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Surface Mechanical Attrition Treatment (SMAT) of 7075 Aluminum Alloy to Induce a Protective Corrosion Resistant Layer

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This paper investigates Surface Mechanical Attrition Treatment (SMAT) and the influence of treatment temperature and initial sample surface finish on the corrosion resistance of 7075-T651 aluminum alloy. Ambient SMAT was performed on AA7075 samples polished to 80-grit initial surface roughness.

This paper investigates Surface Mechanical Attrition Treatment (SMAT) and the influence of treatment temperature and initial sample surface finish on the corrosion resistance of 7075-T651 aluminum alloy. Ambient SMAT was performed on AA7075 samples polished to 80-grit initial surface roughness. Potentiodynamic polarization and electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS) tests were used to characterize the corrosion behavior of samples before and after SMAT. Electrochemical tests indicated an improved corrosion resistance after application of SMAT process. The observed improvements in corrosion properties are potentially due to microstructural changes in the material surface induced by SMAT which encouraged the formation of a passive oxide layer. Further testing and research are required to understand the corrosion related effects of cryogenic SMAT and initial-surface finish as the COVID-19 pandemic inhibited experimentation plans.

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2020-05

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In situ SEM Testing for Fatigue Crack Growth: Mechanical Investigation of Titanium

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Widespread knowledge of fracture mechanics is mostly based on previous models that generalize crack growth in materials over several loading cycles. The objective of this project is to characterize crack growth that occurs in titanium alloys, specifically Grade 5 Ti-6Al-4V,

Widespread knowledge of fracture mechanics is mostly based on previous models that generalize crack growth in materials over several loading cycles. The objective of this project is to characterize crack growth that occurs in titanium alloys, specifically Grade 5 Ti-6Al-4V, at the sub-cycle scale, or within a single loading cycle. Using scanning electron microscopy (SEM), imaging analysis is performed to observe crack behavior at ten loading steps throughout the loading and unloading paths. Analysis involves measuring the incremental crack growth and crack tip opening displacement (CTOD) of specimens at loading ratios of 0.1, 0.3, and 0.5. This report defines the relationship between crack growth and the stress intensity factor, K, of the specimens, as well as the relationship between the R-ratio and stress opening level. The crack closure phenomena and effect of microcracks are discussed as they influence the crack growth behavior. This method has previously been used to characterize crack growth in Al 7075-T6. The results for Ti-6Al-4V are compared to these previous findings in order to strengthen conclusions about crack growth behavior.

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2018-05

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Simulation of Atomic Structure around Defects in Anatase

Description

Titanium dioxide is an essential material under research for energy and environmental applications, chiefly through its photocatalytic properties. These properties allow it to be used for water-splitting, detoxification, and photovoltaics, in addition to its conventional uses in pigmentation and

Titanium dioxide is an essential material under research for energy and environmental applications, chiefly through its photocatalytic properties. These properties allow it to be used for water-splitting, detoxification, and photovoltaics, in addition to its conventional uses in pigmentation and sunscreen. Titanium dioxide exists in several polymorphic structures, of which the most common are rutile and anatase. We focused on anatase for the purposes of this research, due to its promising results for hydrolysis.

Anatase exists often in its reduced form (TiO2-x), enabling it to perform redox reactions through the absorption and release of oxygen into/from the crystal lattice. These processes result in structural changes, induced by defects in the material, which can theoretically be observed using advanced characterization methods. In situ electron microscopy is one of such methods, and can provide a window into these structural changes. However, in order to interpret the structural evolution caused by defects in materials, it is often necessary and pertinent to use atomistic simulations to compare the experimental images with models.

In this thesis project, we modeled the defect structures in anatase, around oxygen vacancies and at surfaces, using molecular dynamics, benchmarked with density functional theory. Using a “reactive” forcefield designed for the simulation of interactions between anatase and water that can model and treat bonding through the use of bond orders, different vacancy structures were analyzed and simulated. To compare these theoretical, generated models with experimental data, the “multislice approach” to TEM image simulation was used. We investigated a series of different vacancy configurations and surfaces and generated fingerprints for comparison with TEM experiments. This comparison demonstrated a proof of concept for a technique suggesting the possibility for the identification of oxygen vacancy structures directly from TEM images. This research aims to improve our atomic-level understanding of oxide materials, by providing a methodology for the analysis of vacancy formation from very subtle phenomena in TEM images.

