Mechanical Engineering Research Works

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Now showing 1 - 20 of 99
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    An Energy Consumption Intensity Ranking System for Rapid Energy Efficiency Evaluation of a Cluster of Commercial Buildings
    (ASHRAE Transactions, 2023-06) Aditya Ramnarayan, Andres Sarmiento, Armin Gerami, Michael Ohadi; Professor Michael Ohadi
    Buildings in the U.S. account for roughly 74% of electricity usage and about 40% of all primary energy use associated with greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. The Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) for the U.S., as determined in the Paris Agreement, sets a goal of reducing GHG emissions by ~50% compared to 2005 levels by 2030 while working towards achieving net-zero emissions by 2050. To meet these carbon reduction targets, the U.S. must substantially reduce of energy consumption and improve buildings' energy efficiency. To this end, this study introduces an energy consumption ranking tool that can be used to analyze the energy consumption profile of a cluster of buildings/campuses and provide an efficient tool to measure, monitor, and reduce end-use energy and CO2 emissions. The tool bases its rankings on a standard benchmark or a targeted energy efficiency goal. The tool generates a band of ranking, from the best to the worst energy efficiency performance, which directs the attention of building designers, operators, and government regulation/enforcement agencies to buildings having subpar energy efficiency performance. The proposed methodology is extrapolated to encompass a broad range of energy and CO2 consumption metrics in various building types and climate zones, thus having local, regional, and international applications. Using end-use energy utility data from the relevant database for the selected cluster of buildings and campuses, a total square footage area of ~26 million square feet of buildings and campuses was taken as the sample set for performing virtual audits using the custom-developed software. Using dynamic scatter plots and several ranking metrics, buildings with an underwhelming energy performance are identified for detailed energy audits. Once the outliers are spotted, energy modeling is performed to identify and delineate the root cause for the high energy use pattern for the facility. A breakdown of utilities and their corresponding energy analytics are visualized, thus highlighting the range of energy efficiency improvements and the potential for electrification. For the case example studied, the virtual audits are projected to result in minimum annual energy savings of 1,280,461 MMBtu and a corresponding minimum annual GHG reduction of 91,309 metric tons of CO2.
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    The Hardness and Strength Properties of WC-Co Composites
    (MDPI, 2011-07-14) Armstrong, Ronald W.
    The industrially-important WC-Co composite materials provide a useful, albeit complicated materials system for understanding the combined influences on hardness and strength properties of the constituent WC particle strengths, the particle sizes, their contiguities, and of Co binder hardness and mean free paths, and in total, the volume fraction of constituents. A connection is made here between the composite material properties, especially including the material fracture toughness, and the several materials-type considerations of: (1) related hardness stress-strain behaviors; (2) dislocation (viscoplastic) thermal activation characterizations; (3) Hall-Petch type reciprocal square root of particle or grain size dependencies; and (4) indentation and conventional fracture mechanics results. Related behaviors of MgO and Al2O3 crystal and polycrystal materials are also described for the purpose of making comparisons.
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    Measurements of True Leak Rates of MEMS Packages
    (MDPI, 2012-03-06) Han, Bongtae
    Gas transport mechanisms that characterize the hermetic behavior of MEMS packages are fundamentally different depending upon which sealing materials are used in the packages. In metallic seals, gas transport occurs through a few nanoscale leak channels (gas conduction) that are produced randomly during the solder reflow process, while gas transport in polymeric seals occurs through the bulk material (gas diffusion). In this review article, the techniques to measure true leak rates of MEMS packages with the two sealing materials are described and discussed: a Helium mass spectrometer based technique for metallic sealing and a gas diffusion based model for polymeric sealing.
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    Lessons Learned from the 787 Dreamliner Issue on Lithium-Ion Battery Reliability
    (MDPI, 2013-09-09) Williard, Nicholas; He, Wei; Hendricks, Christopher; Pecht, Michael
    On 16 January 2013, all Boeing 787 Dreamliners were indefinitely grounded due to lithium-ion battery failures that had occurred in two planes. Subsequent investigations into the battery failures released through the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) factual report, the March 15th Boeing press conference in Japan, and the NTSB hearings in Washington D.C., never identified the root causes of the failures—a major concern for ensuring safety and meeting reliability expectations. This paper discusses the challenges to lithium-ion battery qualification, reliability assessment, and safety in light of the Boeing 787 battery failures. New assessment methods and control techniques that can improve battery reliability and safety in avionic systems are then presented.
