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Exoskeletal Hand Fixture for use with Tool Balancing arm for Packing/Warehouse Applications

Description

Many industries require workers in warehouse and stockroom environments to perform frequent lifting tasks. Over time these repeated tasks can lead to excess strain on the worker's body and reduced productivity. This project seeks to develop an exoskeletal wrist fixture

Many industries require workers in warehouse and stockroom environments to perform frequent lifting tasks. Over time these repeated tasks can lead to excess strain on the worker's body and reduced productivity. This project seeks to develop an exoskeletal wrist fixture to be used in conjunction with a powered exoskeleton arm to aid workers performing box lifting types of tasks. Existing products aimed at improving worker comfort and productivity typically employ either fully powered exoskeleton suits or utilize minimally powered spring arms and/or fixtures. These designs either reduce stress to the user's body through powered arms and grippers operated via handheld controls which have limited functionality, or they use a more minimal setup that reduces some load, but exposes the user's hands and wrists to injury by directing support to the forearm. The design proposed here seeks to strike a balance between size, weight, and power requirements and also proposes a novel wrist exoskeleton design which minimizes stress on the user's wrists by directly interfacing with the object to be picked up. The design of the wrist exoskeleton was approached through initially selecting degrees of freedom and a ROM (range of motion) to accommodate. Feel and functionality were improved through an iterative prototyping process which yielded two primary designs. A novel "clip-in" method was proposed to allow the user to easily attach and detach from the exoskeleton. Designs utilized a contact surface intended to be used with dry fibrillary adhesives to maximize exoskeleton grip. Two final designs, which used two pivots in opposite kinematic order, were constructed and tested to determine the best kinematic layout. The best design had two prototypes created to be worn with passive test arms that attached to the user though a specially designed belt.

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Date Created
2016-12

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Microstructure Development in Direct Metal Laser Sintered Inconel Alloy 718

Description

The microstructure development of Inconel alloy 718 (IN718) during conventional processing has been extensively studied and much has been discovered as to the mechanisms behind the exceptional creep resistance that the alloy exhibits. More recently with the development of large

The microstructure development of Inconel alloy 718 (IN718) during conventional processing has been extensively studied and much has been discovered as to the mechanisms behind the exceptional creep resistance that the alloy exhibits. More recently with the development of large scale 3D printing of alloys such as IN718 a new dimension of complexity has emerged in the understanding of alloy microstructure development, hence, potential alloy development opportunity for IN718.

This study is a broad stroke at discovering possible alternate microstructures developing in Direct-Metal-Laser-Sintering (DMLS) processed IN718 compared to those in conventional wrought IN718. The main inspiration for this study came from creep test results from several DMLS IN718 samples at Honeywell that showed a significant

improvement in creep capabilities for DMLS718 compared to cast and wrought IN718 (Honeywell).

From this data the steady-state creep rates were evaluated and fitted to current creep models in order to identify active creep mechanisms in conventional and DMLS IN718 and illuminate the potential factors responsible for the improved creep behavior in DMSL processed IN718.

Because rapid heating and cooling can introduce high internal stress and impact microstructural development, such as gamma double prime formations (Oblak et al.), leading to differences in material behavior, DMLS and conventional IN718 materials are studied using SEM and TEM characterization to investigate sub-micron and/or nano-scale

microstructural differences developed in the DMLS samples as a result of their complex thermal history and internal stress.

The preliminary analysis presented in this body of work is an attempt to better understand the effect of DMLS processing in quest for development of optimization techniques for DMLS as a whole. A historical sketch of nickel alloys and the development of IN718 is given. A literature review detailing the microstructure of IN718 is presented. Creep data analysis and identification of active creep mechanisms are evaluated. High-resolution microstructural characterization of DMLS and wrought IN718 are discussed in detail throughout various chapters of this thesis. Finally, an initial effort in developing a processing model that would allow for parameter optimization is presented.

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Date Created
2017

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A Study on the Use of Extrusion-based Additive Manufacturing for Electrostatic Discharge Compliant Components from PEEK-Carbon Nanotube Composite

Description

Electrostatic Discharge (ESD) is a unique issue in the electronics industry that can cause failures of electrical components and complete electronic systems. There is an entire industry that is focused on developing ESD compliant tooling using traditional manufacturing methods.

Electrostatic Discharge (ESD) is a unique issue in the electronics industry that can cause failures of electrical components and complete electronic systems. There is an entire industry that is focused on developing ESD compliant tooling using traditional manufacturing methods. This research work evaluates the feasibility to fabricate a PEEK-Carbon Nanotube composite filament for Fused Filament Fabrication (FFF) Additive Manufacturing that is ESD compliant. In addition, it demonstrates that the FFF process can be used to print tools with the required accuracy, ESD compliance and mechanical properties necessary for the electronics industry at a low rate production level. Current Additive Manufacturing technology can print high temperature polymers, such as PEEK, with the required mechanical properties but they are not ESD compliant and require post processing to create a product that is. There has been some research conducted using mixed multi-wall and single wall carbon nanotubes in a PEEK polymers, which improves mechanical properties while reducing bulk resistance to the levels required to be ESD compliant. This previous research has been used to develop a PEEK-CNT polymer matrix for the Fused Filament Fabrication additive manufacturing process

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Date Created
2020