Development of a portfolio of graphite and graphene based processes and products

The interns involved in this MITACS cluster will work in close collaboration with the industrial partner, Grafoid, a Canadian company based in Kingston, Ontario, to develop a portfolio of graphene-based products, including autonomous sensors, energy storage, fuel cells and electrically conductive devices. The ultimate objective is to develop proof of concept products including automotive parts, cathode materials in Li-ion cells, antimicrobial surfaces, super-capacitors and wearable sensors.

Development of a calibration method for Mecademic’s Meca500 robot arm

Mecademic manufactures the smallest and most precise six-axis robot arm. The repeatability of this robot is better than 0.005 mm, but like any industrial robot, the robot’s accuracy is far worse. Although all robot parts are machined and assembled precisely, the only practical way of improving the robot’s accuracy is to calibrate each individual robot. While various methods for the calibration of six-axis robot arms have already been developed in the past, the proposed research project differs in several aspects.

Forced Air Ozone Reactor and Advanced Oxidative Process as an Alternative to Post-harvest Washing for Decontaminating Fresh Produce

The project will develop aqueous-free systems for decontaminating (i.e. inactivation of human pathogens and spoilage microbes) fresh produce that can be applied individually or sequentially. The first intervention is based on a forced-air ozone reactor that introduces the antimicrobial gas through the bed of produced at a controlled flow rate. The advantage of the method is large batches of produce can be treated and supports a higher log reductions of bacteria compared to when ozone is applied to storage rooms.

Damage Detection by Acoustic Emission in Hybrid Thermoset/ Thermoplastic Fiber-reinforced Polymer Composites

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The industrial partner is fabricating fiber-reinforced thermoplastic composite polymer pipe products for use primarily in the oil and gas sector. This research project explores methods for damage and leakage detection for these piping systems. Of primary interest is Acoustic Emission (AE) testing to isolate, localize and identify damage effects. In this context, the design and manufacture of suitable composite samples shall be undertaken, followed by controlled experimental testing applying different mechanical loading scenarios.

Development of industrially scalable graphene oxide acoustic transducers - Year two

ORA has developed a unique audio solution based on the use of graphene oxide (GO), an oxidized graphene produced by a scalable chemical method. GO shows a good balance of stiffness, density and damping when assembled into micrometers thick layered structure and has been shown to perform significantly better than commercial diaphragms by ORA. The biggest current challenge is to further decrease the production time and cost to an industrially viable level while maintaining the structural ordering and properties of the diaphragm.

Process Improvement for Plasma Transfer Arc Additive Manufacturing

Metal additive manufacturing (MAM) is newly developed manufacturing technology that is faster and more cost-effective compared to traditional methods. Although there are various types for AM, the product quality improvement in plasma transfer arc (PTA) and wire-feed AM processes will be the subject of this project. To achieve this goal, the intern will determine the key parameters of the existing PTA2M and wire-feed machines in InnoTech and then will select appropriate measuring technologies to obtain data from these AM processes.

Multiscale In-Silico Screening of OLEDs: Simulating the Formation of Organic Glasses and Computation of Optoelectronic Properties

Organic light emitting diodes (OLEDs) are thin layers of organic chemicals with that emit light. As a novel form of technology, OLEDs can be used to manufacture flexible and ultrathin visual screens for mobile phones and televisions. They are extremely efficient; they produce very bright lights while producing very little heat. Designing better and cheaper OLED technologies requires that we understand the structure, behaviour and properties of OLEDs at the molecular level. As of now, this is a work in progress.

Mechanical characterization of valve compression packings at high temperature

The leak tightness of valves, compressors and pumps is ensured by packed stuffing-box systems. The most critical element of this assembly is the compressed braided rings called packings. These packings are compressed axially to produce lateral contact pressures large enough to confine the fluid within process vesse1s and pipe segments. The mechanical properties of the compression packing material are the main factors affecting fluid-tightness at room and high temperature and yet there is little or no data available in manufacturer's catalogues or in the literature.

Developing Intelligent Approaches for Factories of the Future - An intelligent strategy for robotic part inspection in advanced manufacturing

Human inspection of high quality components in advanced manufacturing, automotive and aerospace applications is challenging, as detecting imperfections that are variable can result in inconsistent part quality decisions. These inspection tasks are very repetitive. Achieving zero incorrect part quality decisions that are required in high tolerance assembly, as well as in critical process operations becomes almost impossible for humans to perform.

Design and optimization of topography based customizable mini-scleral contact lenses

Cornea disorder diseases, like keratoconus, are characterized by progressive thinning and distortion of the apical cornea that leads to complex optical aberrations due to either irregular astigmatism or corneal scarring. For patients with irregular cornea, corneal contact lenses no longer fit and become intolerable with discomfort. In such cases, scleral and mini-scleral (MS) contact lenses are an attractive option. The objective of this project is to develop a mathematical model for predicting optimum profile of MS lenses that is customizable for individual irregular cornea.

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