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    Symmetry Aspects of Dislocation-Effected Crystal Properties: Material Strength Levels and X-ray Topographic Imaging
    (MDPI, 2014-03-20) Armstrong, Ronald W.
    Several materials science type research topics are described in which advantageous use of crystal symmetry considerations has been helpful in ferreting the essential elements of dislocation behavior in determining material properties or for characterizing crystal/polycrystalline structural relationships; for example: (1) the mechanical strengthening produced by a symmetrical bicrystal grain boundary; (2) cleavage crack formation at the intersection within a crystal of symmetrical dislocation pile-ups; (3) symmetry aspects of anisotropic crystal indentation hardness measurements; (4) X-ray diffraction topography imaging of dislocation strains and subgrain boundary misorientations; and (5) point and space group aspects of twinning. Several applications are described in relation to the strengthening of grain boundaries in nanopolycrystals and of multiply-oriented crystal grains in polysilicon photovoltaic solar cell materials. A number of crystallographic aspects of the different topics are illustrated with a stereographic method of presentation.
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    An Entropy-Based Damage Characterization
    (MDPI, 2014-12-05) Amiri, Mehdi; Modarres, Mohammad
    This paper presents a scientific basis for the description of the causes of damage within an irreversible thermodynamic framework and the effects of damage as observable variables that signify degradation of structural integrity. The approach relies on the fundamentals of irreversible thermodynamics and specifically the notion of entropy generation as a measure of degradation and damage. We first review the state-of-the-art advances in entropic treatment of damage followed by a discussion on generalization of the entropic concept to damage characterization that may offers a better definition of damage metric commonly used for structural integrity assessment. In general, this approach provides the opportunity to described reliability and risk of structures in terms of fundamental science concepts. Over the years, many studies have focused on materials damage assessment by determining physics-based cause and affect relationships, the goal of this paper is to put this work in perspective and encourage future work of materials damage based on the entropy concept.
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    A Thermodynamic Entropy Approach to Reliability Assessment with Applications to Corrosion Fatigue
    (MDPI, 2015-10-16) Imanian, Anahita; Modarres, Mohammad
    This paper outlines a science-based explanation of damage and reliability of critical components and structures within the second law of thermodynamics. The approach relies on the fundamentals of irreversible thermodynamics, specifically the concept of entropy generation as an index of degradation and damage in materials. All damage mechanisms share a common feature, namely energy dissipation. Dissipation, a fundamental measure for irreversibility in a thermodynamic treatment of non-equilibrium processes, is quantified by entropy generation. An entropic-based damage approach to reliability and integrity characterization is presented and supported by experimental validation. Using this theorem, which relates entropy generation to dissipative phenomena, the corrosion fatigue entropy generation function is derived, evaluated, and employed for structural integrity and reliability assessment of aluminum 7075-T651 specimens.
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    Crystal Dislocations
    (MDPI, 2016-01-06) Armstrong, Ronald W.
    Crystal dislocations were invisible until the mid-20th century although their presence had been inferred; the atomic and molecular scale dimensions had prevented earlier discovery. Now they are normally known to be just about everywhere, for example, in the softest molecularly-bonded crystals as well as within the hardest covalently-bonded diamonds. The advent of advanced techniques of atomic-scale probing has facilitated modern observations of dislocations in every crystal structure-type, particularly by X-ray diffraction topography and transmission electron microscopy. The present Special Issue provides a flavor of their ubiquitous presences, their characterizations and, especially, their influence on mechanical and electrical properties.
