Open Science Research Excellence

Open Science Index

Commenced in January 2007 Frequency: Monthly Edition: International Paper Count: 961

Materials and Metallurgical Engineering

Development of a Real Time Axial Force Measurement System and IoT-Based Monitoring for Smart Bearing

The purpose of this research is to develop a real time axial force measurement system for a smart bearing through the use of strain-gauges, whereby the data acquisition is performed by an Arduino microcontroller due to its easy manipulation and low-cost. The measured signal is acquired and then discretized using a Wheatstone Bridge and an Analog-Digital Converter (ADC) respectively. For bearing monitoring, a real time monitoring system based on Internet of things (IoT) and Bluetooth were developed. Experimental tests were performed on a bearing within a force range up to 600 kN. The experimental results show that there is a proportional linear relationship between the applied force and the output voltage, and the error R squared is within 0.9878 based on the regression analysis.

Analysis of Structural and Photocatalytical Properties of Anatase, Rutile and Mixed Phase TiO2 Films Deposited by Pulsed-Direct Current and Radio Frequency Magnetron Co-Sputtering

Amongst many water purification techniques, TiO2 photocatalysis is recognized as one of the most promising sustainable methods. It is known that for photocatalytical applications anatase is the most suitable TiO2 phase, however heterojunction of anatase/rutile phases could improve the photocatalytical activity of TiO2 even further. Despite the relative simplicity of TiO2 different synthesis methods lead to the highly dispersed crystal phases and photocatalytic activity of the corresponding samples. Accordingly, suggestions and investigations of various innovative methods of TiO2 synthesis are still needed. In this work structural and photocatalytical properties of TiO2 films deposited by the unconventional method of simultaneous co-sputtering from two magnetrons powered by pulsed-Direct Current (pDC) and Radio Frequency (RF) power sources with negative bias voltage have been studied. More specifically, TiO2 film thickness, microstructure, surface roughness, crystal structure, optical transmittance and photocatalytical properties were investigated by profilometer, scanning electron microscope, atomic force microscope, X-ray diffractometer and UV-Vis spectrophotometer respectively. The proposed unconventional two magnetron co-sputtering based TiO2 film formation method showed very promising results for crystalline TiO2 film formation while keeping process temperatures below 100 °C. XRD analysis revealed that by using proper combination of power source type and bias voltage various TiO2 phases (amorphous, anatase, rutile or their mixture) can be synthesized selectively. Moreover, strong dependency between power source type and surface roughness, as well as between the bias voltage and band gap value of TiO2 films was observed. Interestingly, TiO2 films deposited by two magnetron co-sputtering without bias voltage had one of the highest band gap values between the investigated films but its photocatalytic activity was superior compared to all other samples. It is suggested that this is due to the dominating nanocrystalline anatase phase with various exposed surfaces including photocatalytically the most active {001}.

Effect of Particle Size on Alkali-Activation of Slag

In this study grinding experiments were performed in a laboratory ball mill using Polish ferronickel slag in order to study the effect of the particle size on alkali activation and the properties of the produced alkali activated materials (AAMs). In this regard, the particle size distribution and the specific surface area of the grinding products in relation to grinding time were assessed. The experimental results show that products with high compressive strength, e.g. higher than 60 MPa, can be produced when the slag median size decreased from 39.9 μm to 11.9 μm. Also, finer fractions are characterized by higher reactivity and result in the production of AAMs with lower porosity and better mechanical properties.

Development of AA2024 Matrix Composites Reinforced with Micro Yttrium through Cold Compaction with Superior Mechanical Properties

In this present work, five different composite samples with AA2024 as matrix and varying amounts of yttrium (0.1-0.5 wt.%) as reinforcement are developed through cold compaction. The microstructures of the developed composite samples revealed that the yttrium reinforcement caused grain refinement up to 0.3 wt.% and beyond which the refinement is not effective. The microstructure revealed Al2Cu precipitation which strengthened the composite up to 0.3 wt.% yttrium reinforcement. Upon further increase in yttrium reinforcement, the intermetallics and the precipitation coarsen and their corresponding strengthening effect decreases. The mechanical characterization revealed that the composite sample reinforced with 0.3 wt.% yttrium showed highest mechanical properties like 82 HV of hardness, 276 MPa Ultimate Tensile Strength (UTS), 229 MPa Yield Strength (YS) and an elongation (EL) of 18.9% respectively. However, the relative density of the developed composites decreased with the increase in yttrium reinforcement.

