Description of Available Facilities Materials and Structures Lab Active Materials Lab

Description of Available Facilities

A comprehensive laboratory for the experimental study of the thermomechanical behavior of materials is located in the Center for Mechanics of Composites at Texas A&M University. The Laboratory is equipped for experimental research in the areas of constitutive evaluation of Materials, structural testing, and nondestructive evaluation including X-ray radiography, moireinterferometry, and HIPing.

Mechanical testing : Mechanical testing can be performed on any of several different types of load frames and/or creep frames, in order to meet the requirements of a particular test. The load frame types include: MTS axial, closed loop, servo hydraulic test systems with load capacities ranging from 20 to 100 KIP's; one Adelaide axial torsional, closed loop, screw driven test system which can simultaneously or independently apply axial and torsional loads up to 20 KIP's and 10,000 in lbs, respectively; one MTS high rate, open loop, servo hydraulic test system capable of accelerating the cross head up to 60,000 in/sec and impacting a specimen with 24,000 in lbs of energy. All of the servo hydraulic load frames are completely automated and have data acquisition, reduction and control software written specifically for tests typically associated with constitutive parameter evaluation and damage mechanics. In addition, three axial load frames are specifically equipped with alignment fixtures and hydraulic collet grips in order to precisely align the load train for ceramic specimens, as well as compression testing.

The creep frames are of the direct load or lever arm type construction and have a load capacity of 10 KIP's. The creep frames are equipped with three zone clamshell style furnaces, capable of reaching a maximum temperature of 2,000°F, and compatible ATS LVDT indicating extensometry.

For elevated temperature research, the laboratory is appropriately equipped with furnaces, extensometry, and temperature sensing/control devices to suit a variety of isothermal, as well as transient temperature testing requirements. Test temperatures ranging from room temperature to 2,800°F can be accomplished using one of several different heating methods. The various types include: a Research Inc. 4KW quad elliptical quartz lamp oven; an MTS three zone resistive heating clamshell furnace; an MTS single zone, molybdenum disilicide, rapid resistive heating furnace; a Lepel SKW induction heating unit; and two MTS environmental chambers. The lab is also equipped with a variety of extensometry for low to moderate temperatures, as well as temperatures in excess of 2800°F. Where applicable, these include: MTS tension/compression axial (models 632.41 and 632.59) and diametral (model 632.60) extensometers with a 1 inch gage capacity and ceramic and/or quartz extension rods; an MTS biaxial extensometer (model 632.85); and an assortment of MTS axial clip gages (models 632.11, 632.12, and 632.25) with gage capacities of 0.5 through 1 inch. Dual setpoint digital temperature controllers, with auto-tune PID control, can be used in conjunction with either an optical pyrometer or thermocouples in order to precisely meet the test temperature requirements.

Hot Isostatic Press Facility: Located in the Department of Aerospace Engineering is a facility for the compaction, sintering, diffusion bonding and pressing of metal and ceramic powders. Specifications of the major items of equipment in this laboratory are listed below. All items and their supporting equipment are available to this project.

Hot Isostatic Press: Asea Brown Bovari model QIC 3. Installed June, 1990. Maximum pressure: 30,000 psi. Maximum temperature of molebdenum furnace: 1450°C. Maximum temperature of graphite furnace: 2000°C. Dimensions of constant temperature zone: 10 cm diameter, 11 cm high. HIP temperature and pressure control and monitoring is programmable from a desktop workstation (IBM PC compatible).

Cold Press: Hydraulic unit designed and fabricated by Dr. Pollock can be configured as a unidirectional or quasi isostatic press. Maximum force: 1000 lb. Maximum pressure: 25,000 psi. Uses interchangeable die bodies and rams. Accommodates articles up to 3 cm x 3cm x 10 cm in size, and is readily modified for larger work.

Sintering Furnaces: Four furnaces of various capacities can be programmed with multiple set points. All have inert atmosphere capability. Vacuum sintering is done in the HIP.

HIP Canning Facility: Necessary items for performing the proprietary vacuum canning process are available. Additionally, general purpose welding (TIG, MIG and oxyacetylene) equipment is provided.

Centorr Testorr Furnace: Front access furnace, model C-5583/20147. Vacuum/inert gas furnace which can be mated to any one of our four MTS load frames. Temperature capability of this furnace is 2000°C and can reach vacuum pressures lower than 10-6 Torr. The furnace is compatible with argon, nitrogen and helium atmospheres.

Microstructural Analysis: In addition, the material used in any or all of the aforementioned tests may be evaluated microstructurally by established metallographic techniques. The lab is equiped with a Leica MEF4M metallograph, Image-Pro imaging software, and a color laser printer for image analysis. A Perkin Elmer Pyris 1 Differential Scanning Calorimeter is also utilized for measurement of transformation temperatures and latent heat associated with phase transformations. For microstructural clarity, a Struers automatic polisher complements the metallograph and image analysis system, providing detailed images that can relate microstructural changes to observed mechanical behavior.

Computational Facilities: A number of networked PCs are available for the center, which encompass all experimental computers. This allows for the easy transmission of test data and results to anywhere in the world. Videoconference capabilities are also available to allow real-time, long distance discussion of project status and experiments with involved parties. Supercomputers, parallel computers, and supporting software are also available at Texas A&M University.


