Mechanical & Materials Engineering Research Collection

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Now showing 1 - 5 of 581
  • Publication
    Update on the status of the Educational Irish Research Satellite (EIRSAT-1)
    The Educational Irish Research Satellite, EIRSAT-1, is a 2U CubeSat being implemented by a student-led team at University College Dublin, as part of the 2nd round of the European Space Agency’s Fly Your Satellite! programme. In development since 2017, the mission has several scientific, technological and outreach goals. It will fly an in-house developed antenna deployment module, along with three custom payloads, which are integrated with commercial off-the-shelf subsystems. In preparation for the flight model, a full-system engineering qualification model of the spacecraft has undergone an extensive period of test campaigns, including full functional tests, a mission test, and environmental testing at the European Space Agency’s CubeSat Support Facility in Redu, Belgium. Beyond the technical, educational, and capacity-building goals of the mission, EIRSAT-1 aims to inspire wider study of STEM subjects, while highlighting the importance of multidisciplinary teams and creating greater awareness of space in everyday life. A wide range of outreach activities are being undertaken to realise these aims. This paper provides a status update on key aspects of the EIRSAT-1 project and the next steps towards launch.
  • Publication
    Development of a Nanosatellite System Modeling Architecture for EIRSAT-1
    Over the last two decades, CubeSats which are nanosatellites with form factors based on units (U) of 10 x 10 x 10 cm3, have become more common in academia, enabling students to gain hands-on experience with satellite design, testing and deployment [15]. The use of Commercial-Off-TheShelf (COTS) components reduces development cost and time, making CubeSats an accessible and cost effective route to space. CubeSats are increasingly important for in-orbit demonstrations of new technologies. Further, their flexibility allows them to be configured for a wide range of science mission profiles, either as a standalone platform, as a communications relay for lunar and inter-planetary missions, such as NASA's Mars Cube One (MarCO) satellites [14], or as a daughter spacecraft to study a near-Earth object such as LICIACube [2]. Several CubeSats for high energy astrophysics are currently in orbit and in development [9].
  • Publication
    Application of in situ process monitoring to optimise laser parameters during laser powder bed fusion printing of Ti-6Al-4V parts with overhang structures
    (Springer Science and Business Media LLC, 2023-12-15) ; ; ; ;
    Enhanced levels of alloy print defects such as porosity are associated with the printing of overhang structures by laser powder bed fusion (L-PBF). This study compared the microstructure and porosity of Ti-6Al-4V overhang structures, with that observed for the bulk alloy. It was observed in the region around the overhang structure that the microstructure exhibited larger grain sizes and was less homogenous, compared to the that obtained within the bulk alloy. An increased level of porosity of up to 0.08% was also observed in the overhang print alloy, compared with the corresponding < 0.02% in the alloy bulk. It is hypothesised that these microstructural changes are associated with the excess heat generated in the overhang region, due to the decreased thermal conductivity of the powder immediately below the print layers, compared with solid alloy. During L-PBF alloy printing, in situ process monitoring of the melt pool emissions was obtained in the near-infrared range and correlated with the properties of the printed parts. This in-process data was used to assist in selecting optimal laser processing conditions, in order to help prevent melt pool overheating at the overhang. By systematically controlling the laser energy during the printing of the first fifteen layers over the overhang structure, the level of porosity was reduced, to the < 0.02% level of the bulk alloy. There was also an associated reduction in the roughness (Ra) of the overhang itself, with its Ra decreasing from 62.4 ± 7.3 to 7.5 ± 1.9 µm.
  • Publication
    The Effect of Powder Size and Morphology on the Sinterability of Bioresorbable Mg-Sr/Ca Alloys
    Possessing outstanding biocompatibility and bioresorbability, magnesium (Mg) alloys with strontium (Sr) and calcium (Ca) additions have shown potential to be used as temporary implants in orthopaedic applications. Having a low elastic modulus (45 GPa) close to the human bone lowers the stress shielding effects. Low temperature Additive Manufacturing (AM) techniques (e.g., Fused Deposition Modelling) have potential to be used for the fabrication of complex Mg components while avoiding safety concerns associated with high temperature AM. However, low sinterability of common Mg-alloys is the main limiting factor. The objective of this work is to investigate the effect of powder particle size / morphology on the sinterability of Mg-Ca/Sr based alloys produced via powder metallurgy. Laser Diffraction and Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) were used to characterize particle size and morphology. The study also focused on assessing the role of liquid phase sintering (LPS) mechanism by thermodynamic calculations and microstructural characterisation (SEM). Porosity measurements using density analysis and image processing were employed to determine the effects of powder size and morphology on sinterability of the alloys. It was found that the non-homogeneous particle size distribution with more spherical powder particles, facilitated the compaction and accordingly higher densification was obtained. This was achieved for powders milled at higher speeds (900 rpm), resulting in significantly lower porosity levels (~ 6-8 %) compared to the dry-milled state (~40-60 %).
  • Publication
    Development of Magnesium-Strontium/Calcium (Mg-Sr/Ca)-Based Alloys with Improved Sinterability for Next-Generation Biomedical Implants
    The use of biodegradable magnesium (Mg) alloys for bone fixation devices has potential to improve patients’ quality of life by avoiding the necessary secondary operations conducted regularly for the removal of implants fabricated from conventional non-resorbable alloys. Mg-alloys have excellent biocompatibility and biodegradability along with a low modulus of elasticity which will decrease bone-shielding effects. However, low corrosion resistance and relatively poor mechanical performance limit the use of Mg-based alloys for biomedical applications. This study focuses on the processing of Mg-Ca- and Mg-Sr-based alloys via powder metallurgical route. Thermodynamic calculations are used to predict the liquid phase fractions in order to optimise sinterability and porosity levels. Materials characterisation was conducted to validate the thermodynamic modeling results using optical and scanning electron microscopy (SEM/EDS) as well as X-ray Diffraction (XRD).