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    Evaluation of Batteries for Safe Air Transport
    (MDPI, 2016-05-05) Williard, Nicholas; Hendricks, Christopher; Sood, Bhanu; Chung, Jae Sik; Pecht, Michael
    Lithium-ion batteries are shipped worldwide with many limitations implemented to ensure safety and to prevent loss of cargo. Many of the transportation guidelines focus on new batteries; however, the shipment requirements for used or degraded batteries are less clear. Current international regulations regarding the air transport of lithium-ion batteries are critically reviewed. The pre-shipping tests are outlined and evaluated to assess their ability to fully mitigate risks during battery transport. In particular, the guidelines for shipping second-use batteries are considered. Because the electrochemical state of previously used batteries is inherently different from that of new batteries, additional considerations must be made to evaluate these types of cells. Additional tests are suggested that evaluate the risks of second-use batteries, which may or may not contain incipient faults.
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    Fabrication of a Miniature Paper-Based Electroosmotic Actuator
    (MDPI, 2016-11-08) Sritharan, Deepa; Smela, Elisabeth
    A voltage-controlled hydraulic actuator is presented that employs electroosmotic fluid flow (EOF) in paper microchannels within an elastomeric structure. The microfluidic device was fabricated using a new benchtop lamination process. Flexible embedded electrodes were formed from a conductive carbon-silicone composite. The pores in the layer of paper placed between the electrodes served as the microchannels for EOF, and the pumping fluid was propylene carbonate. A sealed fluid-filled chamber was formed by film-casting silicone to lay an actuating membrane over the pumping liquid. Hydraulic force generated by EOF caused the membrane to bulge by hundreds of micrometers within fractions of a second. Potential applications of these actuators include soft robots and biomedical devices.
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    Crystal Indentation Hardness
    (MDPI, 2017-01-12) Armstrong, Ronald W.; Walley, Stephen M.; Elban, Wayne L.
    There is expanded interest in the long-standing subject of the hardness properties of materials. A major part of such interest is due to the advent of nanoindentation hardness testing systems which have made available orders of magnitude increases in load and displacement measuring capabilities achieved in a continuously recorded test procedure. The new results have been smoothly merged with other advances in conventional hardness testing and with parallel developments in improved model descriptions of both elastic contact mechanics and dislocation mechanisms operative in the understanding of crystal plasticity and fracturing behaviors. No crystal is either too soft or too hard to prevent the determination of its elastic, plastic and cracking properties under a suitable probing indenter. A sampling of the wealth of measurements and reported analyses associated with the topic on a wide variety of materials are presented in the current Special Issue.
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    Safety Requirements for Transportation of Lithium Batteries
    (MDPI, 2017-06-09) Huo, Haibo; Xing, Yinjiao; Pecht, Michael; Züger, Benno J.; Khare, Neeta; Vezzini, Andrea
    The demand for battery-powered products, ranging from consumer goods to electric vehicles, keeps increasing. As a result, batteries are manufactured and shipped globally, and the safe and reliable transport of batteries from production sites to suppliers and consumers, as well as for disposal, must be guaranteed at all times. This is especially true of lithium batteries, which have been identified as dangerous goods when they are transported. This paper reviews the international and key national (U.S., Europe, China, South Korea, and Japan) air, road, rail, and sea transportation requirements for lithium batteries. This review is needed because transportation regulations are not consistent across countries and national regulations are not consistent with international regulations. Comparisons are thus provided to enable proper and cost-effective transportation; to aid in the testing, packaging, marking, labelling, and documentation required for safe and reliable lithium cell/battery transport; and to help in developing national and internal policies.
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    Damage Assessment Using Information Entropy of Individual Acoustic Emission Waveforms during Cyclic Fatigue Loading
    (MDPI, 2017-05-30) Sauerbrunn, Christine M.; Kahirdeh, Ali; Yun, Huisung; Modarres, Mohammad
    Information entropy measured from acoustic emission (AE) waveforms is shown to be an indicator of fatigue damage in a high-strength aluminum alloy. Three methods of measuring the AE information entropy, regarded as a direct measure of microstructural disorder, are proposed and compared with traditional damage-related AE features. Several tension–tension fatigue experiments were performed with dogbone samples of aluminum 7075-T6, a commonly used material in aerospace structures. Unlike previous studies in which fatigue damage is measured based on visible crack growth, this work investigated fatigue damage both prior to and after crack initiation through the use of instantaneous elastic modulus degradation. Results show that one of the three entropy measurement methods appears to better assess the damage than the traditional AE features, whereas the other two entropies have unique trends that can differentiate between small and large cracks.
