Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Week 4

As I have stated before, my research doesn't have much to do with fluid power directly, but could definitely be applied to fluid power projects. My project is trying to find a way to use surface textures to reduce friction between sliding surfaces. A lot of research has already gone into this but a vast majority of it has only looked at symmetric surfaces. These surfaces create normal forces through cavitation - the spontaneous creation of bubbles. This normal force reduces the friction coefficient. However, when those bubbles pop or break down, they can wear down the surfaces that are in contact. In my research, we are using asymmetric surfaces. The asymmetric pressure gradients create the normal forces here reducing the friction coefficient even more than symmetric textures and without the wear on the surfaces as no cavitation is produced. Our research goes even further than this, however. Traditionally, these experiments are tested using Newtonian fluids as lubricants between the sliding plates. My research this Summer will have a focus on non-Newtonian fluids, as they're unique rheological properties can also produce normal forces and reduce friction. While this is not fluid power, the success of this project can be used in the future to reduce friction between sliding surfaces which has many applications in most fields of engineering.

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