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2019-05

Structural Health Monitoring: Acoustic Emissions

Description

Non-Destructive Testing (NDT) is integral to preserving the structural health of materials. Techniques that fall under the NDT category are able to evaluate integrity and condition of a material without permanently altering any property of the material. Additionally,

Non-Destructive Testing (NDT) is integral to preserving the structural health of materials. Techniques that fall under the NDT category are able to evaluate integrity and condition of a material without permanently altering any property of the material. Additionally, they can typically be used while the material is in active use instead of needing downtime for inspection.
The two general categories of structural health monitoring (SHM) systems include passive and active monitoring. Active SHM systems utilize an input of energy to monitor the health of a structure (such as sound waves in ultrasonics), while passive systems do not. As such, passive SHM tends to be more desirable. A system could be permanently fixed to a critical location, passively accepting signals until it records a damage event, then localize and characterize the damage. This is the goal of acoustic emissions testing.
When certain types of damage occur, such as matrix cracking or delamination in composites, the corresponding release of energy creates sound waves, or acoustic emissions, that propagate through the material. Audio sensors fixed to the surface can pick up data from both the time and frequency domains of the wave. With proper data analysis, a time of arrival (TOA) can be calculated for each sensor allowing for localization of the damage event. The frequency data can be used to characterize the damage.
In traditional acoustic emissions testing, the TOA combined with wave velocity and information about signal attenuation in the material is used to localize events. However, in instances of complex geometries or anisotropic materials (such as carbon fibre composites), velocity and attenuation can vary wildly based on the direction of interest. In these cases, localization can be based off of the time of arrival distances for each sensor pair. This technique is called Delta T mapping, and is the main focus of this study.

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2019-05

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2D or Not To Be: The Story and Science of Graphene

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The story of graphene truly began in what was simply a stub in the journal Physical Review not two years after the end of World War II. In 1947, McGill University physicist P.R. Wallace authored “The Band Theory of Graphite”

The story of graphene truly began in what was simply a stub in the journal Physical Review not two years after the end of World War II. In 1947, McGill University physicist P.R. Wallace authored “The Band Theory of Graphite” and attempted to develop a foundation on which the structure-property relationship of graphite could be explored; he calculates the number of free electrons and conductivity of what he describes as “a single hexagonal layer” and “suppos[es] that conduction takes place only in layers” in bulk graphite to predict wave functions, energies at specific atomic sites in the hexagonal lattice, and energy contours using a tight binding approximation for a hypothesized version of what we now call ‘armchair-style’ graphene. While Wallace was the first to explore the band structure and Brillouin Zones of single-layer graphite, the concept of two-dimensional materials was not new. In fact, for years, it was dismissed as a thermodynamic impossibility.

Everything seemed poised against any proposed physical and experimental stability of a structure like graphene. “Thermodynamically impossible”– a not uncommon shutdown to proposed novel physical or chemical concepts– was once used to describe the entire field of proposed two-dimensional crystals functioning separately from a three-dimensional base or crystalline structure. Rudolf Peierls and Lev Davoidovich Landau, both very accomplished physicists respectively known for the Manhattan Project and for developing a mathematical theory of helium superfluidity, rejected the possibility of isolated monolayer to few-layered crystal lattices. Their reasoning was that diverging thermodynamic-based crystal lattice fluctuations would render the material unstable regardless of controlled temperature. This logic is flawed, but not necessarily inaccurate– diamond, for instance, is thermodynamically metastable at room temperature and pressure in that there exists a slow (i.e. slow on the scale of millions of years) but continuous transformation to graphite. However, this logic was used to support an explanation of thermodynamic impossibility that was provided for graphene’s lack of isolation as late as 1979 by Cornell solid-state physicist Nathaniel David Mermin. These physicists’ claims had clear and consistent grounding in experimental data: as thin films become thinner, there exists a trend of a decreasing melting temperature and increasing instability that renders the films into islands at somewhere around ten to twenty atomic layers. This is driven by the thermodynamically-favorable minimization of surface energy.

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Date Created
2018-05

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Environmental Impact of Graphene's Adoption into Everyday Life

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Graphene has the ability to advance many common fields, including: membranes, composites and coatings, energy, and electronics. For membranes, graphene will be used as a filter for desalination plants which will reduce the cost of desalination and greatly increase water

Graphene has the ability to advance many common fields, including: membranes, composites and coatings, energy, and electronics. For membranes, graphene will be used as a filter for desalination plants which will reduce the cost of desalination and greatly increase water security in developing countries. For composites and coatings, graphene's strength, flexibility, and lightweight will be instrumental in producing the next generation of athletic wear and sports equipment. Graphene's use in energy comes from its theorized ability to charge a phone battery in seconds or an electric car in minutes. Finally, for electronics, graphene will be used to create faster transistors, flexible electronics, and fully integrated wearable technology.

