Worcester, MA, United States
Worcester, MA, United States

Time filter

Source Type

News Article | October 28, 2016
Site: www.prweb.com

A new multi-university research center led by Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) aims to dramatically reduce energy and water usage while also increasing the economic competitiveness of a broad spectrum of industries by bringing innovations to one of the most energy-intensive aspects of manufacturing: drying. The Center for Advanced Research in Drying (CARD), funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) through its Industry/University Cooperative Research Centers program (I/UCRC), brings together researchers at WPI and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. CARD is the second NSF I/UCRC established at WPI. The Center for Resource Recovery and Recycling (CR3), part of the university's Metal Processing Institute, was launched in 2010 with the mission of developing new technologies for maximizing the recovery and recycling of metals used in manufactured products and structures. Drying is important in industries that handle moist, porous materials. Examples include making food snacks, cereal, and pasta; producing paper; and manufacturing powders and other forms of dry bulk chemicals. About 2 percent of the 100 quadrillion BTUs (or quads) of energy used each year in the United States is wasted by industrial drying processes, said CARD's inaugural director Jamal Yagoobi, George I. Alden Professor and head of WPI's Department of Mechanical Engineering. "The goal of CARD is to improve the efficiency of those processes by 10 percent, which would save 0.2 quads of energy each year," Yagoobi said. "Since steam is the prime media used in industrial heating and drying, by making drying more efficient, the center also aims to help reduce annual water usage in the United States by about 10 billion kilograms, or the equivalent of the water in 4,000 Olympic-sized swimming pools. "By achieving transformative breakthroughs in drying technologies, we can have a profound impact on U.S. manufacturing capabilities," Yagoobi added. "In the short term, major innovations in this field, when commercialized, will positively affect production costs, process efficiency, energy sustainability, and product quality. In the long run, the magnitude of these changes could very well foster a new era of U.S. manufacturing competitiveness and job creation." Yagoobi said CARD will conduct industry-sponsored research on drying technologies used, for example, to make food and agricultural products, paper, building materials and other forest products, bulk chemicals, textiles, and pharmaceuticals. Drying accounts for a significant portion of the energy used in each of these industries, he noted. In the paper industry, for example, 30 percent of all energy consumed goes into drying. In addition to improving the efficiency of drying processes and reducing waste, he said a central goal of the center is helping manufacturers produce better products by giving industries more control over the drying processes. The quality of many products is affected by how quickly or evenly drying takes place, he said, or by the methods used to extract moisture. As an NSF I/UCRC, CARD derives the bulk of its funding from its corporate members, each of which pays an annual membership fee of $50,000. The center currently has 12 members and is seeking to expand to 30 members within five years. CARD members suggest topics for research projects, which are then voted on by the entire membership. Current active projects include the development of innovative impinging jets that will enable delicate items to be dried more efficiently without incurring damage; the design of new sensors to measure moisture levels and other material properties to allow for better control of drying; and studies of how product properties are changed during drying processes. The only major research center at an American university focused on industrial drying, CARD has also been named a partner in one of the nine U.S. National Network for Manufacturing Innovation Institutes launched by the Obama Administration. CARD is a member of the Clean Energy Smart Manufacturing Innovation Institute, established in the summer of 2016 in partnership with the U.S. Department of Energy. The institute brings together a consortium of nearly 200 academic, industry, and nonprofit partners to spur advances in smart sensors and digital process controls, innovations that can radically improve the efficiency of U.S. advanced manufacturing. The center is also part of Rapid Advancement in Process Intensification Deployment (RAPID), a coalition organized by the American Institute of Chemical Engineers that is competing to be named the network's next institute. RAPID would focus on the application of process intensification—a fundamental area of knowledge in chemical engineering—to manufacturing processes to lower costs, improve energy- and resource-efficiency, and increase overall productivity. Yagoobi notes that membership in these national initiatives will bring additional significant federal funding to CARD. Yagoobi, whose research on transport phenomena in porous moist materials led to his establishing a drying research center at Texas A&M University when he was a faculty member there, said he first envisioned CARD four years ago. He began discussing the idea with Irfan Ahmad, executive director of the Center for Nanoscale Science and Technology, and Hao Feng, professor of food science and human nutrition, both at the University of Illinois; Feng is now the Illinois site director for CARD. The center obtained an I/UCRC planning grant from the NSF in 2013, which enabled the researchers to begin reaching out to corporate members. CARD recently received a Phase I grant from the NSF, which will bring annual awards of $300,000 to WPI and the University of Illinois. At the end of five years, the center can apply for continuing funding through a Phase II grant. "I want to acknowledge the valuable contribution of my WPI and Illinois colleagues toward creating this new center," Yagoobi said. "Without their valuable contributions, establishing CARD would not have been possible." Research projects undertaken by CARD are carried out by faculty members and graduate students at WPI and the University of Illinois. Yagoobi said he expects that projects carried out at Illinois will focus on issues in food and agriculture as well as sensor development, while WPI researchers will focus on the engineering aspects of drying. While drying will be the primary focus, Yagoobi said the center will also conduct research on heating, cooling, freezing, and frying—all processes that involve heat and mass transfer. Founded in 1865 in Worcester, Mass., WPI is one of the nation’s first engineering and technology universities. Its 14 academic departments offer more than 50 undergraduate and graduate degree programs in science, engineering, technology, business, the social sciences, and the humanities and arts, leading to bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees. WPI's talented faculty work with students on interdisciplinary research that seeks solutions to important and socially relevant problems in fields as diverse as the life sciences and bioengineering, energy, information security, materials processing, and robotics. Students also have the opportunity to make a difference to communities and organizations around the world through the university's innovative Global Projects Program. There are more than 45 WPI project centers throughout the Americas, Africa, Asia-Pacific, and Europe.