Investigation of Chip Formation Characteristics during Surface Finishing of HDPE Samples

Chip formation characteristics are investigated during surface finishing of high density polyethylene (HDPE) samples using a shaper machine. Both the cutting speed and depth of cut are varied continually to enable observations under various machining conditions. The generated chips are analyzed in terms of their shape, size, and deformation. Their physical appearances are also observed using digital camera and optical microscope. The investigation shows that continuous chips are obtained for all the cutting conditions. It is observed that cutting speed is more influential than depth of cut to cause dimensional changes of chips. Chips curl radius is also found to increase gradually with the increase of cutting speed. The length of continuous chips remains always smaller than the job length, and the corresponding discrepancies are found to be more prominent at lower cutting speed. Microstructures of the chips reveal that cracks are formed at higher cutting speeds and depth of cuts, which is not that significant at low depth of cut.

Machinability Analysis in Drilling Flax Fiber-Reinforced Polylactic Acid Bio-Composite Laminates

Interest in natural fiber-reinforced composites (NFRC) is progressively growing both in terms of academia research and industrial applications thanks to their abundant advantages such as low cost, biodegradability, eco-friendly nature and relatively good mechanical properties. However, their widespread use is still presumed as challenging because of the specificity of their non-homogeneous structure, limited knowledge on their machinability characteristics and parameter settings, to avoid defects associated with the machining process. The present work is aimed to investigate the effect of the cutting tool geometry and material on the drilling-induced delamination, thrust force and hole quality produced when drilling a fully biodegradable flax/poly (lactic acid) composite laminate. Three drills with different geometries and material were used at different drilling conditions to evaluate the machinability of the fabricated composites. The experimental results indicated that the choice of cutting tool, in terms of material and geometry, has a noticeable influence on the cutting thrust force and subsequently drilling-induced damages. The lower value of thrust force and better hole quality was observed using high-speed steel (HSS) drill, whereas Carbide drill (with point angle of 130o) resulted in the highest value of thrust force. Carbide drill presented higher wear resistance and stability in variation of thrust force with a number of holes drilled, while HSS drill showed the lower value of thrust force during the drilling process. Finally, within the selected cutting range, the delamination damage increased noticeably with feed rate and moderately with spindle speed.

Peculiarities of Internal Friction and Shear Modulus in 60Co γ-Rays Irradiated Monocrystalline SiGe Alloys

At present, a number of modern semiconductor devices based on SiGe alloys have been created in which the latest achievements of high technologies are used. These devices might cause significant changes to networking, computing, and space technology. In the nearest future new materials based on SiGe will be able to restrict the A3B5 and Si technologies and firmly establish themselves in medium frequency electronics. Effective realization of these prospects requires the solution of prediction and controlling of structural state and dynamical physical –mechanical properties of new SiGe materials. Based on these circumstances, a complex investigation of structural defects and structural-sensitive dynamic mechanical characteristics of SiGe alloys under different external impacts (deformation, radiation, thermal cycling) acquires great importance. Internal friction (IF) and shear modulus temperature and amplitude dependences of the monocrystalline boron-doped Si1-xGex(x≤0.05) alloys grown by Czochralski technique is studied in initial and 60Co gamma-irradiated states. In the initial samples, a set of dislocation origin relaxation processes and accompanying modulus defects are revealed in a temperature interval of 400-800 ⁰C. It is shown that after gamma-irradiation intensity of relaxation internal friction in the vicinity of 280 ⁰C increases and simultaneously activation parameters of high temperature relaxation processes reveal clear rising. It is proposed that these changes of dynamical mechanical characteristics might be caused by a decrease of the dislocation mobility in the Cottrell atmosphere enriched by the radiation defects.