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2018-05

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An Effective Characterization Methodology for Sub-micron Copper Oxides and Oxide-preventing Surface Finishes with a Short Essay on the Role of SEM in the Continuing Miniaturization of Integrated Circuits

Description

The transition to lead-free solder in the electronics industry has benefited the environment in many ways. However, with new materials systems comes new materials issues. During the processing of copper pads, a protective surface treatment is needed to prevent the

The transition to lead-free solder in the electronics industry has benefited the environment in many ways. However, with new materials systems comes new materials issues. During the processing of copper pads, a protective surface treatment is needed to prevent the copper from oxidizing. Characterizing the copper oxidation underneath the surface treatment is challenging but necessary for product reliability and failure analysis. Currently, FIB-SEM, which is time-consuming and expensive, is what is used to understand and analyze the surface treatment-copper oxide(s)-copper system. This project's goals were to determine a characterization methodology that cuts both characterization time and cost in half for characterizing copper oxidation beneath a surface treatment and to determine which protective surface treatment is the best as defined by multiple criterion such as cost, sustainability, and reliability. Two protective surface treatments, organic solderability preservative (OSP) and chromium zincate, were investigated, and multiple characterization techniques were researched. Six techniques were tested, and three were deemed promising. Through our studies, it was determined that the best surface treatment was organic solderability preservative (OSP) and the ideal characterization methodology would be using FIB-SEM to calibrate a QCM model, along with using SERA to confirm the QCM model results. The methodology we propose would result in a 91% reduction in characterization cost and a 92% reduction in characterization time. Future work includes further calibration of the QCM model using more FIB/SEM data points and eventually creating a model for oxide layer thickness as a function of exposure time and processing temperature using QCM as the primary data source. An additional short essay on the role of SEM on the continuing miniaturization of integrated circuits is included at the end. This paper explores the intertwined histories of the scanning electron microscope and the integrated circuit, highlighting how advances in SEM influence integrated circuit advances.

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2015-05

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Pharmacologic Modulation of the Blood-Brain Barrier

Description

One of the most prominent biological challenges for the field of drug delivery is the blood-brain barrier. This physiological system blocks the entry of or actively removes almost all small molecules into the central nervous system (CNS), including many drugs

One of the most prominent biological challenges for the field of drug delivery is the blood-brain barrier. This physiological system blocks the entry of or actively removes almost all small molecules into the central nervous system (CNS), including many drugs that could be used to treat diseases in the CNS. Previous studies have shown that activation of the adenosine receptor signaling pathway through the use of agonists has been demonstrated to increase BBB permeability. For example, regadenoson is an adenosine A2A receptor agonist that has been shown to disrupt the BBB and allow for increased drug uptake in the CNS. The goal of this study was to verify this property of regadenoson. We hypothesized that co-administration of regadenoson with a non-brain penetrant macromolecule would facilitate its entry into the central nervous system. To test this hypothesis, healthy mice were administered regadenoson or saline concomitantly with a fluorescent dextran solution. The brain tissue was either homogenized to measure quantity of fluorescent molecule, or cryosectioned for imaging with confocal fluorescence microscopy. These experiments did not identify any significant difference in the amount of fluorescence detected in the brain after regadenoson treatment. These results contradict those of previous studies and highlight potential differences in injection methodology, time windows, and properties of brain impermeant molecules.

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2015-05

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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

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The Effect of Nanoparticle Diameter on TAT-mediated Delivery to the CNS In Vivo

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Neurological disorders are difficult to treat with current drug delivery methods due to their inefficiency and the lack of knowledge of the mechanisms behind drug delivery across the blood brain barrier (BBB). Nanoparticles (NPs) are a promising drug delivery method

Neurological disorders are difficult to treat with current drug delivery methods due to their inefficiency and the lack of knowledge of the mechanisms behind drug delivery across the blood brain barrier (BBB). Nanoparticles (NPs) are a promising drug delivery method due to their biocompatibility and ability to be modified by cell penetrating peptides, such as transactivating transciptor (TAT) peptide, which has been shown to increase efficiency of delivery. There are multiple proposed mechanisms of TAT-mediated delivery that also have size restrictions on the molecules that can undergo each BBB crossing mechanism. The effect of nanoparticle size on TAT-mediated delivery in vivo is an important aspect to research in order to better understand the delivery mechanisms and to create more efficient NPs. NPs called FluoSpheres are used because they come in defined diameters unlike polymeric NPs that have a broad distribution of diameters. Both modified and unmodified 100nm and 200nm NPs were able to bypass the BBB and were seen in the brain, spinal cord, liver, and spleen using confocal microscopy and a biodistribution study. Statistically significant differences in delivery rate of the different sized NPs or between TAT-modified and unmodified NPs were not found. Therefore in future work a larger range of diameter size will be evaluated. Also the unmodified NPs will be conjugated with scrambled peptide to ensure that both unmodified and TAT-modified NPs are prepared in identical fashion to better understand the role of size on TAT targeting. Although all the NPs were able to bypass the BBB, future work will hopefully provide a better representation of how NP size effects the rate of TAT-mediated delivery to the CNS.

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2016-05