Laboratory Facilities

3'x4' Wind Tunnel at Texas A&M: This is a closed circuit wind tunnel with test section dimensions of 3'x4'. It has a contraction ratio of 9:1 and a maximum speed of 200 ft/sec. Within the last three years, this facility has evolved into a state of the art high productivity testing environment for the generation of high quality aerodynamic data with carefully quantified uncertainty bounds. The integrated testing environment incorporates the following flow diagnostics tools:

1. Model mount with a miniature six component internal balance (force resolution of 1 gram) and pitch/yaw model positioning capabilities.

2. Meso scale (7001lm) and miniature (1.4 mm) multi hole probes (5 hole and 7 hole probes) for flowfield velocity and pressure measurements, with a five degree of freedom probe positioning system. The current probe design allows for steady state measurements. Efforts have already been initiated to extent the probe frequency response to the order of KHz by implementing MEMS based pressure transducers (5 or 7, respectively) right at the tip of the probes. That will enable the measurement of unsteady and turbulent flows.

3. Three-Component, Fiber-Optic Laser-Doppler Velocimeter (LDV) for non-intrusive velocity measurements.

4. Cinematographic Particle Image Velocimeter (CPIV) for non-intrusive instantaneous global velocimetry (Gilarranz et. al, 1997). The system is capable of capturing and processing of frame-rates as high as 10,000 frames/sec and can yield, simultaneously, volumetric flowfield velocity measurements and solid boundary motion/deformation measurements. This type of data is of paramount importance to the microscale flow control proposed. Two of the system's features that enable micro-flow-diagnostics are (a) an equivalent pixel-resolution of each image of approximately 1000x1000 and (b) the capability of zooming the image to a physical domain of dimensions as low as 3mm x 3mm. The combination of features (a) and (b) yield velocity measurements on a micron scale. The project needs will also be supported by a full-time machinist, two part-time computer technicians, a machine shop, an electronics and computer-repair laboratory.

Active Materials Laboratory at Texas A&M: The Active Materials Laboratory at Texas A&M has recently added the ability to perform non proportional loading experiments, thermo-mechanical tests, as well as thermal analyses. In addition, the material used in any or all of the aforementioned tests may be evaluated microstructurally by established metallographic techniques. A mechanical test frame with the ability to load in tension and torsion enables successful 2-D characterization and modeling of Shape Memory Alloys (SMAs). To this same end, the Differential Scanning Calorimeter allows for measurement of transformation temperatures and latent heat associated with the phase transformation present in SMAs. In addition, a widefield metallograph and image analysis system, complemented by a Pentium/450 computer including the latest graphic enhancing software (Image-Pro, Photoshop), permits the microstructural study of SMAs or various other materials. The metallograph and image analysis system accompany an automatic polisher and provide detailed images that can relate microstructural changes to observed mechanical behavior. The laboratory is also equipped with three servo hydraulic uniaxial load frames, which state-of-the-art digital computer hardware and software for data acquisition and control. For theorectical modeling of SMAs, the smart lab includes a Digital Alpha Personal Workstation 600-AU with ABAQUS and other FE analysis software.

Department of Aerospace Engineering
Texas A&M University
1998 1999 Materials & Mechanics Laboratory
Capabilities & Pricing Sheet

Load Frames $25.00/hour

Hourly rate starts at pump on time

· 20 kip - TAMU 02-88-U-0650206 (MTS 810 22 kip) 1988 $40,000

· 50 kip - TAMU 02-91-0-0876280 (MTS 810 55 kip) 1991 $65,000

· 100 kip - TAMU 02-00-0-0250050 (MTS 880 110 kip) 1983 $150,000

· 20/10 kip - TEES 08-00-0-0420032 2000 $44,000
Adelaide Testing Machines (Tension/Torsion)

Environment Chamber $10.00/hour

Hourly rate based on run time

Carbon dioxide and argon supplied in lab

· TAMU 02-00-0-0250050 l983 $30,000

Air Furnaces $10.00/hour

Hourly rate based on run time

Carbon dioxide and argon supplied in lab

Minimum run time of 10 hours billed

· 1000°C Air Furnace – TAMU 02-00-0-0250050 1983 $15,000

· 1800°C Air Furnace – TAMU 02-91-0-0873455 1991 $25,000

Centorr 2000°C High Vaccum Furnace $15.00/hour

Hourly rate based on run time

Minimum run time of 10 hours billed

· TEES 08-00-0-0296928 1993 $150,000

Struers Automatic Polishing Systems $20.00/hour

Hourly rate starts at power on time

Disks, pads, and chemicals supplied in lab

· TEES 08-00-0-0396518 1997 $17,000

Perkin Elmer Pyris–1 Differential Scanning Calorimeter $15.00/hour

Hourly rate starts at power on time

Pans and accessories supplied in lab

· TEES 08-00-0-0399167 1999 $26,000

Leica MEF4M Metallograph with Digital Camera $10.00/hour

Hourly rate starts at power on time

Color printouts are supplied at an added charge of $.50/sheet

· TEES 08-00-0-0399185 1999 $110,000

Digital Alpha Personal Workstation 600-AU (software included) $25.00/hour

Hourly rate starts at power on time

· TEES 08-00-0-0397801 1998 $20,000

*Training time will be billed at $25.00/hour plus the normal rate charge for the specified equipment. Rates may be updated to account for inflation in subsequent years.

**Technician time will be billed at $25.00/hour.