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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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RFID Assisted Traffic Sign Recognition System for Autonomous Vehicles

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This research report investigates the feasibility of using RFID in Traffic Sign Recognition (TSR) Systems for autonomous vehicles, specifically driver-less cars. Driver-less cars are becoming more prominent in society but must be designed to integrate with the current transportation infrastructure.

This research report investigates the feasibility of using RFID in Traffic Sign Recognition (TSR) Systems for autonomous vehicles, specifically driver-less cars. Driver-less cars are becoming more prominent in society but must be designed to integrate with the current transportation infrastructure. Current research in TSR systems use image processing as well as LIDAR to identify traffic signs, yet these are highly dependent on lighting conditions, camera quality and sign visibility. The read rates of current TSR systems in literature are approximately 96 percent. The usage of RFID in TSR systems can improve the performance of traditional TSR systems. An RFID TSR was designed for the Autonomous Pheeno Test-bed at the Arizona State University (ASU) Autonomous Collective Systems (ACS) Laboratory. The system was tested with varying parameters to see the effect of the parameters on the read rate. It was found that high reader strength and low tag distance had a maximum read rate of 96.3 percent, which is comparable to existing literature. It was proven that an RFID TSR can perform as well as traditional TSR systems, and has the capacity to improve accuracy when used alongside RGB cameras and LIDAR.

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2018-05

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Control of 3D human arm impedance

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Humans have an inherent capability of performing highly dexterous and skillful tasks with their arms, involving maintaining posture, movement and interacting with the environment. The latter requires for them to control the dynamic characteristics of the upper limb musculoskeletal system.

Humans have an inherent capability of performing highly dexterous and skillful tasks with their arms, involving maintaining posture, movement and interacting with the environment. The latter requires for them to control the dynamic characteristics of the upper limb musculoskeletal system. Inertia, damping and stiffness, a measure of mechanical impedance, gives a strong representation of these characteristics. Many previous studies have shown that the arm posture is a dominant factor for determining the end point impedance in a horizontal plane (transverse plane). The objective of this thesis is to characterize end point impedance of the human arm in the three dimensional (3D) space. Moreover, it investigates and models the control of the arm impedance due to increasing levels of muscle co-contraction. The characterization is done through experimental trials where human subjects maintained arm posture, while perturbed by a robot arm. Moreover, the subjects were asked to control the level of their arm muscles' co-contraction, using visual feedback of their muscles' activation, in order to investigate the effect of the muscle co-contraction on the arm impedance. The results of this study showed a very interesting, anisotropic increase of the arm stiffness due to muscle co-contraction. This can lead to very useful conclusions about the arm biomechanics as well as many implications for human motor control and more specifically the control of arm impedance through muscle co-contraction. The study finds implications for the EMG-based control of robots that physically interact with humans.

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2013

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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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Parallel optimization of polynomials for large-scale problems in stability and control

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In this thesis, we focus on some of the NP-hard problems in control theory. Thanks to the converse Lyapunov theory, these problems can often be modeled as optimization over polynomials. To avoid the problem of intractability, we establish a trade

In this thesis, we focus on some of the NP-hard problems in control theory. Thanks to the converse Lyapunov theory, these problems can often be modeled as optimization over polynomials. To avoid the problem of intractability, we establish a trade off between accuracy and complexity. In particular, we develop a sequence of tractable optimization problems - in the form of Linear Programs (LPs) and/or Semi-Definite Programs (SDPs) - whose solutions converge to the exact solution of the NP-hard problem. However, the computational and memory complexity of these LPs and SDPs grow exponentially with the progress of the sequence - meaning that improving the accuracy of the solutions requires solving SDPs with tens of thousands of decision variables and constraints. Setting up and solving such problems is a significant challenge. The existing optimization algorithms and software are only designed to use desktop computers or small cluster computers - machines which do not have sufficient memory for solving such large SDPs. Moreover, the speed-up of these algorithms does not scale beyond dozens of processors. This in fact is the reason we seek parallel algorithms for setting-up and solving large SDPs on large cluster- and/or super-computers.

We propose parallel algorithms for stability analysis of two classes of systems: 1) Linear systems with a large number of uncertain parameters; 2) Nonlinear systems defined by polynomial vector fields. First, we develop a distributed parallel algorithm which applies Polya's and/or Handelman's theorems to some variants of parameter-dependent Lyapunov inequalities with parameters defined over the standard simplex. The result is a sequence of SDPs which possess a block-diagonal structure. We then develop a parallel SDP solver which exploits this structure in order to map the computation, memory and communication to a distributed parallel environment. Numerical tests on a supercomputer demonstrate the ability of the algorithm to efficiently utilize hundreds and potentially thousands of processors, and analyze systems with 100+ dimensional state-space. Furthermore, we extend our algorithms to analyze robust stability over more complicated geometries such as hypercubes and arbitrary convex polytopes. Our algorithms can be readily extended to address a wide variety of problems in control such as Hinfinity synthesis for systems with parametric uncertainty and computing control Lyapunov functions.

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2016

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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