April 28, 2010 - MFE/MTE/ME 5841 Surface Metrology

Photo Gallery

  • Jennifer McGinnis

  • Joel Adams

  • Shaw Liu

  • Corey Randall

  • John Courtney

  • Arnold Niedbala

  • Jon Grasman

  • Joe McGeoghan

  • Sidarth (Sid) Wijesooriya

  • Amy Lockwood

  • Ian Stratton

  • Lindsay Malloy

  • Kayode Ogundiminegha

  • Alix Ortin

  • Judges: Brendon Powers, Toby Bergstrom, Kevin Vessot, Doug Kennedy

A special thank you to Professor Christopher Brown for choosing to host the Robert H. Grant Invention Awards in his Surface Metrology course.  Another thank you belongs to the judging panel consisting of Doug Kennedy of Olympus, a world leader in research and clinical microscopes - and - some of WPI's finest Haas Technical Center staff Torbjorn (Tody) Bergstrom, Brendon Powers, and Kevin Vessot.

Surface Metrology Abstracts

First Place: Effect of Surface Morphology on Adsorption Technology
Jeffrey Pacuska, Jennifer McInnis, Qin Xu

It has become increasingly apparent that the molecular interactions that occur during processes to separate a particle from a fluid is strongly influenced by the morphology of the surface structures onto or into which a particle is diffusing. Until recently surface structures were not considered as important as total surface area for adsorption technologies, or ionic and particle size for physical separation. This study will briefly identify the shortfalls in metrological analysis of purification media (GAC, silica, and alumina oxides) and will investigate recommend the development of suitable procedures to characterize the surfaces and porosity of these materials. Because this has not been previously done, we will draw from analytical methods that are currently used for the characterization of similarly challenging materials and will extrapolate based on these.

Second Place: Technique for Aligning Measurement Data
Joel Adams, Shaw Liu

When attempting to compare the performance of replica materials, it is absolutely vital that you have a technique for aligning the data so that you are ensured that you are comparing the exact locations on the replica and the master surface.  To date, there are a number of algorithms that exist that can align images/surfaces, but none of them are fully automated, and integrated into surface metrology based software. For our innovation project, we will build on existing alignment algorithms, so that we will ultimately have a fully automated alignment tool which will be contained within a surface metrological software package.  The benefit of this is to eliminate the need to transport data back and forth from multiple applications, and also to have a quick and automated process for aligning surface data.  At this point, we have a working prototype of the code, and the remaining challenges would be to identify existing software (MountainsMap, TrueMap, or SFRAX) whom we could work with to fully implement the code to integrate our solution into an available surface metrological software package.

Other presenters:

Surface Metrology Applied to Large Scale (+10 m)
Lauren Alex, Corey Randall, John Rizzo

The goal of this innovation project is to identify new applications of surface metrology on a larger scale (+10 m) by utilizing the principles of axiomatic design.  There are several new products already being developed for the aerospace and automotive industries including iGPS and Laser Location Scanners.  To begin, basic functional requirements and design parameters were determined for a generic metrology system. After this, the principles of axiomatic design were reversed.  Instead of starting with the wants and needs of the customer, the existing design system was reviewed for additional functions that it could be used for.  Brainstorming with this in mind allows parallel applications of the system to be established.  Many new ideas were generated for a very broad range of industries and research areas.

Validating Measured Surfaces Using Axiomatic Design Techniques
John Courtney, Arnold Niedbala, James Snow

In a paper titled "Effects of Multi-Step Anodizing on 6061 T6 Aluminum," the authors obtained questionable results for particular data sets.  Images obtained in the Mountains software portrayed a surface with several "pits" and "craters."  It is the intent of this paper to develop a method to validate the authenticity of these surfaces.  Essentially, the prescribed method aims to answer the question; "Is what I measured a true representation of the surface in question?"  The project team applied axiomatic design techniques to formulate a validation method.  Functional requirements/hypotheses were constructed and preliminary research was performed.  Design parameters were postulated and transformed into a comprehensive method represented by a process flow diagram.  This diagram can be used by anyone interested in validating measured surfaces and/or attempting to solve a surface metrology problem.  In addition, the team formulated recommendations to improve the anodizing process used in the aforementioned paper.

