WPI's Center for Heat Treating Excellence Inaugurates Four New Projects

Contact: Arlie Corday, WPI Media & Community Relations

WORCESTER, Mass. - The year 2000 promises to be a busy and productive one for Worcester Polytechnic Institute's new Center for Heat Treating Excellence (CHTE). The CHTE's board of directors has recently approved four projects that will commence in the first quarter of 2000.

These projects were selected from a total of 65 proposals received from the CHTE membership, which includes a broad spectrum of the industry - aerospace and automotive companies, large equipment manufacturers, furnace manufacturers, and industrial heat treaters. The projects proposed by the members identify technological gaps and industrial needs; these were distributed into four clusters: quenching, residual stresses and distortion, part temperature control (knowledge-based), and aluminum heat treating. CHTE's board of directors unanimously approved the following four projects at a special meeting in Chicago on Dec. 1:

  • "Solution Heat Treatment of Aluminum Alloys: Effect on Microstructure and Service Properties," will be conducted by the Metallurgy and Materials Engineering department at the University of Connecticut. Principal investigators are UConn professors Harold D. Brody and John E. Morral.

  • "Development of an Analytical Tool for Part Load Design and Temperature Control Within Loaded Furnaces" will be conducted by the Manufacturing Engineering Department at WPI. This research project will be headed by Yiming Rong, associate professor of manufacturing engineering at WPI.

  • "Quenching," will be carried out at WPI and will be headed by professor Richard D. Sisson Jr., interim department head of WPI's Mechanical Engineering Department.

  • "Prediction of Distortion and Residual Stress in Heat Treated Components," from the Thermal Processing Technology Center of the Illinois Institute of Technology. Investigators include IIT professors Philip Nash, Robert P. Foley and T. Calvin Tszeng of IIT's Department of Mechanical, Materials and Aerospace Engineering.

These projects will be conducted at three institutions and coordinated through the Center for Heat Treating Excellence. Established Sept. 1, 1999, CHTE makes its home at WPI and is directed by WPI's Howmet Professor of Mechanical Engineering, Diran Apelian, who heads the Metal Processing Institute (MPI). MPI is the largest industry-university alliance in the United States dedicated to advancing the frontiers of near-net-shape manufacturing. MPI consists of four consortia: one in metal casting, one in powder metallurgy, one in semi-solid processing and, most recently, the Center for Heat Treating Excellence. CHTE, which is a member-driven center, currently has 24 Founding members, 24 Silver members and 19 Bronze members - a total of 67 corporate partners.

CHTE is an alliance between the industrial sector and researchers to address collaboratively the short-term and long-term needs of the heat-treating industry. By bringing together the resources of academicians and students with practitioners, a fundamental knowledge base is developed to address industrial needs. It is CHTE's intent to enhance the position of the heat treating industry by applying research to solve industrial problems.

Results from the research will be presented to and discussed by the CHTE members at its spring and fall meetings (April 18-19 and Nov. 14-15, 2000) at WPI. For more information about CHTE, contact Diran Apelian at the Metal Processing Institute at 508-831-5992 or dapelian@wpi.edu. You can also access information on the Web at https://www.wpi.edu/Academics/Research/MPI/.