News Article | February 15, 2017
Site: www.prweb.com

Brajendra Mishra, who serves as Kenneth G. Merriam Professor of Mechanical Engineering at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI), has been named director of the university’s Metal Processing Institute (MPI), a leading industry-university alliance dedicated to advancing the field of materials science through research conducted across four focused centers. Mishra, who joined WPI in April 2015 as associate director of MPI and director of the MPI’s Center for Resource Recovery and Recycling (CR3), will succeed Diran Apelian, Alcoa-Howmet Professor of Mechanical Engineering at WPI who launched MPI at WPI in 1996. As founding director of MPI, Apelian will continue to direct the activities of the Advanced Casting Research Center (ACRC). “I’m elated to become the director and am looking forward to the challenge,” said Mishra. “Taking over from someone like Professor Apelian is a big challenge and a distinct honor, knowing how active this institute is on campus and its extensive work with industry.” MPI, the largest industry-university alliance in North America, conducts research in the areas of metal casting (in ACRC), heat treating (in the Center for Heat Treating Excellence, or CHTE), resource recovery and recycling (in CR3), and most recently materials processing (in the Center for Materials Processing Data, or CMPD). Each of the four research centers has multiple industry members, which pay an annual membership fee to support noncompetitive research by MPI faculty members and students. Mishra said his initial goals include furthering CMPD, which will be focused on data that supports the aerospace and automotive industries; expanding MPI’s membership base (notably in CR3, an NSF Industry/University Cooperative Research Center); and developing a more robust materials science curriculum for WPI graduate students. In addition, MPI is expanding globally and in 2017 will launch a new center at Shanghai Jiao Tong University in Shanghai, China, dedicated to non-destructive evaluation. Ultimately, Mishra said, MPI will continue to focus on serving the metals and materials industrial base. “The primary purpose of MPI is to solve industry problems, to develop new methods or materials for the industry, or even to share fundamental results that companies are seeking,” said Mishra. Mishra, who joined WPI from the Colorado School of Mines, has collaborated with Apelian for the past 15 years. The pair initially worked together through the Minerals, Metals & Materials Society (TMS), where both previously served as president at different junctures. As a result of these collaborations, he has high praise for Apelian. “Diran in himself is an institution,” said Mishra. “What he has done for WPI and MPI is incredible. He started MPI with one center and is now up to four centers.” Mishra also said Apelian has taken the time to mentor him. “I consider him as a coach, but not a coach who coaches from the sidelines,” said Mishra. “He’s on the field with me and with his students and other people on campus. And when he does that, he’s engaged not just with his words but with his actions. When you see him talk to people—whether it’s on the phone interviewing someone or talking with people in industry—it’s just an inspiration.” Apelian lauded Mishra’s dedication to MPI, and his vision for its future. “One of the best gifts in life is to be able to execute what you are passionate about, and then witness its continued success when you are no longer at the helm,” said Apelian. “Brajendra Mishra is a distinguished colleague, an eminent scholar and engineer, a dear friend, and a beautiful soul. I cannot think of a better person to take over the duties of MPI and lead it to greater heights.” To learn more about MPI, visit here. Founded in 1865 in Worcester, Mass., WPI is one of the nation’s first engineering and technology universities. Its 14 academic departments offer more than 50 undergraduate and graduate degree programs in science, engineering, technology, business, the social sciences, and the humanities and arts, leading to bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees. WPI's talented faculty work with students on interdisciplinary research that seeks solutions to important and socially relevant problems in fields as diverse as the life sciences and bioengineering, energy, information security, materials processing, and robotics. Students also have the opportunity to make a difference to communities and organizations around the world through the university's innovative Global Projects Program. There are more than 45 WPI project centers throughout the Americas, Africa, Asia-Pacific, and Europe.