Optimizing the Image Acquisition and Data Analysis of Fibrin Microthreads
Amanda Feldman, Jon Grasman, and Joe McGeoghan

Fibrin microthreads are a novel scaffold for use in tissue engineering technologies.  They are currently being investigated as a means of localized stem cell or growth factor delivery, as well as a scaffold for tissue regeneration.  The ability to predict the cellular response of these threads based upon physical alterations would greatly aid these investigations.  We are seeking to optimize the data acquisition and subsequent analysis of fibrin microthreads using a Lext confocal microscope.  The innovation investigated here was twofold: first to develop a method to secure the microthreads for image acquisition and then the subsequent filtering process to remove the form of the microthreads.  Microthreads were imaged by securing them to vellum paper and then taping the paper to the stage of the confocal to prevent thread movement.  However, thread vibrations persisted at times so double-sided tape was investigated as a fixation method.  We have compared two filtering techniques on two microscope objectives, 100X and 50X: polynomial form removal and a 0.8 µm cutoff spline filter.  However, due to unanticipated edge effects, the spline filter was investigated both with and without the inclusion of the edges.  The results show that the objective strength does not determine significance between thread sample types.  However, an observable difference has been noted between the two spline filtration methods.  Our current recommendation is to employ either the spline filter without edges or the polynomial form removal, however, the results suggest the spline filter excluding the edges may show a higher degree of discrimination.  Additional directions of this work could be to compare additional filter conditions, such as a Gaussian filter or a different cutoff size.  Further, the method for imaging the threads could be refined to a more consistent procedure to ensure accurate measure of the surface of the microthreads.

Surface Finish for Material Bonding for Pressure Suits
Matthew Doherty, Sidath Wijesooriya, Wai-Mun Leung

Pressure Suits more commonly referred to as Space Suits contain 18,000 or more parts to provide the occupant a safe and comfortable pressurized environment. The need for reduction of the overall weight and complexity is the subject of much investigation. Methods of incorporation of soft elements such as fabrics in place of hardware have been proposed for this purpose. Our design provides a method to create a surface finish that improves adhesion between fabric and metal. When implemented within the design of the pressure suits, mechanical air-tight seals can be replaced by adhesive bonds, reducing hardware within the system. Surface finishes using 80/100 aluminum oxide grit blasting and Ra values between 2.37-2.81 µm have shown promising increase of relative area and adhesion. There is concern, however, with the fabric adhesion where our experimental results have shown failures. Further investigation is required to find the correlation between fabric surface roughness and the bonding process. Pressure Suits more commonly referred to as Space Suits contain 18,000 or more parts to provide the occupant a safe and comfortable pressurized environment. The need for reduction of the overall weight and complexity is the subject of much investigation. Methods of incorporation of soft elements such as fabrics in place of hardware have been used for this purpose. Our design provides a method to create a surface finish that improves adhesion between fabric and metal. When implemented within the design of the pressure suits, mechanical air-tight seals can be replaced by adhesive bonds, reducing hardware within the system. Surface finishes using 80/100 aluminum oxide grit blasting and Ra values between 2.37-2.81 µm have shown promising increase of relative area and adhesion. There is concern, however, with the fabric adhesion where our experimental results have shown failures. Further investigation is needed of how the different fabrics' surface roughness affects bonding.Pressure Suits more commonly referred to as Space Suits contain 18,000 or more parts to provide the occupant a safe and comfortable pressurized environment. The need for reduction of the overall weight and complexity is the subject of much investigation. Methods of incorporation of soft elements such as fabrics in place of hardware have been used for this purpose. Our design provides a method to create a surface finish that improves adhesion between fabric and metal. When implemented within the design of the pressure suits, mechanical air-tight seals can be replaced by adhesive bonds, reducing hardware within the system. Surface finishes using 80/100 aluminum oxide grit blasting and Ra values between 2.37-2.81 µm have shown promising increase of relative area and adhesion. There is concern, however, with the fabric adhesion where our experimental results have shown failures. Further investigation is needed of how the different fabrics' surface roughness affects bonding.