Triple Intercell Bar for Electrometallurgical Processes: A Design to Increase PV Energy Utilization

PV energy prices are declining rapidly. To take advantage of the benefits of those prices and lower the carbon footprint, operational practices must be modified. Undoubtedly, it challenges the electrowinning practice to operate at constant current throughout the day. This work presents a technology that contributes in providing modulation capacity to the electrode current distribution system. This is to raise the day time dc current and lower it at night. The system is a triple intercell bar that operates in current-source mode. The design is a capping board free dogbone type of bar that ensures an operation free of short circuits, hot swapability repairs and improved current balance. This current-source system eliminates the resetting currents circulating in equipotential bars. Twin auxiliary connectors are added to the main connectors providing secure current paths to bypass faulty or impaired contacts. All system conductive elements are positioned over a baseboard offering a large heat sink area to the ventilation of a facility. The system works with lower temperature than a conventional busbar. Of these attributes, the cathode current balance property stands out and is paramount for day/night modulation and the use of photovoltaic energy. A design based on a 3D finite element method model predicting electric and thermal performance under various industrial scenarios is presented. Preliminary results obtained in an electrowinning facility with industrial prototypes are included.

Producing and Mechanical Testing of Urea-Formaldehyde Resin Foams Reinforced by Waste Phosphogypsum

Many of thermosetting resins have application only in filled state, reinforced with different mineral fillers. The co-filling of polymers with mineral filler and gases creates a possibility for production of polymer composites materials with low density. This processing leads to forming of new materials – gas-filled plastics (polymer foams). The properties of these materials are determined mainly by the shape and size of internal structural elements (pores). The interactions on the phase boundaries have influence on the materials properties too. In the present work, the gas-filled urea-formaldehyde resins were reinforced by waste phosphogypsum. The waste phosphogypsum (CaSO4.2H2O) is a solid by-product in wet phosphoric acid production processes. The values of the interactions polymer-filler were increased by using two modifying agents: polyvinyl acetate for polymer matrix and sodium metasilicate for filler. Technological methods for gas-filling and recipes of urea-formaldehyde based materials with apparent density 20-120 kg/m3 were developed. The heat conductivity of the samples is between 0.024 and 0.029 W/moK. Tensile analyses were carried out at 10 and 50% deformation and show values 0.01-0.14 MPa and 0.01-0.09 MPa, respectively. The apparent density of obtained materials is between 20 and 92 kg/m3. The changes in the tensile properties and density of these materials according to sodium metasilicate content were studied too. The mechanism of phosphogypsum adsorption modification was studied using methods of FT-IR spectroscopy. The structure of the gas-filled urea-formaldehyde resins was described by results of electron scanning microscopy at three different magnification ratios – x50, x150 and x 500. The aim of present work is to study the possibility of the usage of phosphogypsum as mineral filler for urea-formaldehyde resins and development of a technology for the production of gas-filled reinforced polymer composite materials. The structure and the properties of obtained composite materials are suitable for thermal and sound insulation applications.

Study of Structural and Electronic Properties of Ternary PdMnGe Half-Heusler Alloy

This study deals with the structural and electronic properties of ternary PdMnGe Half-Heusler alloy using the full potential linearized augmented plane wave (FP-LAPW) method based on the density functional theory (DFT) as implemented in the WIEN2k package, within the framework of generalized gradient approximation (GGA). Structural parameters, total and partial densities of states were also analyzed. The obtained result shows that the studied material is metallic in GGA treatment. The elastic constants (Cij) show that our compound is ductile, stiff and anisotropic.

Reinforcing Effects of Natural Micro-Particles on the Dynamic Impact Behaviour of Hybrid Bio-Composites Made of Short Kevlar Fibers Reinforced Thermoplastic Composite Armor

Hybrid bio-composites are developed for use in protective armor through positive hybridization offered by reinforcement of high-density polyethylene (HDPE) with Kevlar short fibers and palm wood micro-fillers. The manufacturing process involved a combination of extrusion and compression molding techniques. The mechanical behavior of Kevlar fiber reinforced HDPE with and without palm wood filler additions are compared. The effect of the weight fraction of the added palm wood micro-fillers is also determined. The Young modulus was found to increase as the weight fraction of organic micro-particles increased. However, the flexural strength decreased with increasing weight fraction of added micro-fillers. The interfacial interactions between the components were investigated using scanning electron microscopy. The influence of the size, random alignment and distribution of the natural micro-particles was evaluated. Ballistic impact and dynamic shock loading tests were performed to determine the optimum proportion of Kevlar short fibers and organic micro-fillers needed to improve impact strength of the HDPE. These results indicate a positive hybridization by deposition of organic micro-fillers on the surface of short Kevlar fibers used in reinforcing the thermoplastic matrix leading to enhancement of the mechanical strength and dynamic impact behavior of these materials. Therefore, these hybrid bio-composites can be promising materials for different applications against high velocity impacts.

