• Effects of inkjet printed toughener on delamination suppression in drilling of carbon fibre reinforced plastics (CFRPs)

      Shi, Yu; Wang, Xiaonan; Wang, Fuji; Gu, Tianyu; Xie, Pengheng; Jia, Yu; University of Chester; Dalian University of Technology; Aston University
      Delamination has been recognised as the predominant damage induced during the drilling of carbon fibre reinforced plastics (CFRPs). It could significantly reduce the bearing capacity and shorten the service life of the designed component. To enhance the delamination resistance of CFRPs for different applications, great affords have been done to improve their interlaminar fracture toughness. However, due to the difficulty in accurately controlling the amount of the toughener applied in the interface, effect of the toughener content on the toughening efficiency is rarely studied. In this work, an experimental research was developed to investigate the performance of the toughener on the improvement of delamination resistance in the drilling of CFRPs and parametrically optimise the toughener content with the consideration of different feed rates. Specifically, poly(methyl methacrylate) (PMMA) solutions with various concentrations were selected to add on the CFRP prepreg, and co-cured together with layups. The inkjet printing technology was adopted to deposit the PMMA solutions for precisely controlled toughener contents. Through drilling experiments on the toughened CFRPs, it was found that the optimal content of the PMMA solution was 10 wt% to offer the least delamination, in particular, for the situation under the highest feed rate condition. The toughing mechanisms were also concluded by analysing the histories of the thrust force and torque in the drilling process. The results of this study is significantly contribute to the locally toughening of the composite interfaces and the improvement of the drilling quality, which is specifically helpful to strengthen the joint property for the structural design stage for the aircraft.
    • An Efficient Inductor-less Dynamically Configured Interface Circuit for Piezoelectric Vibration Energy Harvesting

      Du, Sijun; Jia, Yu; Seshia, Ashwin A.; University of Cambridge; University of Chester (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, 2016-07-07)
      Vibration energy harvesting based on piezoelectric materials is of interest in several applications such as in powering remote distributed wireless sensor nodes for structural health monitoring. Synchronized Switch Harvesting on Inductor (SSHI) and Synchronous Electric Charge Extraction (SECE) circuits show good power efficiency among reported power management circuits; however, limitations exist due to inductors employed, adaption of response to varying excitation levels and the Synchronized Switch Damping (SSD) effect. In this paper, an inductor-less dynamically configured interface circuit is proposed, which is able to configure the connection of two piezoelectric materials in parallel or in series by periodically evaluating the ambient excitation level. The proposed circuit is designed and fabricated in a 0:35 μm HV CMOS process.The fabricated circuit is co-integrated with a piezoelectric bimorph energy harvester and the performance is experimentally validated. With a low power consumption (0:5 μW), the measured results show that the proposed rectifier can provide a 4.5 boost in harvested energy compared to the conventional full-bridge rectifier without employing an inductor. It also shows a high power efficiency over a wide range of excitation levels and is less susceptible to SSD.
    • An Efficient SSHI Interface With Increased Input Range for Piezoelectric Energy Harvesting Under Variable Conditions

      Du, Sijun; Jia, Yu; Do, Cuong D.; Seshia, Ashwin A.; University of Cambridge; University of Chester (IEEE, 2016-08-10)
      Piezoelectric vibration energy harvesters have been widely researched and are increasingly employed for powering wireless sensor nodes. The synchronized switch harvesting on inductor (SSHI) circuit is one of the most efficient interfaces for piezoelectric vibration energy harvesters. However, the traditional incarnation of this circuit suffers from a significant start-up issue that limits operation in low and variable amplitude vibration environments. This paper addresses this start-up issue for the SSHI rectifier by proposing a new architecture with SSHI startup circuitry. The startup circuitry monitors if the SSHI circuit is operating correctly and re-starts the SSHI interface if required. The proposed circuit is comprehensively analyzed and experimentally validated through tests conducted by integrating a commercial piezoelectric vibration energy harvester with the new interface circuit designed in a 0.35-μm HV CMOS process. Compared to conventional SSHI rectifiers, the proposed circuit significantly decreases the required minimum input excitation amplitude before energy can be harvested, making it possible to extract energy over an increased excitation range.
    • Eight parametric resonances in a multi-frequency wideband MEMS piezoelectric vibration energy harvester