Axiomatic Design for Non-Skid Deck on Ships
Melissa Banks, Amy Lockwood, Ian Stratton

The annual cost of corrosion in the U.S. Navy and Coast Guard is over $2.7 billion dollars and 5 percent of that cost is related to non-skid deck surfaces with an additional $103 million in maintenance costs, largely related to wear.  Non-skid is a rough surface material that enables boots and airplane or helicopter tires to grip the deck and gain traction to prevent slippage on the deck, or worse, going overboard.  Decks of boats and ships are susceptible to corrosion and wear, but must also maintain a non-slip surface in a wet environment.  The durability of non-slip flooring surfaces on ships is paramount to the safety of the crew.  Few options for non-skid deck materials exist and all require frequent and expensive maintenance or replacement.  Using principles of axiomatic design, a new product known as Algrip™ is explored as a viable alternative to traditional non-skid materials.  This new type of Laser Deposited Non-Skid is measured and compared to selected non-skid materials and recommendations are made based on cost and results of wear and corrosion tests.  

Use of Surface Roughness to Quantitatively Measure Banana Ripeness
Lindsay Malloy, Haley Connelley, Jeff Waegelin

To bring the best quality produce to customers, it is essential to know how ripe the fruit is.  Bananas have a short shelf life; so being able to measure ripeness is of particular interest.  An ideal test for ripeness should be quantitative, so it is easily measurable and repeatable.  Studies have shown that color is indicative of ripeness, but it is difficult to get a quantitative color measurement, as varying light conditions will change the apparent color of an object.  By selecting a measurement system that is quantitative, it will be easier to provide a standard measurement that can be repeated in varying conditions. It should also be non-destructive, so that the bananas are not damaged, and may still be sold after testing.  Internal tests on the chemical contents or the taste would be useful for determining ripeness, but would not allow the banana to still be sold after testing.  Thus, the measurement should be conducted on the surface of the banana.  Prior research has focused largely on subjective studies of the banana's peel color (Teeranud 2004, p.1), as well as chemical composition of the fruit pulp (Vermeir 2009, p.3).   Ripeness tests have also been created using oscillation (Clark 1940, p.2) and chlorophyll content (Li 1997, p.1).  Our innovation is a method to use surface metrology to determine ripeness of bananas.  By comparing results from a confocal microscope to the color of the banana's peel, we will determine how the ripeness and surface roughness are connected.

An Innovative Cooking Insert for Stainless Steel Pans
Kayode Ogundiminegha, Alix Orton, Junhui Pang

Stainless steel pans are a very popular piece of cookware and are commonly used in everyday household kitchens. These pans can be bought at relatively low prices, and are conveniently used for a variety of different cooking methods. Although, stainless steel pans are popular, they have been known to have many drawbacks. Stainless steel does not have very good heat transfer properties. Often times, a layer of copper, or other heat conductive material, is sandwiched within the underside of the pan in order to transfer heat to the food adequately. Even with the conductive layer, the pan's surface can develop hot-spots which tend to cook foods un-evenly. Additionally, foods which are high in protein, such as eggs and fish will stick to the pan surface due to bonds that occur between the food and the grooves of the pan. The objective of this project is to utilize axiomatic design, and the knowledge gained during our literature review, to develop a low-cost cooking insert to be used in conjunction with stainless-steel cookware. The insert is to be designed to have the desired functional properties within the surface layers that contact the food and the pan; as to provide: proper heat transfer, prevent sticking, allow easy clean up, and can be versatile, without eliminating the use of stainless steel pans all together. The rationale behind the innovative insert is that, "state of the art," pans designed to cook evenly or prevent sticking are costly and use hazardous material coatings. Other methods to prevent sticking are unhealthy in nature; often it is required to use fat to lubricate the surface of the pan to prevent sticking. A more common method is to use a non-stick spray, which has been known to ruin the taste of food during cooking. This is why our group found the need of a low-cost alternative, such as a cooking insert, which can provide even cooking, prevent sticking, and allow for versatility in every household.

 

 
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