Li S.,Metal Processing Institute | Apelian D.,Metal Processing Institute | Sadayappan K.,Natural Resources Canada
International Journal of Metalcasting | Year: 2012

Hot tearing has been an issue for many casting alloys, and much work has been devoted over the years to understanding the underlying mechanism, and to be able to mitigate it during casting. Unfortunately, the literature and therefore our understanding to date has been a bit muddled, as conflicting data and theories exist. In addition, many of the tests that have been developed to evaluate hot tearing have been qualitative in nature. Through the Light Metals Alliance, WPI's Metal Processing Institute and CANMET joined forces in 2006 to clarify our understanding of hot tearing and to enable us to control it during casting. This paper contains an overview of the authors' work; describes the quantitative test that was developed and discusses the processing variables that are needed to control and to mitigate hot tearing. Copyright © 2012 American Foundry Society.


Apelian D.,Metal Processing Institute
Materials Science Forum | Year: 2011

The 21 st Century faces grand challenges, and sustainable development for the planet is an issue that cannot be ignored. The role of Materials Science and Engineering (MSE) is pivotal in addressing these societal grand challenges. In the keynote lecture the specific MSE areas will be discussed. In this paper, the context and the framework for these developmental areas will be presented. © (2011) Trans Tech Publications.


Borgonovo C.,Metal Processing Institute | Apelian D.,Metal Processing Institute
Materials Science Forum | Year: 2011

Aluminum nitride (AlN) possesses superior thermal and electrical properties and is an ideal candidate for high-temperature, as well as for packaging and optoelectronic applications. Aluminum based composites reinforced with AlN have been manufactured via an in situ gas-assisted process, where nitrogen gas is injected in the molten aluminum at 1273-1323 K. The process is carried out in an inert atmosphere in order to avoid oxygen contamination. Addition of Mg lowered the oxygen content in the melt by forming MgO and thus favoring the nitridation reaction. The reinforcement phase has been detected throughout the casting in two morphologies: pockets of powders and embedded in the microstructure. Particle size formed in the matrix variedfrom 1- 3 μm to sub-micron scale. © (2011) Trans Tech Publications.


Xing B.,Lanzhou University of Technology | Li Y.-D.,Lanzhou University of Technology | Ma Y.,Lanzhou University of Technology | Hao Y.,Lanzhou University of Technology | Apelian D.,Metal Processing Institute
Transactions of Nonferrous Metals Society of China (English Edition) | Year: 2010

In order to verify the effect of CRP (continuous rheoconversion process) in the preparation of magnesium alloy semisolid billets, AM60 alloy billets were fabricated with CRP, and effects of pouring temperature, slope angle, and length of the reactor on the microstructure of AM60 alloy were investigated. The results show that the grain size is reduced with the decrease of pouring temperature. A small block/rosette grain is obtained when the pouring temperature is less than 680 °C. Therefore, the available temperature process interval/window has to be required. To change slope angle of reactor (from 30° to 45°) is helpful for formation of the small and block/rosette grains. Meanwhile, the reactor with a length of 500 mm is enough for copious nucleation of primary phase. CRP changes the solidification microstructure of billets by controlling the nucleation and growth of the primary phase in melt. © 2010 The Nonferrous Metals Society of China.