      Jia, Yu; Du, Sijun; Seshia, Ashwin A.; University of Cambridge; University of Chester (IEEE, 2016-01-24)
      This paper presents a multi-order parametric resonant MEMS piezoelectric disk membrane, for the purpose of broadening the operational frequency bandwidth of a vibration energy harvester by employing the nonlinearity-induced bandwidth broadening associated with this phenomenon as well as the multi-frequency response associated with the higher orders. The fundamental mode -3dB bandwidth at 2.0 g recorded 55 Hz, while the first parametric resonant peak exhibited 365 Hz and the -3dB of the first 8 orders accumulated to 604 Hz. The membrane parametric resonator also experimentally demonstrated over 3-folds improvement in power density compared to a conventional direct resonator (cantilever), when subjected to band-limited white noise.
    • Energy Harvesting behaviour for Aircraft Composites Structures using Macro-Fibre Composite: Part I–Integration and Experiment

      Shi, Yu; Zhu, Meiling; Hallett, Stephen R; University of Chester; University of Exeter; University of Bristol (Composite Structure, 2016-11-12)
      This paper investigates new ways to integrate piezoelectric energy harvesting elements onto carbon-fibre composite structures, using a new bonding technique with a vacuum bag system and co-curing process, for fabrication onto airframe structures. Dynamic mechanical vibration tests were performed to characterise the energy harvested by the various integration methods across a range of different vibration frequencies and applied mechanical input loadings. An analytical model was also introduced to predict the power harvested under the mechanical vibrations as a benchmark to evaluate the proposed methods. The developed co-curing showed a high efficiency for energy harvesting at a range of low frequencies, where the co-curing method offered a maximum improvement of 14.3% compared to the mechanical bonding approach at a frequency of 10 Hz. Furthermore, co-curing exhibited potential at high frequency by performing the sweep test between frequencies of 1 and 100 Hz. Therefore, this research work offers potential integration technology for energy harvesting in complicated airframe structures in aerospace applications, to obtain the power required for environmental or structural health monitoring.
    • Enhancement in Interfacial Adhesion of Ti/Polyetheretherketone by Electrophoretic Deposition of Graphene Oxide

      Pan, Lei; Lv, Yunfei; Nipon, Roy; Wang, Yifan; Duan, Lixiang; Hu, Jingling; Ding, Wenye; Ma, Wenliang; Tao, Jie; Shi, Yu; et al. (Wiley, 2019-03-24)
      This article discusses about the significance of graphene oxide (GO) deposition on the surface of a titanium plate by electrophoretic deposition (EPD) method to improve the adhesive strength of Ti/polyetheretherketone (PEEK) interfacial adhesive. Firstly, the anodic EPD method was applied to a water dispersion solution of GO, and then the morphology and the properties of titanium plate surface were characterized by scanning electron microscopy and contact angle measurements before and after GO deposition. Furthermore, the changes in the properties of GO after heating at 390°C were characterized by Raman and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopies. According to the results of single lap tensile shear test, the adhesion strength of Ti/PEEK interface after the anodization and deposition of GO was 34.94 MPa, an increase of 29.2% compared with 27.04 MPa of sample with only anodization. Also, the adhesion strengths were 58.1 and 76.5% higher compared with the samples of only GO deposited (22.1 MPa) and pure titanium (19.8 MPa), respectively.
    • Enhancing interfacial strength between AA5083 and cryogenic adhesive via anodic oxidation and silanization

