Student News

ASM International Worcester Chapter Student Night

Student Night
WPI Major Qualifying Project Competition

Thursday, April 19, 2012
Webster House Restaurant

1 Webster Street, Worcester

This is the fifth year, the Worcester Chapter of ASM International sponsored a competition for the best MQP presentation in the Mechanical Engineering department with special emphasis on materials research. The two teams gave brief presentations of the highlights of their project.

Under the guidance of academic advisors, Worcester Polytechnic Institute undergraduate students must complete a Major Qualifying Project. The project combines all previous study in order to study in order to solve problems and perform tasks in the chosen major field, with the students striving to communicate their results confidently and effectively.

WPI Major Qualifying Project Competition

Material and Design Optimization for an Aluminium Bike Frame

Team Members: Forrest Dwyer, Adrian Shaw, Rick Tombarelli
Advisors: D. Lados

Abstract: Fatigue is a prominent failure mechanism for mountain bike frames, and can lead to serious accidents, costly recalls, and poor product image for bicycle frame manufacturers. The team collaborated with a local bike company, in the process of developing a new 6061-T6 aluminum mountain bike, to investigate the fatigue behavior of the new frame and optimize the material/heat treatment and frame design. The fatigue testing was done inhouse using a test rig specifically built for this project according to the ASTM standard F2711-08 for horizontal loading. A solid model of the frame was created and a finite element analysis (FEA) was conducted using the ASTM standard as a guide, with appropriate mechanical properties for various sections of the bike and the joining welds. The FEA model enabled the team to predict fatigue failure locations and cycles to failure, and was further validated using the experimental fatigue testing results obtained from the prototype frames. On the physical frames tested, thorough fracto-graphic examinations were conducted to identify the fatigue crack initiation locations and crack propagation mechanisms using optical and scanning electron microscopy. To complete the project, systematic studies were performed to optimize the frame’s design, materials and heat treatment for improved fatigue resistance.

Real-Time Process Monitoring and Statistical Process Control for an Automated Casting

Team Members: Daniel Lettiere
Advisors: S. Shivkumar
Sponsor: Hitchiner Manufacturing Company

Abstract: In the metal casting industry, defects increase cost of production, expand required labor hours, and decrease overall productivity. Better understanding of process variables allows for successful reduction of defects. Utilizing real-time data logging technology and statistical process control software creates the framework for an effective process monitoring system. To establish a correlation between mold temperature and casting defects, a unique data logging system, capable of withstanding high temperatures, was designed. The beneficial results of this project will not only impact the process today, but will help improve future innovations in the industry.

April 24, 2012