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Technical Paper

Advanced Development of the Direct Osmotic Concentration System

Direct osmotic concentration (DOC) is an integrated membrane treatment process designed for the reclamation of spacecraft wastewater. The system includes forward osmosis (FO), membrane evaporation, reverse osmosis (RO) and an aqueous phase catalytic oxidation (APCO) post-treatment unit. This document describes progress in the third year of a four year project to advance hardware maturity of this technology to a level appropriate for human rated testing. The current status of construction and testing of the final deliverable is covered and preliminary calculations of equivalent system mass are funished.
Technical Paper

Advances in Development of a Fine Water Mist Portable Fire Extinguisher

ADA Technologies, Inc. has designed and built a microgravity-tolerant portable fire extinguisher prototype for use in manned spacecraft and planetary habitats. This device employs Fine Water Mist (FWM) as the fire extinguishing agent, and is refillable from standard stores on long-duration missions. The design uses a single storage tank for minimal mass and volume. The prototype employs a dual-fluid atomizer concept where the pressurant gas (nitrogen) also enhances the water atomization process to generate a droplet size distribution in the optimum diameter range of 10 to 50 micrometers. The expanding discharge gas plume carries the mist to the immediate vicinity of the fire where its extensive surface area promotes high heat transfer rates. A series of 80 fire suppression tests was recently completed to evaluate design options for the hardware and validate performance on three representative fire scenarios.
Technical Paper

Bending Fatigue Performance of Gas- and Plasma-Carburized Steels

This study evaluated the bending fatigue performance of a modified SAE 4320 steel as a function of carburizing technique. S-N curves and endurance limits were established by fatigue testing modified Brugger-type specimens that are designed to simulate a single gear tooth. Fractured specimens were examined by light and electron microscopy to determine crack initiation sites, establish the extent of stable crack propagation, and analyze surface oxide types and distributions. Test results show that plasma-carburizing boosted the endurance limit of an oxidation-susceptible gear steel from 1100 MPa to 1375 MPa. Fatigue endurance limits in excess of 1400 MPa had previously been achieved in gas-carburized SAE 4320 steels by reheat treatments and reductions in high-oxidation potential elements. The level of improvement observed in this study suggests that any of these advanced processing techniques can allow significant size reductions and weight savings in automotive transmission gears.
Technical Paper

Comparison of Single Gear Tooth and Cantilever Beam Bending Fatigue Testing of Carburized Steel

The bending fatigue performance of gears, cantilever beam specimens, and notched-axial specimens were evaluated and compared. Specimens were machined from a modified SAE-4118 steel, gas-carburized, direct-quenched and tempered. Bending fatigue specimens were characterized by light metallography to determine microstructure and prior austenite grain size, x-ray analysis for residual stress and retained austenite measurements, and scanning electron microscopy to evaluate fatigue crack initiation, propagation and overload. The case and core microstructures, prior austenite grain sizes and case hardness profiles from the various types of specimens were similar. Endurance limits were determined to be about 950 MPa for both the cantilever beam and notched-axial fatigue specimens, and 1310 MPa for the single gear tooth specimens.
Technical Paper

Effect of Thermal Treatments and Carbon Potential on Bending Fatigue Performance of SAE 4320 Gear Steel

This project investigated the effect of carburizing carbon-potential and thermal history on the bending fatigue performance of carburized SAE 4320 gear steel. Modified-Brugger cantilever bending fatigue specimens were carburized at carbon potentials of 0.60, 0.85, 1.05, and 1.25 wt. pct. carbon, and were either quenched and tempered or quenched, tempered, reheated, quenched, and tempered. The reheat treatment was designed to lower the solute carbon content in the case through the formation of transition carbides and refine the prior austenite grain size. Specimens were fatigue tested in a tension/tension cycle with a minimum to maximum stress ratio of 0.1. The bending fatigue results were correlated with case and core microstructures, hardness profiles, residual stress profiles, retained austenite profiles, and component distortion.
Technical Paper

Formability of Type 304 Stainless Steel Sheet

Punch-stretch tests to determine formability of type 304 stainless steel sheet were conducted using a hemispherical dome test. Sheets of 19.1 mm width and 177.8 mm width were stretched on a 101.6 mm diameter punch at punch rates between 0.042 to 2.12 mm/sec with three lubricant systems: a mineral seal oil, thin polytetrafluoroethelyne sheet with mineral seal oil, and silicone rubber with mineral seal oil. The resulting strain distributions were measured and the amount of martensite was determined by magnetic means. Increasing lubricity resulted in more uniform strain distributions while increased punch rates tended to decrease both strain and transformation distributions. High forming limit values were related to the formation of high and uniformly distributed martensite volume fractions during deformation. The results of this study are interpreted with an analysis of the effects of strain and temperature on strain induced martensite formation in metastable austenitic stainless steels.
Technical Paper