      Lei, Pan; Zhang, Aiai; Zheng, Zengmin; Duan, Lixiang; Zhang, Lei; Shi, Yu; Tao, Jie; Nanjing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics; University of Chester (Elsevier, 2018-04-27)
      AA5083 aluminum alloy was treated in turn with phosphoric-sulfuric acid anodic oxidation and then with silanization using the silane coupling agent KH560. A chemical bond (Si-O-Al) was created between the aluminum alloy and silane film, and a dehydration condensation reaction occurred between the silane film and cryogenic adhesive to enhance the bonding strength between the aluminum alloy and the cryogenic adhesive. Scanning electron microscopy, Energy dispersive spectroscopy, and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy were used to explore the interfacial characteristics of the aluminum alloy both with and without the applied treatment. Furthermore, single lap shear tests and durability tests were performed to assess the adhesive strength of the interface between the aluminum alloy and the cryogenic adhesive at low temperature. The most improved interfacial strength using the anodic oxidation and the silanization treatments reached 33.96 MPa at −60 °C. The interface strength with the same treatments after the durability test was 25.4 MPa.
    • Evaporation of liquid nitrogen droplets in superheated immiscible liquids

      Rebelo, Neville; Zhao, Huayong; Nadal, Francois; Garner, Colin; Williams, Andy; Loughborough University; University of Chester (Elsevier, 2019-08-22)
      Liquid nitrogen or other cryogenic liquids have the potential to replace or augment current energy sources in cooling and power applications. This can be done by the rapid evaporation and expansion processes that occur when liquid nitrogen is injected into hotter fluids in mechanical expander systems. In this study, the evaporation process of single liquid nitrogen droplets when submerged into n-propanol, methanol, n-hexane, and n-pentane maintained at 294 K has been investigated experimentally and numerically. The evaporation process is quantified by tracking the growth rate of the resulting nitrogen vapour bubble that has an interface with the bulk liquid. The experimental data suggest that the bubble volume growth is proportional to the time and the bubble growth rate is mainly determined by the initial droplet size. A comparison between the four different bulk liquids indicates that the evaporation rate in n-pentane is the highest, possibly due to its low surface tension. A scaling law based on the pure diffusion-controlled evaporation of droplet in open air environment has been successfully implemented to scale the experimental data. The deviation between the scaling law predictions and the experimental data for 2-propanol, methanol and n-hexane vary between 4% and 30% and the deviation for n-pentane was between 24% and 65%. The more detailed bubble growth rates have been modelled by a heuristic one-dimensional, spherically symmetric quasi-steady-state confined model, which can predict the growth trend well but consistently underestimate the growth rate. A fixed effective thermal conductivity is then introduced to account for the complex dynamics of the droplet inside the bubble and the subsequent convective processes in the surrounding vapour, which leads to a satisfactory quantitative prediction of the growth rate.
    • Evidence for the Perception of Time Distortion During Episodes of Alice in Wonderland Syndrome

      Jia, Yu; Miao. Ying; University of Chester; Aston University (Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 2018-05-17)
      Alice in Wonderland syndrome (AIWS) is a rare perceptual disorder associated with sensation of one or several visual and/or auditory perceptual distortions including size of body parts, size of external objects, or passage of time (either speeding up or slowing down). Cause for AIWS is yet to be widely agreed, and the implications are widely varied. One of the research difficulties is the brevity of each episode, typically not exceeding few tens of minutes. This article presents a male adult in late 20s who has apparently experienced AIWS episodes since childhood, and infection has been ruled out. Reaction speed tests were conducted during and after AIWS episodes, across a span of 13 months. Statistically significant evidence is present for delayed response time during AIWS episodes when the patient claims to experience a sensation of time distortion: where events seem to move faster and people appear to speak quicker.
    • Experimental and theoretical study of a piezoelectric vibration energy harvester under high temperature

      Arroyo, Emmanuelle; Jia, Yu; Du, Sijun; Chen, Shao-Tuan; Seshia, Ashwin A.; University of Cambridge; University of Chester (IEEE, 2017-08-01)
      This paper focuses on studying the effect of increasing the ambient temperature up to 160 °C on the power harvested by an MEMS piezoelectric micro-cantilever manufactured using an aluminum nitride-on-silicon fabrication process. An experimental study shows that the peak output power decreases by 60% to 70% depending on the input acceleration. A theoretical study establishes the relationship of all important parameters with temperature and includes them into a temperature-dependent model. This model shows that around 50% of the power drop can be explained by a decreasing quality factor, and that thermal stresses account for around 30% of this decrease.
    • A finite element analysis of impact damage in composite laminates