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    Multipass Target Search in Natural Environments
    (MDPI, 2017-11-02) Kuhlman, Michael J.; Otte, Michael W.; Sofge, Donald; Gupta, Satyandra K.
    Consider a disaster scenario where search and rescue workers must search difficult to access buildings during an earthquake or flood. Often, finding survivors a few hours sooner results in a dramatic increase in saved lives, suggesting the use of drones for expedient rescue operations. Entropy can be used to quantify the generation and resolution of uncertainty. When searching for targets, maximizing mutual information of future sensor observations will minimize expected target location uncertainty by minimizing the entropy of the future estimate. Motion planning for multi-target autonomous search requires planning over an area with an imperfect sensor and may require multiple passes, which is hindered by the submodularity property of mutual information. Further, mission duration constraints must be handled accordingly, requiring consideration of the vehicle’s dynamics to generate feasible trajectories and must plan trajectories spanning the entire mission duration, something which most information gathering algorithms are incapable of doing. If unanticipated changes occur in an uncertain environment, new plans must be generated quickly. In addition, planning multipass trajectories requires evaluating path dependent rewards, requiring planning in the space of all previously selected actions, compounding the problem. We present an anytime algorithm for autonomous multipass target search in natural environments. The algorithm is capable of generating long duration dynamically feasible multipass coverage plans that maximize mutual information using a variety of techniques such as 𝜖-admissible heuristics to speed up the search. To the authors’ knowledge this is the first attempt at efficiently solving multipass target search problems of such long duration. The proposed algorithm is based on best first branch and bound and is benchmarked against state of the art algorithms adapted to the problem in natural Simplex environments, gathering the most information in the given search time.
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    Crystal Engineering for Mechanical Strength at Nano-Scale Dimensions
    (MDPI, 2017-10-18) Armstrong, Ronald W.
    The mechanical strengths of nano-scale individual crystal or nanopolycrystalline metals, and other dimensionally-related materials are increased by an order of magnitude or more as compared to those values measured at conventional crystal or polycrystal grain dimensions. An explanation for the result is attributed to the constraint provided at the surface of the crystals or, more importantly, at interfacial boundaries within or between crystals. The effect is most often described in terms either of two size dependencies: an inverse dependence on crystal size because of single dislocation behavior or, within a polycrystalline material, in terms of a reciprocal square root of grain size dependence, designated as a Hall-Petch relationship for the researchers first pointing to the effect for steel and who provided an enduring dislocation pile-up interpretation for the relationship. The current report provides an updated description of such strength properties for iron and steel materials, and describes applications of the relationship to a wider range of materials, including non-ferrous metals, nano-twinned, polyphase, and composite materials. At limiting small nm grain sizes, there is a generally minor strength reversal that is accompanied by an additional order-of-magnitude elevation of an increased strength dependence on deformation rate, thus giving an important emphasis to the strain rate sensitivity property of materials at nano-scale dimensions.
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    A Unique Failure Mechanism in the Nexus 6P Lithium-Ion Battery
    (MDPI, 2018-04-04) Saxena, Saurabh; Xing, Yinjiao; Pecht, Michael
    Nexus 6P smartphones have been beset by battery drain issues, which have been causing premature shutdown of the phone even when the charge indicator displays a significant remaining runtime. To investigate the premature battery drain issue, two Nexus 6P smartphones (one new and one used) were disassembled and their batteries were evaluated using computerized tomography (CT) scan analysis, electrical performance (capacity, resistance, and impedance) tests, and cycle life capacity fade tests. The “used” smartphone battery delivered only 20% of the rated capacity when tested in a first capacity cycle and then 15% of the rated capacity in a second cycle. The new smartphone battery exceeded the rated capacity when first taken out of the box, but exhibited an accelerated capacity fade under C/2 rate cycling and decreased to 10% of its initial capacity in just 50 cycles. The CT scan results revealed the presence of contaminant materials inside the used battery, raising questions about the quality of the manufacturing process.
