Senior Design Projects 2013-14

Meritor Ductile Iron Alloy Development

Team Members

Collin Tether, Danielle Williamson, Melissa Wright, and Alex Thiel, Materials Science and Engineering

Advisor

Paul Sanders, Materials Science and Engineering

Sponsor

Meritor

Project Overview

Meritor approached our team with the challenge to develop a ductile iron alloy that, without heat treatment, displays mechanical properties exceeding those of grade 1 austempered ductile iron. Various alloying elements were researched as potential candidates for strengthening the ductile iron while preserving elongation. Initial ductile iron pours were alloyed with two elements at varying amounts to achieve an acicular microstructure consisting of ausferrite. While an ausferrite acicular microstructure was achieved in one set of castings, mechanical properties were not ideal. Continued research and tests were completed in order to improve the casting process, microstructure, and mechanical properties of the desired ductile iron alloy.

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Design and Manufacture of a Blast Furnace Tapping Bit

Team Members

Max Rebottaro and Matt Dazell, Mechanical Engineering; Daniel Freiberg, Materials Science and Engineering; Alisha Clark, Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science and Engineering dual major

Advisor

Paul Sanders, Materials Science and Engineering

Sponsor

ArcelorMittal

Project Overview

Tapping a blast furnace at ArcelorMittal’s plant in East Chicago requires the use of single-use tap bits. As these bits bore through tap holes filled with refractory clay, they experience significant stress and wear due to intense heat and pressure. Currently several rock drill bits are used to tap the furnace and the bit performance is based on operator perception. The team will: 1.) Design a tap bit geometry specifically for drilling into blast furnace tap hole clay. 2.) Select a material and manufacturing method for the tap bit. 3.) Manufacture the tap bit. 4.) Optimize current tap bit test rig hardware and controls to assess tap bit performance.

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Bainitic Steel Alloy and Heat Treatment Optimization

Team Members

Cody Torrez, Kelsey Whalen, Matt Tianen, and Travis Hepfner, Materials Science and Engineering

Advisors

Paul Sanders and Douglas Swenson, Materials Science and Engineering

Sponsor

ME Global

Project Overview

Our team is tasked with helping the North American ME Global foundries find the optimum heat treatment for this new bainitic alloy. Also, we will help develop the metallurgical and mechanical properties to fully characterize the alloy and compare the new material to the current industry standard.

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Friction Stir Welding of Aluminum Castings

Team Members

Alex Seidl, Anthony Konieczny, Chris Shaw, and Stephanie Tankersley, Materials Science and Engineering

Advisor

Dan Seguin, Materials Science and Engineering

Sponsor

American Axle and Manufacturing

Project Overview

Die cast aluminum is a difficult material to weld with conventional welding processes. The presence of porosity and entrapped gases in the base material limits the ability and quality of a fusion weld. The solid state joining technique of friction stir welding (FSW) may be a viable process that would decrease manufacturing expenses and weight of drivetrain components by removing additional fasteners and gaskets typically used in sealing components. Two alloys of aluminum were examined: a die cast A380 and sand cast A356. Designed experiments testing the weldability of A380 and A356 were conducted through microscopic and mechanical testing.

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Cathode Formulation for Primary Lithium Batteries

Team Members

Kellan Martin, Taylor Michels, Michael Warhus, and Emily Wolbeck, Materials Science and Engineering

Advisor

Peter Moran, Materials Science and Engineering

Sponsor

Boston Scientific

Project Overview

Our team identified materials which improve the performance of lithium batteries. We evaluated additives that demonstrated an increase in battery performance

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Improved Brake Design for Brake Truck Applications

Team Members

Troy Podges, Mechanical Engineering Technology; Adam Jacobson, Mechanical Engineering; Alex McQuarter and Michel Knudsen, Materials Science and Engineering

Advisor

Paul Sanders, Materials Science and Engineering

Sponsor

Magline Inc.

Project Overview

In an effort to reduce the tire wear on hand brake trucks, a new braking solution was requested by Magline Inc. The primary purpose of the project is to eliminate the use of the tire tread as the braking friction surface. Numerous braking methods were investigated as possible solutions. Of the methods investigated, disc brakes were selected. Analysis of the braking system through theoretical engineering in the form of kinematic analysis will determine the forces present and subsequently the component stresses. Testing of the prototype will both validate the proposed design and benchmark the system against current brake offerings.

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Pro-Healing Arterial Graft Scaffold Design

Team Members

Steve Trierweiler, David Joda, Danielle Ahrens, and Tyler Curtis, Biomedical Engineering; Chris Heiting and Peter Tropper, Materials Science and Engineering

Advisors

Feng Zhao and Jeremy Goldman, Biomedical Engineering

Sponsor

Boston Scientific

Project Overview

This project aims to construct a vascular graft specifically for use in small-diameter arteries. Narrower vasculature generally has harsher conditions, so viable grafts are more difficult to construct. This graft uses decellularized biologic tissue called elastic lamina to induce a nonimmunogenic and nonthrombogenic effect in the body. The elastic lamina layer is supported by a polymer scaffold around its exterior. A variety of polymers were analyzed for biocompatability and sufficient structural properties. The resulting vessel has been tested for mechanical integrity and also implanted in a rat model to test for biological viability.

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