      Shi, Yu; Soutis, Constantinos; University of Chester; University of Manchester (Cambridge University Press, 2012-12-01)
      In this work, stress-based and fracture mechanics criteria were developed to predict initiation and evolution, respectively, of intra- and inter-laminar cracking developed in composite laminates subjected to low velocity impact. The Soutis shear stress-strain semi-empirical model was used to describe the nonlinear shear behaviour of the composite. The damage model was implemented in the finite element (FE) code (Abaqus/Explicit) by a user-defined material subroutine (VUMAT). Delamination (or inter-laminar cracking) was modelled using interface cohesive elements and the splitting and transverse matrix cracks that appeared within individual plies were also simulated by inserting cohesive elements between neighbouring elements parallel to the fibre direction in each single layer. A good agreement was obtained when compared the numerically predicted results to experimentally obtained curves of impact force and absorbed energy versus time. A non-destructive technique (NDT), penetrant enhanced X-ray radiography, was used to observe the various damage mechanisms induced by impact. It has been shown that the proposed damage model can successfully capture the internal damage pattern and the extent to which it was developed in these carbon fibre/epoxy composite laminates.
    • Gradient-based optimization method for producing a contoured beam with single-fed reflector antenna

      Lian, Peiyuan; Wang, Congsi; Xiang, Binbin; Shi, Yu; Xue, Song; Xidian University; University of Chester; Chinese Academy of Sciences (IEEE, 2019-03-07)
      A gradient-based optimization method for producing a contoured beam by using a single-fed reflector antenna is presented. First, a quick and accurate pattern approximation formula based on physical optics (PO) is adopted to calculate the gradients of the directivity with respect to reflector's nodal displacements. Because the approximation formula is a linear function of nodal displacements, the gradient can be easily derived. Then, the method of the steepest descent is adopted, and an optimization iteration procedure is proposed. The iteration procedure includes two loops: an inner loop and an outer loop. In the inner loop, the gradient and pattern are calculated by matrix operation, which is very fast by using the pre-calculated data in the outer loop. In the outer loop, the ideal terms used in the inner loop to calculate the gradient and pattern are updated, and the real pattern is calculated by the PO method. Due to the high approximation accuracy, when the outer loop is performed once, the inner loop can be performed many times, which will save much time because the integration is replaced by matrix operation. In the end, a contoured beam covering the continental United States (CONUS) is designed, and simulation results show the effectiveness of the proposed algorithm.
    • High speed CO2 laser surface modification of iron/cobalt co-doped boroaluminosilicate glass

      Hodgson, Simon D.; Waugh, David G.; Gillett, Alice R.; Lawrence, Jonathan; University of Chester (IOP Publishing, 2016-06-10)
      A preliminary study into the impact of high speed laser processing on the surface of iron and cobalt co-doped glass substrates using a 60 W continuous wave (cw) CO2 laser. Two types of processing, termed fill-processing and line-processing, were trialled. In fill-processed samples the surface roughness of the glass was found to increase linearly with laser power from an Sa value of 20.8 nm–2.1 μm at a processing power of 54 W. With line processing, a more exponential-like increase was observed with a roughness of 4 μm at 54 W. The change in surface properties of the glass, such as gloss and wettability, have also been measured. The contact angle of water was found to increase after laser processing by up to 64°. The surface gloss was varied between 45 and 100 gloss units (GUs).
    • High temperature performance of a piezoelectric micro cantilever for vibration energy harvesting