Sun N.,Metal Processing Institute | Apelian D.,Metal Processing Institute
Materials Science Forum | Year: 2011

Friction stir processing (FSP) is a post-processing method that locally manipulates the microstructure by imparting a high level of energy in the solid state giving rise to improved mechanical properties. Additionally, FSP has emerged as an advanced tool to produce surface composites and synthesize the second phase into the matrix. In the current study, FSP was investigated for the manufacture of localized zones of composite materials made by the emplacement of a second phase into cast A206 Al alloy matrix. Both the discontinuously reinforced aluminum (DRA) and some encapsulated powders (nano-sized SiC or Ta) were used for the second phase emplacement. Through SEM and EDS mapping, the morphology and distribution of second phase particles have been studied. The work shows that friction stir processing is a viable means of producing localized composite zones in Al components. © (2011) Trans Tech Publications.


The 5th International Light Metal Technology conference, Lüneburg, Germany, July 19-22, 2011, was organized with a goal to optimize established light metal alloys or to design new alloys to meet the requirements for challenging applications. The objective of the LMA is to foster international collaboration in the field of research and technology transfer pertaining to the use of light metals. The conference was focused on ongoing topics of research in the light metals aluminum, magnesium and titanium, as well as titanium aluminides. Scientific issues such as mechanical properties, corrosion, processing innovations were featured, as well as current applications in aerospace, automotive, and medical sectors. The conference provided an opportunity for researchers and industry members to learn of new developments in light metals technologies and to facilitate collaboration between domestic and international specialists in the field.


Li S.,Metal Processing Institute | Sadayappan K.,CANMET Energy | Apelian D.,Metal Processing Institute
International Journal of Cast Metals Research | Year: 2011

Hot tearing is perhaps the pivotal issue defining castability. It is affected by alloy composition as well as processing conditions and variables. Hot tearing is a complex phenomenon in that it lies at the intersection of heat flow, fluid flow and mass flow. Over the years, many theories and models have been proposed, and accordingly, many tests have been developed. Unfortunately, many of the tests that have been proposed are qualitative in nature. The need exists for a simple, reliable and repeatable quantitative test to evaluate hot tearing. The Metal Processing Institute and the CANMET-Materials Technology Laboratory, both members of the Light Metal Alliance, joined forces to address this need. A quantitative hot tearing test was developed, and the methodology is presented and discussed. The test has been applied to study hot tearing of A356 and M206 alloys. The results are presented and discussed. Protocol and standardised procedures that can be adapted by the metal casting industry is presented. © 2011 W. S. Maney & Son Ltd.


Sun N.,Metal Processing Institute | Apelian D.,Metal Processing Institute
International Journal of Cast Metals Research | Year: 2015

Using friction stir processing (FSP) in forming localised or surface composites in castings can be very advantageous and has significant potential for many applications. Consequently, this study was initiated at ACRC to investigate the feasibility of fabricating composites in Al alloy castings via FSP. The study started with the Al A206 alloy matrix via an ex-situ technique, using a premachined groove with emplaced reinforcements. Three reinforcement materials (nanosized tantalum powders, nanosized SiC powders, and discontinuous reinforced aluminium) and several key processing parameters (number of FSP passes, the amount of the reinforced materials) were investigated and localised composites were produced successfully. This paper will present the experimental set-up, procedure, the microstructure and properties of the resulting composites, and a discussion of the formation mechanism of the composite and the influences of materials and process on the microstructure and properties. © 2015 W. S. Maney & Son Ltd.

Loading Metal Processing Institute collaborators
Loading Metal Processing Institute collaborators