Investigating what Effects Aviation Fluids Have on the Flatwise Compressive Strength of Nomex® Honeycomb Core Material

One of the disadvantages of honeycomb sandwich structure is that they are prone to fluid intrusion. The purpose of this study is to determine if the structural properties of honeycomb core are affected by contact with a fluid. The test specimens were manufactured of fiberglass prepreg for the facesheets and Nomex® honeycomb core for the core material in accordance with ASTM C-365/365M. Test specimens were soaked in several different kinds of fluids, such as aircraft fuel, turbine engine oil, hydraulic fluid, and water for a period of 60 days. A flatwise compressive test was performed, and the test results were analyzed to determine how the contact with aircraft fluids affected the compressive strength of the Nomex® honeycomb core and how the strength was recovered when the specimens were dry. In addition, the investigation of de-bonding between facesheet and core material after soaking were performed to support the study.

Mechanical and Microstructural Properties of Rotary-Swaged Wire of Commercial-Purity Titanium

Bars made of titanium grade 2 and grade 4 were subjected to rotary forging with up to 2.2 true strain reduction in the cross-section from 10 to 3.81 mm. During progressive deformation, grain refinement in the transverse direction took place. In the longitudinal direction, ultrafine microstructure has not developed. It has been demonstrated that titanium grade 2 strengthens more than grade 4. The ultimate tensile strength increased from 650 MPa to 1040 MPa in titanium grade 4. Hardness profiles on the cross section in both materials show an increase in the centre of the wire.

A Composite Developed from a Methyl Methacrylate and Embedded Eppawala Hydroxyapatite for Orthopedics

This study aimed to find out chemical and structural suitability of synthesized eppawala hydroxyapatite composite as bone cement, by comparing and contrasting it with human bone as well as commercially available bone cement, which is currently used in orthopedic surgeries. Therefore, a mixture of commercially available bone cement and its liquid monomer, commercially available methyl methacrylate (MMA) and a mixture of solid state synthesized eppawala hydroxyapatite powder with commercially available MMA were prepared as the direct substitution for bone cement. Then physical and chemical properties including composition, crystallinity, presence of functional groups, thermal stability, surface morphology, and microstructural features were examined compared to human bone. Results show that there is a close similarity between synthesized product and human bone and it has exhibited high thermal stability, good crystalline and porous properties than the commercial product. Finally, the study concluded that synthesized hydroxyapatite composite can be used directly as a substitution for commercial bone cement.

Feasibility Study of Friction Stir Welding Application for Kevlar Material

Friction stir welding (FSW) is a joining process in the solid state, which eliminates problems associated with the material melting and solidification, such as cracks, residual stresses and distortions generated during conventional welding. Among the most important advantages of FSW are; easy automation, less distortion, lower residual stress and good mechanical properties in the joining region. FSW is a recent approach to metal joining and although originally intended for aluminum alloys, it is investigated in a variety of metallic materials. The basic concept of FSW is a rotating tool, made of non-consumable material, specially designed with a geometry consisting of a pin and a recess (shoulder). This tool is inserted as spinning on its axis at the adjoining edges of two sheets or plates to be joined and then it travels along the joining path line. The tool rotation axis defines an angle of inclination with which the components to be welded. This angle is used for receiving the material to be processed at the tool base and to promote the gradual forge effect imposed by the shoulder during the passage of the tool. This prevents the material plastic flow at the tool lateral, ensuring weld closure on the back of the pin. In this study, two 4 mm Kevlar® plates which were produced with the Kevlar® fabrics, are analyzed with COMSOL Multiphysics in order to investigate the weldability via FSW. Thereafter, some experimental investigation is done with an appropriate workbench in order to compare them with the analysis results.

Formation of Protective Silicide-Aluminide Coating on Gamma-TiAl Advanced Material

In this study, the Si-aluminide coating was prepared on gamma-TiAl [Ti-45Al-2Nb-2Mn-1B (at. %)] via liquid-phase slurry procedure. The high temperature oxidation resistance of this diffusion coating was evaluated at 1100 °C for 400 hours. The results of the isothermal oxidation showed that the formation of Si-aluminide coating can remarkably improve the high temperature oxidation of bare gamma-TiAl alloy. The identification of oxide scale microstructure showed that the formation of protective Al2O3+SiO2 mixed oxide scale along with a continuous, compact and uniform layer of Ti5Si3 beneath the surface oxide scale can act as an oxygen diffusion barrier during the high temperature oxidation. The other possible mechanisms related to the formation of Si-aluminide coating and oxide scales were also discussed.

