Student News

ASM International Worcester Chapter

David Sodeberg, ASM- Worcester Chapter, congratulates Erik Khzouz, as he accepts his prize.

Student Night
WPI Major Qualifying Project Competition

Thursday, April 21, 2011
O'Connors Restaurant
1160 W. Boylston St., Worcester.

Undergraduate students at Worcester Polytechnic Institute must complete a Major Qualifying Project (MQP), under the guidance of academic advisors, in order to obtain their degrees. Ideally, the project synthesizes all previous study in order to solve problems and perform tasks in the chosen major field, with students striving to communicate results confidently and effectively. 

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 accomplishments.

Grain Growth Kinetics in Steels

Team Members: Erik Khzouz
Advisors: Prof. Richard D. Sisson Jr.

Abstract: The effects of temperature and holding time on the grain growth kinetics of various steels have been experimentally investigated. The steels examined included 1045, 4140, 4340, 8620, 9310 and 52100. Samples were heat treated at temperatures ranging from 850°C to 1050°C in increments of 50°C and held for 30 minutes, 2, 4, and 9 hours. Using the standard ASTM test methods it was found that the grain size increased dramatically for samples at higher temperatures compared to lower temperatures. The effect of temperature on grain growth kinetics was found to play a far more significant role than holding time.

Mechanical Properties and Degradation of Commercial Biodegradable Plastic Bags

Team Members: Jonathan Buckley, Dax Druminski, Amelia Halliday, Antonio Lewis
Advisors: Prof. Satya Shivkumar

Abstract: The properties of six biodegradable commercial plastic bags, including BioBag, Flushdoggy, Green Genius, Oxobiodegradable, Rascodog, and World Centric, were examined. The effects of UV radiation, moisture exposure, weathering and thermal degradation on the tensile properties were studied. The creep and tensile behavior of the bags were also investigated. Most of the bags exhibited mechanical properties similar to traditional bags. One bag that had extensively higher properties was the Flushdoggy bag, which is based on PVA. All the bags generally start to degrade thermally at around 400°C. BioBag and World Centric exhibited significant mass loss around this temperature. Other bags were not affected appreciably. Exposure to UV light did not have much of an effect on tensile properties. Oxo-biodegrable and Flushdoggy became especially brittle after accelerated aging, although Flushdoggy still exhibited strong tensile properties.  The data indicated that biodegradable plastic bags may offer an alternative to traditional plastic bags.

April 21, 2011