Handheld Fine Water Mist Extinguisher for Spacecraft

Fine water mist has become a commercial technology for fire suppression in multiple applications. With funding from NASA, ADA Technologies, Inc. (ADA) is developing a handheld fine water mist fire extinguisher for use on manned spacecraft and in future planetary habitats. This design employs only water and nitrogen as suppression agents to allow local refill and reuse. The prototype design incorporates features to generate a uniform fine water mist regardless of the direction of the gravitational vector or lack of gravity altogether. The system has been proven to extinguish open fires and hidden fire scenarios in tests conducted at the Colorado School of Mines (CSM). This design can be deployed as a portable extinguisher or as an automated system for local fire protection in instrument racks or storage spaces. Continued development will result in prototype hardware suitable for use on future manned spacecraft.
Technical Paper

Hydrogen Embrittlement Susceptibility of Case Hardened Steel Fasteners

This work establishes the relationship between core hardness, case hardness, and case depth on susceptibility to hydrogen embrittlement of case hardened steel fasteners. Such fasteners have a high surface hardness in order to create their own threads in a mating hole, and are commonly used to attach bracketry and sheet metal in automotive applications. While case hardened fasteners have been studied previously, there are currently no processing guidelines supported by quantitative data for fastener standards. Through sustained load embrittlement testing techniques, the susceptibility of case hardened steel tapping screws to internal and environmental hydrogen embrittlement is examined. Further characterization of the fastener samples through microhardness testing, microstructure review, and fracture surface examination allows the investigation of susceptibility thresholds. It is shown that core hardness is the primary consideration for susceptibility.
Journal Article

Iterative Learning Control for a Fully Flexible Valve Actuation in a Test Cell

An iterative learning control (ILC) algorithm has been developed for a test cell electro-hydraulic, fully flexible valve actuation system to track valve lift profile under steady-state and transient operation. A dynamic model of the plant was obtained from experimental data to design and verify the ILC algorithm. The ILC is implemented in a prototype controller. The learned control input for two different lift profiles can be used for engine transient tests. Simulation and bench test are conducted to verify the effectiveness and robustness of this approach. The simple structure of the ILC in implementation and low cost in computation are other crucial factors to recommend the ILC. It does not totally depend on the system model during the design procedure. Therefore, it has relatively higher robustness to perturbation and modeling errors than other control methods for repetitive tasks.
Technical Paper

Optimized Carburized Steel Fatigue Performance as Assessed with Gear and Modified Brugger Fatigue Tests

The effectiveness of three different techniques, designed to improve the bending fatigue life in comparison to conventionally processed gas-carburized 8620 steel, were evaluated with modified Brugger bending fatigue specimens and actual ring and pinion gears. The bending fatigue samples were machined from forged gear blanks from the same lot of material used for the pinion gear tests, and all processing of laboratory samples and gears was done together. Fatigue data were obtained on standard as-carburized parts and after three special processing histories: shot-peening to increase surface residual stresses; double heat treating to refined austenite grain size; and vacuum carburizing to minimize intergranular oxidation. Standard room-temperature S-N curves and endurance limits were obtained with the laboratory samples. The pinions were run as part of a complete gear set on a laboratory dynamometer and data were obtained at two imposed torque levels.
Technical Paper

Predicting the Radius of a Sheet Bent Around Drawbeads

Drawbeads in production stamping dies often have insufficient penetration of the male bead into the female cavity. With insufficient penetration, the actual bending radii of the sheet metal are larger than the geometrical radii of the drawbead. The actual bending radii in the sheet directly affect the force that restrains sheet movement. To predict the restraining stress due to a drawbead, it is necessary to know the actual bending radii in the sheet as it passes though the drawbead. Data from a previous study are used to develop empirical regression equations for predicting measured radii of the sheet that is bent around the radii in a drawbead. A physical model for the evolution of the sheet radii as the drawbead closes is proposed. This model is consistent with the empirical equations and the mechanics of the sheet bending process.
Technical Paper

Tensile Properties of Steel Tubes for Hydroforming Applications

With the increased use of tubular steel products, especially for automotive hydroforming applications, there is increased interest in understanding the mechanical properties measured by tensile tests from specimens of different orientations in the tube. In this study, two orientations of tensile specimens were evaluated -- axial specimens with and without flattening and flattened circumferential specimens. Three steels were evaluated -- two thicknesses of aluminum killed drawing quality (AKDQ) steel and one thickness of high strength low alloy (HSLA) steel. Mechanical property data were obtained from the flat stock, conventional production tubes and quasi tubes. Quasi tubes were produced from the flat stock on a 3-roll bender, but the quasi tube was not welded or sized.