      Arroyo, Emmanuelle; Jia, Yu; Du, Sijun; Chen, Shao-Tuan; Seshia, Ashwin A. (IOP Publishing, 2016-12-06)
      Energy harvesters withstanding high temperatures could provide potentially unlimited energy to sensor nodes placed in harsh environments, where manual maintenance is difficult and costly. Experimental results on a classical microcantilever show a 67% drop of the maximum power when the temperature is increased up to 160 °C. This decrease is investigated using a lumped-parameters model which takes into account variations in material parameters with temperature, damping increase and thermal stresses induced by mismatched thermal coefficients in a composite cantilever. The model allows a description of the maximum power evolution as a function of temperature and input acceleration. Simulation results further show that an increase in damping and the apparition of thermal stresses are contributing to the power drop at 59% and 13% respectively.
    • Impact Damage Characteristics of Carbon Fibre Metal Laminates: Experiments and Simulation

      Shi, Yu; Soutis, Constantinos; Pinna, Christophe; University of Chester; The University of Sheffield; The University of Manchester
      In this work, the impact response of carbon fibre metal laminates (FMLs) was experimentally and numerically studied with an improved design of the fibre composite lay-up for optimal mechanical properties and damage resistance. Two different stacking sequences (Carall 3–3/2–0.5 and Carall 5–3/2–0.5) were designed and characterised. Damage at relatively low energy impact energies (≤30 J) was investigated using Ultrasonic C-scanning and X–ray Computed Tomography (X-RCT). A 3D finite element model was developed to simulate the impact induced damage in both metal and composite layers using Abaqus/Explicit. Cohesive zone elements were introduced to capture delamination occurring between carbon fibre/epoxy plies and debonding at the interfaces between aluminium and the composite layers. Carall 5–3/2–0.5 was found to absorb more energy elastically, which indicates better resistance to damage. A good agreement is obtained between the numerically predicted results and experimental measurements in terms of force and absorbed energy during impact where the damage modes such as delamination was well simulated when compared to non-destructive techniques (NDT).
    • In situ fabrication of carbon fibre–reinforced polymer composites with embedded piezoelectrics for inspection and energy harvesting applications

      Yan, Xue; Courtney, Charles; Bowen, Chris; Gathercole, Nicholas; Wen, Tao; Jia, Yu; Shi, Yu; Aerospace Research Institute of Material and Processing Technology; University of Bath; University of Chester
      Current in situ damage detection of fibre-reinforced composites typically uses sensors which are attached to the structure. This may make periodic inspection difficult for complex part geometries or in locations which are difficult to reach. To overcome these limitations, we examine the use of piezoelectric materials in the form of macro-fibre composites that are embedded into carbon fibre–reinforced polymer composites. Such a multi-material system can provide an in situ ability for damage detection, sensing or energy harvesting. In this work, the piezoelectric devices are embedded between the carbon fibre prepreg, and heat treated at elevated temperatures, enabling complete integration of the piezoelectric element into the structure. The impact of processing temperature on the properties of the macro-fibre composites are assessed, in particular with respect to the Curie temperature of the embedded ferroelectric. The mechanical properties of the carbon fibre–reinforced polymer composites are evaluated to assess the impact of the piezoelectric on tensile strength. The performance of the embedded piezoelectric devices to transmit and receive ultrasonic signals is evaluated, along with the potential to harvest power from mechanical strain for self-powered systems. Such an approach provides a route to create multi-functional materials.
    • In vitro mesenchymal stem cell response to a CO2 laser modified polymeric material

      Waugh, David G.; Hussain, Issam; Lawrence, Jonathan; Smith, Graham C.; Toccaceli, Christina; University of Chester; University of Lincoln (Elsevier, 2016-05-16)
      With an ageing world population it is becoming significantly apparent that there is a need to produce implants and platforms to manipulate stem cell growth on a pharmaceutical scale. This is needed to meet the socio-economic demands of many countries worldwide. This paper details one of the first ever studies in to the manipulation of stem cell growth on CO2 laser surface treated nylon 6,6 highlighting its potential as an inexpensive platform to manipulate stem cell growth on a pharmaceutical scale. Through CO2 laser surface treatment discrete changes to the surfaces were made. That is, the surface roughness of the nylon 6,6 was increased by up to 4.3 µm, the contact angle was modulated by up to 5° and the surface oxygen content increased by up to 1 atom%. Following mesenchymal stem cell growth on the laser treated samples, it was identified that CO2 laser surface treatment gave rise to an enhanced response with an increase in viable cell count of up to 60,000 cells/ml when compared to the as-received sample. The effect of surface parameters modified by the CO2 laser surface treatment on the mesenchymal stem cell response is also discussed along with potential trends that could be identified to govern the mesenchymal stem cell response.
    • Influencing the attachment of bacteria through laser surface engineering

