Multi-functional tribological test frame for friction and wear

Project Title: Multi-functional tribological test frame for friction and wear

Project Lead’s Name: Zhijiang Ye


Phone: (513) 529-0357

Please Choose the Primary Affiliation: CEC

Are There Other Project Team Members?: Yes

Other Project Team Member: Timothy Cameron

Other Team Member Email Address:

Brief description of project: This proposal presents a case for the acquisition of a new multi-functional tribological test frame in the Department of Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering (MME). The requested multi-functional tribological test frame is capable of performing a variety of test and measurements at micro and nanoscale including mechanical properties, frictional behavior, wear performance and micro/nano tip-based patterning/machining. This new equipment will greatly increase the instructional capabilities of the MME Department and opportunities for undergraduate research.

The MME Materials Lab currently has only one test frame that is shared for undergraduate laboratory activities, undergraduate projects and faculty research. This equipment has proven vital in training our students to meet industry expectations and enabling them to finish undergraduate research projects and capstone design. However, this test frame lacks the ability to measure small scale (micro and nanoscale) properties. With development of technology and increased need of small devices and mechanical components applications, a new test frame that is capable doing micro and nanoscale mechanical testing will have significant impact on undergraduate teaching, undergraduate projects, scholarly activities, and capstone design in MME department. Several existing courses (such as MME 223 Engineering Materials, MME 231 Manufacturing Processes and MME 312 Mechanics of Materials) in MME department will benefit from the new equipment.

The new Multi-functional tribological test frame will be available not only to MME students but also to students in CEC and other colleges at Miami. The students will be trained how to operate the machine, how to perform proper measurements and how to interpret and analyze the data and results. Through the in-depth training and learning process, the students will gain better understanding on materials and mechanics concepts that they learn in the class. Ultimately, the requested multi-functional tribological test frame mill becomes a fundamental learning tool for mechanical and manufacturing engineers and it will enhance the quality of student academic and research opportunities, and help prepare students for a challenging career.

Does this project focus on graduate student education or graduate student life?: No

Describe the problem you are attempting to solve and your approach for solving that problem.: This proposal if successful will cover a gap created in the teaching capabilities of the MME Materials Laboratory, an Instructional Laboratories of the MME Department. The MME Department student headcount has increased steadily in the past years. Currently, the MME Department undergraduate headcount is 599 students (fall 2016), almost doubling its size since Fall 2007. Due to this rapid and steady growth of the student body of the MME department, core classes have reached an average of 70 students. This large number has created a challenge and limited the students' hands-on experience in materials and mechanics related courses (e.g. MME 223 Engineering Materials, MME 231 Manufacturing Processes, and MME 448/9 Senior Capstone Design). The proposed solution is to increase the experimental capacity in the MME department by purchasing a multi-functional tribological test frame.

The criteria state that technology fee projects should benefit students in innovative and/or significant ways. How would you describe the innovation and/or significance of your project?: Mechanical properties of materials and manufacturing process are core concepts for several courses (e.g. MME 223 Engineering materials, MME 231 Manufacturing Processes, MME 312 Mechanics of Materials, and MME 412/512 Advanced Mechanics of Materials) in mechanical and manufacturing engineering. All students in the MME department (Mechanical Engineering, Manufacturing Engineering and Engineering Management) are required to take MME 223 Engineering materials and MME 231 Manufacturing Processes as part of their degree. In addition, Chemical and Biomedical Engineering students from the Chemical, Paper and Bioengineering Department (CPB) also take MME 223. MME 223 has an average of 100 students per semester. The requested equipment will be utilized 100% by these MME and CPB students for mechanical properties test and surface manufacturing.

This proposal seeks to increase the teaching and research capabilities in the MME Department and enhance the quality of student academic opportunities in preparation for their professional activity. Modernization of the mechanical and manufacturing capabilities goes towards upholding the school's educational mission as well as fostering professional development of our students. Provision of the new system will:

  1. Benefit all MME students (currently 599), and other majors through capstone projects
  2. Enhance the quality of offered mechanical courses. Having extra capabilities it means that all students will actually be able to have a hands-on experience during the engineering materials laboratory practices (MME 223 in particular)
  3. Provide additional and needed resource to support future research projects within the department and college
  4. Ensure the continued availability of state-of-the-art equipment for courses seeking to augment or add materials testing exercises and prepare our students better to face challenges in industry

How will you assess the project?: The primary objective of the project is to make a significant contribution to enhance hands-on student experience in their engineering courses. The realization of this goal will be assessed through three evaluations methods. One measure of efficacy will be data collected through the senior exit interviews, which specifically inquire about the quality of the laboratory experience, and from course evaluations. Additionally, faculty input on how the availability of the advanced quality equipment has enabled the inclusion of new assignments that entail design related critical thinking and quality data collection in their courses will be gathered. Finally, end of semester course evaluations provide feedback on the student laboratory experience, which it is often identified by students as very positive towards an understanding of fundamental material concepts. Funding of this project stands to enhance the quality of this experience.

Have you applied for and/or received Tech Fee awards in past years?: No

Budget: Hardware

Hardware Title(s) & Vendor(s): Linear Reciprocating Tribometer, Anton Paar

Hardware Costs: $50,255.00

What is the total budget amount requested?: $51,005.00