil structure. The model data was verified through active interrogation using piezoelectric sensors. The multiscale model was further extended to develop a coupled damage and wave attenuation model, which was used to study different damage states such as fiber-matrix debonding in composite structures with surface bonded piezoelectric sensors.

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2012

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Nano-engineering metamaterials and metafilms for high-efficiency solar energy harvesting and conversion

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The energy crisis in the past decades has greatly boosted the search for alternatives to traditional fossil foils, and solar energy stands out as an important candidate due to its cleanness and abundance. However, the relatively low conversion efficiency and

The energy crisis in the past decades has greatly boosted the search for alternatives to traditional fossil foils, and solar energy stands out as an important candidate due to its cleanness and abundance. However, the relatively low conversion efficiency and energy density strongly hinder the utilization of solar energy in wider applications. This thesis focuses on employing metamaterials and metafilms to enhance the conversion efficiency of solar thermal, solar thermophotovoltaic (STPV) and photovoltaic systems.

A selective metamaterial solar absorber is designed in this thesis to maximize the absorbed solar energy and minimize heat dissipation through thermal radiation. The theoretically designed metamaterial solar absorber exhibits absorptance higher than 95% in the solar spectrum but shows emittance less than 4% in the IR regime. This metamaterial solar absorber is further experimentally fabricated and optically characterized. Moreover, a metafilm selective absorber with stability up to 600oC is introduced, which exhibits solar absorptance higher than 90% and IR emittance less than 10%.

Solar thermophotovoltaic energy conversion enhanced by metamaterial absorbers and emitters is theoretically investigated in this thesis. The STPV system employing selective metamaterial absorber and emitter is investigated in this work, showing its conversion efficiency between 8% and 10% with concentration factor varying between 20 and 200. This conversion efficiency is remarkably enhanced compared with the conversion efficiency for STPV system employing black surfaces (<2.5%).

Moreover, plasmonic light trapping in ultra-thin solar cells employing concave grating nanostructures is discussed in this thesis. The plasmonic light trapping inside an ultrathin GaAs layer in the film-coupled metamaterial structure is numerically demonstrated. By exciting plasmonic resonances inside this structure, the short-circuit current density for the film-coupled metamaterial solar cell is three times the short-circuit current for a free-standing GaAs layer.

The dissertation is concluded by discussing about the future work on selective solar thermal absorbers, STPV/TPV systems and light trapping structures. Possibilities to design and fabricate solar thermal absorber with better thermal stability will be discussed, the experimental work of TPV system will be conducted, and the light trapping in organic and perovskite solar cells will be looked into.

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2016

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Studies of origami and kirigami and their applications

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Origami and Kirigami are two traditional art forms in the world. Origami, from

‘ori’ meaning folding, and ‘kami’ meaning paper is the art of paper folding. Kirigami, from ‘kiri’ meaning cutting, is the art of the combination of paper cutting and

Origami and Kirigami are two traditional art forms in the world. Origami, from

‘ori’ meaning folding, and ‘kami’ meaning paper is the art of paper folding. Kirigami, from ‘kiri’ meaning cutting, is the art of the combination of paper cutting and paper folding. In this dissertation, Origami and kirigami concepts were successively utilized in making stretchable lithium ion batteries and three-dimensional (3D) silicon structure which both provide excellent mechanical characteristics.

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2016

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A new atomistic simulation framework for mechanochemical reaction analysis of mechanophore embedded nanocomposites

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A hybrid molecular dynamics (MD) simulation framework is developed to emulate mechanochemical reaction of mechanophores in epoxy-based nanocomposites. Two different force fields, a classical force field and a bond order based force field are hybridized to mimic the experimental processes

A hybrid molecular dynamics (MD) simulation framework is developed to emulate mechanochemical reaction of mechanophores in epoxy-based nanocomposites. Two different force fields, a classical force field and a bond order based force field are hybridized to mimic the experimental processes from specimen preparation to mechanical loading test. Ultra-violet photodimerization for mechanophore synthesis and epoxy curing for thermoset polymer generation are successfully simulated by developing a numerical covalent bond generation method using the classical force field within the framework. Mechanical loading tests to activate mechanophores are also virtually conducted by deforming the volume of a simulation unit cell. The unit cell deformation leads to covalent bond elongation and subsequent bond breakage, which is captured using the bond order based force field. The outcome of the virtual loading test is used for local work analysis, which enables a quantitative study of mechanophore activation. Through the local work analysis, the onset and evolution of mechanophore activation indicating damage initiation and propagation are estimated; ultimately, the mechanophore sensitivity to external stress is evaluated. The virtual loading tests also provide accurate estimations of mechanical properties such as elastic, shear, bulk modulus, yield strain/strength, and Poisson’s ratio of the system. Experimental studies are performed in conjunction with the simulation work to validate the hybrid MD simulation framework. Less than 2% error in estimations of glass transition temperature (Tg) is observed with experimentally measured Tgs by use of differential scanning calorimetry. Virtual loading tests successfully reproduce the stress-strain curve capturing the effect of mechanophore inclusion on mechanical properties of epoxy polymer; comparable changes in Young’s modulus and yield strength are observed in experiments and simulations. Early damage signal detection, which is identified in experiments by observing increased intensity before the yield strain, is captured in simulations by showing that the critical strain representing the onset of the mechanophore activation occurs before the estimated yield strain. It is anticipated that the experimentally validated hybrid MD framework presented in this dissertation will provide a low-cost alternative to additional experiments that are required for optimizing material design parameters to improve damage sensing capability and mechanical properties.

In addition to the study of mechanochemical reaction analysis, an atomistic model of interphase in carbon fiber reinforced composites is developed. Physical entanglement between semi-crystalline carbon fiber surface and polymer matrix is captured by introducing voids in multiple graphene layers, which allow polymer matrix to intertwine with graphene layers. The hybrid MD framework is used with some modifications to estimate interphase properties that include the effect of the physical entanglement. The results are compared with existing carbon fiber surface models that assume that carbon fiber has a crystalline structure and hence are unable to capture the physical entanglement. Results indicate that the current model shows larger stress gradients across the material interphase. These large stress gradients increase the viscoplasticity and damage effects at the interphase. The results are important for improved prediction of the nonlinear response and damage evolution in composite materials.

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2017