      Gillett, Alice R.; Waugh, David G.; Lawrence, Jonathan; University of Chester (Laser Institute of America, 2015-10-31)
      Bacteria have evolved to become proficient at adapting to both extracellular and environmental conditions, which has made it possible for them to attach and subsequently form biofilms on varying surfaces. This has resulted in major health concerns and economic burden in both hospital and industrial environments. Surfaces which prevent this bacterial fouling through their physical structure represent a key area of research for the development of antibacterial surfaces for many different environments. Laser surface treatment provides a potential candidate for the production of anti-biofouling surfaces for wide ranging surface applications within healthcare and industrial disciplines. In the present study, a KrF 248 nm Excimer laser was utilized to surface pattern Polyethylene terephthalate (PET). The surface topography and roughness were determined with the use of a Micromeasure 2, 3D profiler. Escherichia coli (E. coli) growth was analysed at high shear flow using a CDC Biofilm reactor for 48 hours, scanning electron microscopy was used to determine morphology and total viable counts were made. Through this work it has been shown that the surface modification significantly influenced the distribution and morphology of the attached E. coli cells. What is more, it has been evidenced that the laser-modified PET has been shown to prevent E. coli cells from attaching themselves within the laser-induced micro-surface-features.
    • Integration and Characterisation of Piezoelectric Macro-Fibre Composite on Carbon Fibre Composite for Vibration Energy Harvesting

      Shi, Yu; Piao, Chenghe; Fadlaoui, Dounia; Alsaadi, Ahmed; Jia, Yu; University of Chester (IOPScience, 2019-11-01)
      Carbon fibre composite is a strong and a lightweight structural material with applications in automotive, aerospace, medical and industrial applications. The integration of piezoelectric transducer films onto the composite stack can add vibration energy harvesting capabilities to enable net-zero-power autonomous sensing for an otherwise purely mechanical structure. A PZT macro-fibre composite is co-cured with a carbon/epoxy pre-preg in order to manufacture the multi-functional composite plate. Without noticeably increasing profile, adding weight or compromising mechanical integrity, the resultant mechanical plate can recover power from vibrational excitations. With a volume of 13.5 cm3, a peak average power of 9.25 mW was recorded at 2.66 ms −2 . The normalised power density of 97 µW cm −3 m −2 s4 is comparable to some of the state-of-the-art PZT generators reported in the literature.
    • Interface Cohesive Elements to Model Matrix Crack Evolution in Composite Laminates

      Shi, Yu; Pinna, Christophe; Soutis, Constantinos; University of Chester; University of Sheffield; University of Manchester (Springer, 2013-10-02)
      In this paper, the transverse matrix (resin) cracking developed in multidirectional composite laminates loaded in tension was numerically investigated by a finite element (FE) model implemented in the commercially available software Abaqus/Explicit 6.10. A theoretical solution using the equivalent constraint model (ECM) of the damaged laminate developed by Soutis et al. was employed to describe matrix cracking evolution and compared to the proposed numerical approach. In the numerical model, interface cohesive elements were inserted between neighbouring finite elements that run parallel to fibre orientation in each lamina to simulate matrix cracking with the assumption of equally spaced cracks (based on experimental measurements and observations). The stress based traction-separation law was introduced to simulate initiation of matrix cracking and propagation under mixed-mode loading. The numerically predicted crack density was found to depend on the mesh size of the model and the material fracture parameters defined for the cohesive elements. Numerical predictions of matrix crack density as a function of applied stress are in a good agreement to experimentally measured and theoretically (ECM) obtained values, but some further refinement will be required in near future work.