Summer Undergraduate Research Mentored Experience

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Dr. Calvin Stewart

Department of Mechanical Engineering

Fatigue Testing of Aluminum Foil in Flow-Assisted Stress Corrosion Cracking Environment

Preferred major field of study or minimum required skills

Microsoft Excel, MathCAD, CAD Software, Structural Mechanics Background.

Scholarly significance/intellectual merit

In this study, a universal testing machine will be used to investigate the flow-assisted stress corrosion cracking of Aluminum alloys subject to fatigue. Stress-corrosion cracking (SCC) describes the service failures of engineering materials that are caused by slow, environmentally induced crack propagation in the presence of stress. Fatigue is the cyclic application of load or displacement until fracture of material. In 2010, the Office of Naval Research (ONR) launched a program targeted towards mitigating the stress corrosion cracking of aluminum alloys. Aluminum sandwich structures are used in ship hulls to minimize weight, provide high impact resistance, and provide good flexibility. It is hypothesized that the testing of metal foils can act as a surrogate for the mechanical behavior of individual cell walls in sandwich structures and enable a better understanding of the SCC susceptibility of Aluminum sandwich ship hulls.

Research question(s)

  • What are the fatigue properties of Aluminum foil?
  • How does flow-assisted stress corrosion cracking influence the fatigue properties?

Methods/techniques/instruments to be learned/utilized

The student involved in this project will learn how to operate a universal testing machine, configure a high temperature split tube furnace, and perform HT 3D DIC using UTEP’s world class structural mechanics facilities.