Study of Adsorption Isotherm Models on Rare Earth Elements Biosorption for Separation Purposes
The development of chemical routes for the recovery and separation of rare earth elements (REE) is seen as a priority and strategic action by several countries demanding these elements. Among the possibilities of alternative routes, the biosorption process has been evaluated in our laboratory. In this theme, the present work attempts to assess and fit the solution equilibrium data in Langmuir, Freundlich and DKR isothermal models, based on the biosorption results of the lanthanum and samarium elements by Bacillus subtilis immobilized on calcium alginate gel. It was observed that the preference of adsorption of REE by the immobilized biomass followed the order Sm (III)> La (III). It can be concluded that among the studied isotherms models, the Langmuir model presented better mathematical results than the Freundlich and DKR models.
Fabrication and Characterization of Al2O3 Based Electrical Insulation Coatings Around SiC Fibers

In structural-health monitoring of fiber reinforced plastics (FRPs), every single inorganic fiber sensor that are integrated into the bulk material requires an electrical insulation around itself, when the surrounding reinforcing fibers are electrically conductive. This results in a more accurate data acquisition only from the sensor fiber without any electrical interventions. For this purpose, thin nano-films of aluminium oxide (Al2O3)-based electrical-insulation coatings have been fabricated around the Silicon Carbide (SiC) single fiber sensors through reactive DC magnetron sputtering technique. The sputtered coatings were amorphous in nature and the thickness of the coatings increased with an increase in the sputter time. Microstructural characterization of the coated fibers performed using scanning electron microscopy (SEM) confirmed a homogeneous circumferential coating with no detectable defects or cracks on the surface. X-ray diffraction (XRD) analyses of the as-sputtered and 2 hours annealed coatings (825 & 1125 ˚C) revealed the amorphous and crystalline phases of Al2O3 respectively. Raman spectroscopic analyses produced no characteristic bands of Al2O3, as the thickness of the films was in the nanometer (nm) range, which is too small to overcome the actual penetration depth of the laser used. In addition, the influence of the insulation coatings on the mechanical properties of the SiC sensor fibers has been analyzed.

Aging Evaluation of Ammonium Perchlorate/Hydroxyl Terminated Polybutadiene-Based Solid Rocket Engine by Reactive Molecular Dynamics Simulation and Thermal Analysis

Propellants based on Hydroxyl Terminated Polybutadiene/Ammonium Perchlorate (HTPB/AP) are the most commonly used in most of the rocket engines used by the Brazilian Armed Forces. This work aimed at the possibility of extending its useful life (currently in 10 years) by performing kinetic-chemical analyzes of its energetic material via Differential Scanning Calorimetry (DSC) and also performing computer simulation of aging process using the software Large-scale Atomic/Molecular Massively Parallel Simulator (LAMMPS). Thermal analysis via DSC was performed in triplicates and in three heating ratios (5 ºC, 10 ºC, and 15 ºC) of rocket motor with 11 years shelf-life, using the Arrhenius equation to obtain its activation energy, using Ozawa and Kissinger kinetic methods, allowing comparison with manufacturing period data (standard motor). In addition, the kinetic parameters of internal pressure of the combustion chamber in 08 rocket engines with 11 years of shelf-life were also acquired, for comparison purposes with the engine start-up data.

Study of Intergranular Corrosion in Austenitic Stainless Steels Using Electrochemical Impedance Spectroscopy

Electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS) has been used to detect sensitization in austenitic stainless steels that are heat treated in the temperature regime 600-820 °C to produce different degrees of sensitization in the material. The tests were conducted at five different DC potentials in the transpassive region. The quantitative determination of degree of sensitization has been done using double loop electrochemical potentiokinetic reactivation tests (DL-EPR). The correlation between EIS Nyquist diagrams and DL-EPR degree of sensitization values has been studied. The EIS technique can be used as a qualitative tool in determining the intergranular corrosion in austenitic stainless steels that are heat treated at a given temperature.

