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Technical Paper

Ultrasonic Cavitation Based Casting of Aluminum Matrix Nanocomposites for Automobile Structures

The properties of aluminum alloys reinforced by ceramic nanoparticles (less than 100nm) would be enhanced considerably while the ductility is retained over that of the native alloy. The potential of bulk Al-based metal matrix nano-composites (Al MMNCs) cannot be fully developed for industrial applications unless complex structural Al MMNC components can be fabricated cost effectively, such as by casting. Reliable bulk Al MMNCs cannot be cast unless the nanoparticles can be dispersed and distributed uniformly in molten Al alloys. This paper investigates a high volume production method for high performance aluminum matrix nanocomposites, in particular, the application of high intensity ultrasonic cavitation in mixing and dispersing nano-sized ceramic particles in Al melts to cast bulk Al MMNCs for complex automobile structures. Nano-sized SiC particles have been dispersed in molten aluminum alloy A356 for casting.
Technical Paper

Processing and Characterization of Solid and Microcellular PHBV/Coir Fiber Composites

Poly(3-hydroxybutyrate-co-3-hydroxyvalerate) (PHBV)/coir fiber composites were prepared via both conventional and microcellular injection-molding processes. The surface of the hydrophilic coir fiber was modified by alkali and silane-treatment to improve its adhesion with PHBV. The morphology, thermal, and mechanical properties were investigated. The addition of coir fiber (treated and untreated) reduced cell size and increased cell density. Further decrease in cell size and increase in cell density were observed for treated fibers compared with PHBV/untreated fiber composites. Mechanical properties such as specific toughness and strain-at-break improved for both solid and microcellular specimens with the addition of coir fibers (both treated and untreated); however, the specific modulus remained essentially the same statistically while the specific strength decreased slightly.
Technical Paper

Performance Evaluation of the Commercial Plant Biotechnology Facility

The demand for highly flexible manipulation of plant growth generations, modification of specific plant processes, and genetically engineered crop varieties in a controlled environment has led to the development of a Commercial Plant Biotechnology Facility (CPBF). The CPBF is a quad-middeck locker playload to be mounted in the EXPRESS Rack that will be installed in the International Space Station (ISS). The CPBF integrates proven ASTROCULTURE” technologies, state-of-the-art control software, and fault tolerance and recovery technologies together to increase overall system efficiency, reliability, robustness, flexibility, and user friendliness. The CPBF provides a large plant growing volume for the support of commercial plant biotechnology studies and/or applications for long time plant research in a reduced gravity environment.
Technical Paper

PIV Measurements of In-Cylinder Flow in a Four-Stroke Utility Engine and Correlation with Steady Flow Results

Large-scale flows in internal combustion engines directly affect combustion duration and emissions production. These benefits are significant given increasingly stringent emissions and fuel economy requirements. Recent efforts by engine manufacturers to improve in-cylinder flows have focused on the design of specially shaped intake ports. Utility engine manufacturers are limited to simple intake port geometries to reduce the complexity of casting and cost of manufacturing. These constraints create unique flow physics in the engine cylinder in comparison to automotive engines. An experimental study of intake-generated flows was conducted in a four-stroke spark-ignition utility engine. Steady flow and in-cylinder flow measurements were made using three simple intake port geometries at three port orientations. Steady flow measurements were performed to characterize the swirl and tumble-generating capability of the intake ports.
Technical Paper

Measurement and Modeling of Thermal Flows in an Air-Cooled Engine

Control of the flow of thermal energy in an air-cooled engine is important to the overall performance of the engine because of potential effects on engine performance, durability, design, and emissions. A methodology is being developed for the assessment of thermal flows in air-cooled engines, which includes the use of cycle simulation and in-cylinder heat flux measurements. The mechanism for the combination of cycle simulation, the measurement of in-cylinder heat flux and wall temperatures, and comparison of predicted and measured heat flux in the methodology is presented. The methodology consists of both simulation and experimental phases. To begin, a one-dimensional gas dynamics code (WAVE) has been used in conjunction with a detailed in-cylinder flow and combustion model (IRIS) in order to simulate engine operation in a variety of operating conditions. The methods used to apply the model to the air-cooled engine case are described in detail.
Technical Paper

Feature Extraction from Non-Linear Geometric Models in Design-for-Manufacturing

Automatic manufacturability analysis of injection moldings, sheet metal castings, stampings, forgings, etc., using knowledge-based heuristics depends on shape features, which are abstractions of the three dimensional (3D) geometric model of the parts. Conventional CAD systems do not explicitly contain shape feature information, therefore such information needs to be extracted from them. So far, extraction of shape features has been restricted to models with simple geometric shapes such as planar, cylindrical or conical shapes. Extending shape feature extraction to non-linear geometric models will allow Design For Manufacturability (DFM) analysis of non-linear models. This paper presents an approach to extract features from non-linear geometric models. The approach is based on abstract geometric entities called C-loops. The formation of a C-loop depends on a geometric entity called a silhouette. The C-loops are derived from the silhouette boundaries of an object.
Technical Paper

Design of a Charge Regulating, Parallel Hybrid Electric FutureCar

Students, as members of Team Paradigm, at the University of Wisconsin-Madison have designed a charge regulating, parallel hybrid electric Dodge Intrepid for the 1997 FutureCar Challenge (FCC97). The goals for the Wisconsin “FutureCow” are to achieve an equivalent fuel consumption of 26 km/L (62 mpg) and Tier 2 Federal Emissions levels while maintaining the full passenger/cargo room, appearance, and feel of a stock Intrepid. These goals are realized through drivetrain simulations, a refined vehicle control strategy, decreased engine emissions, and aggressive weight reduction. The vehicle development has been coupled with 8,000 km of reliability and performance testing to ensure Wisconsin will be a strong competitor at the FCC97.