Materials Science and Engineering
X-Ray Tomography Analysis of Pit Growth in a High-Performance Aluminum Alloy
Mentor: Nikhilesh Chawla
Aluminum alloys are commonly selected for engineering applications due to their high strength to weight ratio and low cost, however saline solutions shorten parts’ longevity by causing pitting corrosion. Many 2D characterization methods cannot fully analyze the growth of these pits over time; as such, this study seeks to leverage x-ray microtomography to observe pit growth in three dimensions over a 20-day corrosion period. By measuring a representative number of pits in a high performance aluminum alloy, it was possible to quantify the growth rates of pits and the native oxide layer. This information was used to determine and describe the effects of inclusions and oxide growth on pits.
Silicon Nanoparticle Layers for Use as Glass Insulation
Mentor: Zachary Holman
This project seeks to develop layers of silicon nano-particles for deposition onto glass to produce thermal insulation for residential and commercial buildings. Porous silicon nano-particles have been shown to refract ultraviolet wavelengths of sunlight at their front face and interface with glass. Currently, these layers lack durability, and spectrophotometry analysis shows excessive haze, issues which will be reduced by tuning nano-particle size. As nano-particle insulation can be applied to single-pane glass, it is a cheaper alternative to renovating houses to include double-pane windows and frames. This technology has commercial potential, but further work could expedite the deposition process.