Investigating the Fiber Content, Fiber Length, and Curing Characteristics of 3D Printed Recycled Carbon Fiber

As composite materials continue to gain popularity in the aerospace industry; large airframe sections made out of composite materials are becoming the standard for aerospace manufacturers. However, the heavy utilization of these composite materials also increases the importance of the recycling of these composite materials. A team of Purdue University School of Aviation and Transportation Technology (SATT) faculty and students have partnered to investigate the characteristics of 3D printed recycled carbon fiber. A prototype of a 3D printed recycled carbon fiber part was provided by an industry partner and different sections of the prototype were used to create specimens. A furnace was utilized in order to remove the polymer from the specimens and the specimen’s fiber content and fiber length was calculated from the remaining fibers. A differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) and dynamic mechanical analysis (DMA) test was also conducted on the 3D printed recycled carbon fiber prototype in order to determine the prototype’s degree of cure at different locations. The data collected from this study provided valuable information in the process improvement and understanding of 3D printed recycled carbon fiber.

Production of Spherical Cementite within Bainitic Matrix Microstructures in High Carbon Powder Metallurgy Steels

The hardness-microstructure relationships of spherical cementite in bainitic matrix obtained by a different heat treatment cycles carried out to high carbon powder metallurgy (P/M) steel were investigated. For this purpose, 1.5 wt.% natural graphite powder admixed in atomized iron powders and the mixed powders were compacted under 700 MPa at room temperature and then sintered at 1150 °C under a protective argon gas atmosphere. The densities of the green and sintered samples were measured via the Archimedes method. A density of 7.4 g/cm3 was obtained after sintering and a density of 94% was achieved. The sintered specimens having primary cementite plus lamellar pearlitic structures were fully quenched from 950 °C temperature and then over-tempered at 705 °C temperature for 60 minutes to produce spherical-fine cementite particles in the ferritic matrix. After by this treatment, these samples annealed at 735 °C temperature for 3 minutes were austempered at 300 °C salt bath for a period of 1 to 5 hours. As a result of this process, it could be able to produced spherical cementite particle in the bainitic matrix. This microstructure was designed to improve wear and toughness of P/M steels. The microstructures were characterized and analyzed by SEM and micro and macro hardness.

Effect of Filler Metal Diameter on Weld Joint of Carbon Steel SA516 Gr 70 and Filler Metal SFA 5.17 in Submerged Arc Welding SAW

This work describes an investigation on the effect of filler metals diameter to weld joint, and low alloy carbon steel A516 Grade 70 is the base metal. Commercially SA516 Grade70 is frequently used for the manufacturing of pressure vessels, boilers and storage tank, etc. In fabrication industry, the hardness of the weld joint is between the important parameters to check, after heat treatment of the weld. Submerged arc welding (SAW) is used with two filler metal diameters, and this solid wire electrode is used for SAW non-alloy and for fine grain steels (SFA 5.17). The different diameters were selected (Ø = 2.4 mm and Ø = 4 mm) to weld two specimens. Both specimens were subjected to the same preparation conditions, heat treatment, macrograph, metallurgy micrograph, and micro-hardness test. Samples show almost similar structure with highest hardness. It is important to indicate that the thickness used in the base metal is 22 mm, and all specifications, preparation and controls were according to the ASME section IX. It was observed that two different filler metal diameters performed on two similar specimens demonstrated that the mechanical property (hardness) increases with decreasing diameter. It means that even the heat treatment has the same effect with the same conditions, the filler metal diameter insures a depth weld penetration and better homogenization. Hence, the SAW welding technique mentioned in the present study is favorable to implicate for the industry using the small filler metal diameter.

Fatigue Behavior of Friction Stir Welded EN AW 5754 Aluminum Alloy Using Load Increase Procedure