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    Analysis of Manufacturing-Induced Defects and Structural Deformations in Lithium-Ion Batteries Using Computed Tomography
    (MDPI, 2018-04-13) Wu, Yi; Saxena, Saurabh; Xing, Yinjiao; Wang, Youren; Li, Chuan; Yung, Winco K. C.; Pecht, Michael
    Premature battery drain, swelling and fires/explosions in lithium-ion batteries have caused wide-scale customer concerns, product recalls, and huge financial losses in a wide range of products including smartphones, laptops, e-cigarettes, hoverboards, cars, and commercial aircraft. Most of these problems are caused by defects which are difficult to detect using conventional nondestructive electrical methods and disassembly-based destructive analysis. This paper develops an effective computed tomography (CT)-based nondestructive approach to assess battery quality and identify manufacturing-induced defects and structural deformations in batteries. Several unique case studies from commercial e-cigarette and smartphone applications are presented to show where CT analysis methods work.
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    Failure Modes, Mechanisms, Effects, and Criticality Analysis of Ceramic Anodes of Solid Oxide Fuel Cells
    (MDPI, 2018-11-15) Patel, Nripendra K.; Bishop, Sean R.; Utter, Robert G.; Das, Diganta; Pecht, Michael
    Solid oxide fuel cells (SOFCs) are a highly efficient chemical to electrical energy conversion devices that have potential in a global energy strategy. The wide adoption of SOFCs is currently limited by cost and concerns about cell durability. Improved understanding of their degradation modes and mechanisms combined with reduction–oxidation stable anodes via all-ceramic-anode cell technology are expected to lead to durability improvements, while economies of scale for production will mitigate cost of commercialization. This paper presents an Ishikawa analysis and a failure modes, mechanisms, effects, and criticality analysis (FMMECA) for all-ceramic anode based SOFCs. FMMECA takes into account the life cycle conditions, multiple failure mechanisms, and their potential effects on fuel-cell health and safety.
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    Derating Guidelines for Lithium-Ion Batteries
    (MDPI, 2018-11-26) Sun, Yongquan; Saxena, Saurabh; Pecht, Michael
    Derating is widely applied to electronic components and products to ensure or extend their operational life for the targeted application. However, there are currently no derating guidelines for Li-ion batteries. This paper presents derating methodology and guidelines for Li-ion batteries using temperature, discharge C-rate, charge C-rate, charge cut-off current, charge cut-off voltage, and state of charge (SOC) stress factors to reduce the rate of capacity loss and extend battery calendar life and cycle life. Experimental battery degradation data from our testing and the literature have been reviewed to demonstrate the role of stress factors in battery degradation and derating for two widely used Li-ion batteries: graphite/LiCoO2 (LCO) and graphite/LiFePO4 (LFP). Derating factors have been computed based on the battery capacity loss to quantitatively evaluate the derating effects of the stress factors and identify the significant factors for battery derating.
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    Dislocation Mechanics Pile-Up and Thermal Activation Roles in Metal Plasticity and Fracturing
    (MDPI, 2019-01-31) Armstrong, Ronald W.
    Dislocation pile-up and thermal activation influences on the deformation and fracturing behaviors of polycrystalline metals are briefly reviewed, as examples of dislocation mechanics applications to understanding mechanical properties. To start, a reciprocal square root of grain size dependence was demonstrated for historical hardness measurements reported for cartridge brass, in line with a similar Hall-Petch grain size characterization of stress-strain measurements made on conventional grain size and nano-polycrystalline copper, nickel, and aluminum materials. Additional influences of loading rate (and temperature) were shown to be included in a dislocation model thermal activation basis, for calculated deformation shapes of impacted solid cylinders of copper and Armco iron materials. Connection was established for such grain size, temperature, and strain rate influences on the brittle fracturing transition exhibited by steel and other related metals. Lastly, for AISI 1040 steel material, a fracture mechanics based failure stress dependence on the inverse square root of crack size was shown to approach the yield stress at a very small crack size, also in line with a Hall-Petch dependence of the stress intensity on polycrystal grain size.