Design of a Portable Pneumatic System for Wearable Healthcare Assistive Devices
Mentor: Panagiotis Polygerinos
Studying dynamic behaviors of a Pneumatic Linear Actuator (PLA) is important for any pneumatic-based applications. In this project, the group designed a linear actuator that will be coupled with a DC motor to empower an existing wearable, soft-actuated, robotic knee sleeve that has the capacity to dynamically adjust the position of knee joints in real-time preventing or allaying strains. A new design of a portable prototype of PLA will be researched and a method to fabricate such devices will be explored. Achieving a minimization of PLA will expand potential market value of soft-robotics industry.
Finite Element Modeling of Micro-scale Bending Testing of Nuclear Reactor Materials
Mentor: Pedro Peralta
Structural reliability of nuclear fuels is key for the development of safer nuclear reactors. In this work, mechanical behavior of Uranium Dioxide (UO2) is investigated by developing finite element (FE) models of test samples and using load-displacement results from the experiments to calibrate and validate material models that describe plasticity and creep of UO2. Micro-cantilever beam FE models have been created using actual sample geometries and the models verified via analytical methods, by first performing simulations in materials with elastic-perfectly plastic behavior. Research outcomes will help nuclear fuel manufacturers understand how fuel behavior affects the structural reliability of fuel rods.