Friction stir welding (FSW) is an advantageous method in the thermal joining processes, featuring the welding of various dissimilar and similar material combinations, joining temperatures below the melting point which prevents irregularities such as pores and hot cracks as well as high strengths mechanical joints near the base material. The FSW process consists of a rotating tool which is made of a shoulder and a probe. The welding process is based on a rotating tool which plunges in the workpiece under axial pressure. As a result, the material is plasticized by frictional heat which leads to a decrease in the flow stress. During the welding procedure, the material is continuously displaced by the tool, creating a firmly bonded weld seam behind the tool. However, the mechanical properties of the weld seam are affected by the design and geometry of the tool. These include in particular microstructural and surface properties which can favor crack initiation. Following investigation compares the dynamic properties of FSW weld seams with conventional and stationary shoulder geometry based on load increase test (LIT). Compared to classical Woehler tests, it is possible to determine the fatigue strength of the specimens after a short amount of time. The investigations were carried out on a robotized welding setup on 2 mm thick EN AW 5754 aluminum alloy sheets. It was shown that an increased tensile and fatigue strength can be achieved by using the stationary shoulder concept. Furthermore, it could be demonstrated that the LIT is a valid method to describe the fatigue behavior of FSW weld seams.

Multi-Scale Damage and Mechanical Behavior of Sheet Molding Compound Composites Subjected to Fatigue, Dynamic, and Post-Fatigue Dynamic Loadings

Sheet Molding Compounds (SMCs) with special microstructures are very attractive to use in automobile structures especially when they are accidentally subjected to collision type accidents because of their high energy absorption capacity. These are materials designated as standard SMC, Advanced Sheet Molding Compounds (A-SMC), Low-Density SMC (LD-SMC) and etc. In this study, testing methods have been performed to compare the mechanical responses and damage phenomena of SMC, LD-SMC, and A-SMC under quasi-static and high strain rate tensile tests. The paper also aims at investigating the effect of an initial pre-damage induced by fatigue on the tensile dynamic behavior of A-SMC. In the case of SMCs and A-SMCs, whatever the fibers orientation and applied strain rate are, the first observed phenomenon of damage corresponds to decohesion of the fiber-matrix interface which is followed by coalescence and multiplication of these micro-cracks and their propagations. For LD-SMCs, damage mechanisms depend on the presence of Hollow Glass Microspheres (HGM) and fibers orientation.

Effect of Zinc Oxide on Characteristics of Active Flux TIG Welds of 1050 Aluminum Plates

In this study, characteristics of ATIG welds using ZnO flux on aluminum was investigated and compared with TIG welds. Autogenously AC-ATIG bead on plate welding was applied on Al1050 plate with a coating of ZnO as the flux. Different levels of welding current and flux layer thickness was considered to study the effect of heat input and flux quantity on ATIG welds and was compared with those of TIG welds. Geometrical investigation of the weld cross sections revealed that penetration depth of the ATIG welds with ZnO flux, was increased up to 2 times in some samples compared to the TIG welds. Optical metallographic and Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) observations revealed similar microstructures in TIG and ATIG welds. Composition of the ATIG welds slag was also analyzed using X-ray diffraction. In both TIG and ATIG samples, the lowest values of microhardness were observed in the HAZ.

