Senior Projects 2007-2008
Engineers Without Borders – Wind Turbine Design
Matt Smotherman, AJ Martinez, Amanda Wendelken, Jon Thornberry, Neil Lee
EWB is a national organization that conducts engineering projects to assist underdeveloped regions of the world. This team focused on developing a wind turbine design to enable the Chosunjok people of Hunchun, China, to heat water. They worked with a liaison in the region to design a system that could be manufactured with commonly available resources. They built two full-scale wind turbine prototypes during the semester. They also developed an excellent technique for quantifying the “transferability” of any technology to a particular region of the world. Their final design consisted of a horizontal shaft turbine, with a permanent magnet pancake AC alternator and blades manufactured from fiberglass reinforced PVC tubing. They included detailed instructions for its fabrication. The team raised their own budget throughout the semester of $2,500.
Coiled Tubing Repair Tool
David McElrath, John Lindeman, Richard Murry, Krystal Smith, Blane Rhodes, Saurabh Jawa
Coiled tubing is used in the oil industry to do everything from drilling, to service to completion. Fatigue is the major factor that determines the life of tubing in the field, and mechanical surface defects can greatly reduce fatigue life. The Tulsa University Coiled Tubing Mechanics Research Consortium commissioned this team to develop a tool that makes repeatable, effective repairs of defects with a wide range of geometries, within a budget of $2,500. The tool will remove spot defects, circumferential defects and external butt weld beads. It consists of a belt sander, mounted on an orbital fixture that leaves behind a smooth surface with only longitudinal grinding marks. Their tool has the potential for widespread use throughout the coiled tubing and pipe fitting industries. A patent disclosure for their design was sent to the University patent committee.
Portable Vehicle Mass Property Measurement Trailer
Gregg Williams, Scott Heaton, Grant Cooper, Zach Jones, Tristin Sublette
In the field of automobile crash reconstruction, it is important to have an accurate assessment of the mass properties for the involved vehicles. One of the most important is the “yaw moment of inertia,” defined as the resistance to rotation about a vertical axis. These students were hired by Dr. Jeremy Daily to build a trailer with the ability to measure the center of mass and yaw moment of inertia for a crashed vehicle. This will enable analysts to quantify for the first time whether the impact damage changed the mass properties enough to affect the analysis. With a budget of $4150, the team designed and built the entire system. Their design uses a winch to pull crashed vehicles onto a turntable. The turntable is mounted to the trailer and supported rotationally with torsional leaf springs. The turntable is supported vertically by 4 load cells to measure the horizontal location of the vehicle’s mass center. The support structure can also be tilted, thus enabling the system to also measure the vertical location of the center of mass. An oral presentation of the this project won second place in the regional ASME student competition. The team is also co-authoring a technical paper about the trailer for a presentation at a technical conference.
Challenge X Advanced Vehicle Competition
Jim Fox, Tom Queatham, Michael Dunn
Sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy and General Motors, TU was one of 17 schools selected for this three-year competition based on its history of hybrid-vehicle design success. ME students are working with chemical and electrical engineering and computer science students to re-engineer a GM Equinox for improved efficiency and performance. The traditional gasoline engine in the Equinox has been replaced with a cutting edge hybrid drive train consisting of an alternate fuel engine along with an electric motor and a hydrogen fuel cell. The ME team took on three major tasks: they installed a urea injection system to reduce harmful NOx emissions, they designed and fabricated an unique storage and deployment system for the hydrogen fuel cell power system. This system can now be easily removed from the vehicle and used to provide portable power where needed. They also designed a new paint-job for the vehicle.
Robot Assembly Process
Chuck Becker, Josh Thompson, Scott Pattillo
The R.L. Hudson Company is a leading supplier of polymeric components for a wide range of industries. One of their products is supplied to the Cummins engine company for use in a Daimler Chrysler product. Over 550,000 of these parts are currently assembled by hand, requiring the services of two full-time employees. To free these employees for more productive tasks, this team developed system to assemble the parts automatically. They used an industrial robot along with vibratory part feeders and specially designed delivery fittings. Their system also included pneumatically driven O-ring gripper and feed escapement system. They completed their project with a budget of just over $4000, using about $12,000 of existing robotic hardware. The system will pay for itself in less than one year of operation.
Leaf Blower Vibration Reduction System
Craig Maricle, Lee Neuharth, Faisal Al-Zaabi , Yousef Al-Amoudi
The R.L. Hudson company supplies a variety of parts to the Echo company for its leaf blowers and other products. This team developed an evaluation procedure to define the vibration characteristics of a leaf blower. The procedure consisted of an accelerometer to test the actual prototype performance, and a Dynamic Mechanical Analysis (DMA) system to quantify the frequency response of candidate materials. They tested numerous designs consisting of rubber vibration isolators made from materials familiar to their sponsor. Their system was able to validate a new design that reduced transmitted accelerations by nearly 50%. They achieved this using a small portion of their $2000 budget.