Using GIS and Map Data for the Analysis of the Relationship between Soil and Groundwater Quality at Saline Soil Area of Kham Sakaesaeng District, Nakhon Ratchasima, Thailand
The study area is Kham Sakaesaeng District in Nakhon Ratchasima Province, the south section of Northeastern Thailand, located in the Lower Khorat-Ubol Basin. This region is the one of saline soil area, located in a dry plateau and regularly experience standing with periods of floods and alternating with periods of drought. Especially, the drought in the summer season causes the major saline soil and saline water problems of this region. The general cause of dry land salting resulted from salting on irrigated land, and an excess of water leading to the rising water table in the aquifer. The purpose of this study is to determine the relationship of physical and chemical properties between the soil and groundwater. The soil and groundwater samples were collected in both rainy and summer seasons. The content of pH, electrical conductivity (EC), total dissolved solids (TDS), chloride and salinity were investigated. The experimental result of soil and groundwater samples show the slightly pH less than 7, EC (186 to 8,156 us/cm and 960 to 10,712 us/cm), TDS (93 to 3,940 ppm and 480 to 5,356 ppm), chloride content (45.58 to 4,177,015 mg/l and 227.90 to 9,216,736 mg/l), and salinity (0.07 to 4.82 ppt and 0.24 to 14.46 ppt) in the rainy and summer seasons, respectively. The distribution of chloride content and salinity content were interpolated and displayed as a map by using ArcMap 10.3 program, according to the season. The result of saline soil and brined groundwater in the study area were related to the low-lying topography, drought area, and salt-source exposure. Especially, the Rock Salt Member of Maha Sarakham Formation was exposed or lies near the ground surface in this study area. During the rainy season, salt was eroded or weathered from the salt-source rock formation and transported by surface flow or leached into the groundwater. In the dry season, the ground surface is dry enough resulting salt precipitates from the brined surface water or rises from the brined groundwater influencing the increasing content of chloride and salinity in the ground surface and groundwater.
A Comparative Study of Single- and Multi-Walled Carbon Nanotube Incorporation to Indium Tin Oxide Electrodes for Solar Cells
Alternative electrode materials for optoelectronic devices have been widely investigated in recent years. Since indium tin oxide (ITO) is the most preferred transparent conductive electrode, producing ITO films by simple and cost-effective solution-based techniques with enhanced optical and electrical properties has great importance. In this study, single- and multi-walled carbon nanotubes (SWCNT and MWCNT) incorporated into the ITO structure to increase electrical conductivity, mechanical strength, and chemical stability. Carbon nanotubes (CNTs) were firstly functionalized by acid treatment (HNO3:H2SO4), and the thermal resistance of CNTs after functionalization was determined by thermogravimetric analysis (TGA). Thin films were then prepared by spin coating technique and characterized by scanning electron microscopy (SEM), X-ray diffraction (XRD), four-point probe measurement system and UV-Vis spectrophotometer. The effects of process parameters were compared for ITO, MWCNT-ITO, and SWCNT-ITO films. Two factors including CNT concentration and annealing temperature were considered. The UV-Vis measurements demonstrated that the transmittance of ITO films was 83.58% at 550 nm, which was decreased depending on the concentration of CNT dopant. On the other hand, both CNT dopants provided an enhancement in the crystalline structure and electrical conductivity. Due to compatible diameter and better dispersibility of SWCNTs in the ITO solution, the best result in terms of electrical conductivity was obtained by SWCNT-ITO films with the 0.1 g/L SWCNT dopant concentration and heat-treatment at 550 °C for 1 hour.
A Study on the Effect of Mg and Ag Additions and Age Hardening Treatment on the Properties of As-Cast Al-Cu-Mg-Ag Alloys

This study focuses on the effect of the addition of magnesium (Mg) and silver (Ag) on the mechanical properties of aluminum based alloys. The alloying elements will be added at different levels using the factorial design of experiments of 22; the two factors are Mg and Ag at two levels of concentration. The superior mechanical properties of the produced Al-Cu-Mg-Ag alloys after aging will be resulted from a unique type of precipitation named as Ω-phase. The formed precipitate enhanced the tensile strength and thermal stability. This paper further investigated the microstructure and mechanical properties of as cast Al–Cu–Mg–Ag alloys after being complete homogenized treatment at 520 °C for 8 hours followed by isothermally age hardening process at 190 °C for different periods of time. The homogenization at 520 °C for 8 hours was selected based on homogenization study at various temperatures and times. The alloys’ microstructures were studied by using optical microscopy (OM). In addition to that, the fracture surface investigation was performed using a scanning electronic microscope (SEM). Studying the microstructure of aged Al-Cu-Mg-Ag alloys reveal that the grains are equiaxed with an average grain size of about 50 µm. A detailed fractography study for fractured surface of the aged alloys exhibited a mixed fracture whereby the random fracture suggested crack propagation along the grain boundaries while the dimples indicated that the fracture was ductile. The present result has shown that alloy 5 has the highest hardness values and the best mechanical behaviors.

Detection of Keypoint in Press-Fit Curve Based on Convolutional Neural Network
The quality of press-fit assembly is closely related to reliability and safety of product. The paper proposed a keypoint detection method based on convolutional neural network to improve the accuracy of keypoint detection in press-fit curve. It would provide an auxiliary basis for judging quality of press-fit assembly. The press-fit curve is a curve of press-fit force and displacement. Both force data and distance data are time-series data. Therefore, one-dimensional convolutional neural network is used to process the press-fit curve. After the obtained press-fit data is filtered, the multi-layer one-dimensional convolutional neural network is used to perform the automatic learning of press-fit curve features, and then sent to the multi-layer perceptron to finally output keypoint of the curve. We used the data of press-fit assembly equipment in the actual production process to train CNN model, and we used different data from the same equipment to evaluate the performance of detection. Compared with the existing research result, the performance of detection was significantly improved. This method can provide a reliable basis for the judgment of press-fit quality.
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