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SURE: Mining & Materials Engineering

Click on the title for a full description of SURE 2015 projects in the Department of Materials Engineering.

MAT-001: Characterisation of components fabricated by selective laser melting
Professor: Mathieu Brochu
E-mail: mathieu [dot] brochu [at] mcgill [dot] ca
Telephone:514-398-2354
Website

Research Area:  Additive Manufacturing - 3D printing


Description
Our laboratory is performing research on AM of materials suffering from solidification cracking. As part of this program, a substantial effort is required to image defect population and to perform quantitative characterisation. The obtained data will be linked with the processing parameters. The bulk of the project is to conduct metallographic evaluation of a series of AM components and to perform quantitative assessment of the residual porosity and crack length (if any). Additional tasks, such as mechanical properties assessment will be added.

Tasks:
Metallographic sample preparation, optical imaging and image analysis, hardness and compression strength testing. Possibility to be included in the powder characterization effort, which include flowability and apparent density testing, satellite quantification, particle size distribution.

Deliverables:
Weekly summary of obtained data on excel charts, providing all raw data to supervising grad student.

Number of positions: 1
Academic Level: Year 3

MAT-002: Development of a multi nozzle 3D printer
Professor: Mathieu Brochu
E-mail: mathieu [dot] brochu [at] mcgill [dot] ca
Telephone: 514-398-2354
Website

Research Area:  Additive Manufacturing - 3D printing


Description
We are developing a powder injection 3D printer. The task for this summer project is to (1) design, fabricate and add new powder injection nozzle to the device, and (2) to develop the control algorithm to run this multi-nozzle apparatus. Expertise required: Mechatronics, coding of control algorithms, mechanical design concepts would be a plus.

Tasks:
(1) design, fabricate and add new powder injection nozzle to the device, (2) to develop the control algorithm to run this multi-nozzle apparatus.

Deliverables:
Weekly progress presentation, Final report upon completion of project.

Number of positions: 1
Academic Level: Year 3

MAT-003: Microstructure influence on the effectiveness of shot peening for fatigue life enhancement of aerospace components
Professor: Richard Chromik
E-mail: richard [dot] chromik [at] mcgill [dot] ca
Telephone:514-398-5686
Website

Research Area:  Aerospace materials; materials characterization


Description
Shot peening is a cold-working process, widely used in the aerospace industry, in which high velocity particles, called ‘shots’, are projected onto a ductile metal surface. These impacts induce plastic deformation and compressive residual stresses near the surface that effectively reduce the occurrence of fatigue cracks and increase the fatigue lifetime. In this project, the global objective is to develop reliable simulation tools for predicting the effects of shot peening parameters on the fatigue life of real aerospace parts. To reach this objective, reliable material property data is required, including the microstructure and local mechanical properties. Three aerospace materials (AA7075 Aluminum Alloy, IN718 Nickel based superalloy and 300M steel) will be characterized with microscopy and mechanical properties determined by nanoindentation. Data from these three alloys will be used to create virtual microstructures to be used in simulation of shot peening process.

Tasks:
Prepare specimens by metallography for observation with light optical microscopy (LOM) and scanning electron microscopy (SEM). Conduct nanoindentation tests. Analyze data on microstructure and mechanical properties of aerospace alloys. Produce a report. Present a SURE poster.

Deliverables:
Develop an effective procedure of metallographic sample preparation for LOM, SEM and nanoindentation. Determine microstructural features such as grain size distribution and mechanical properties from nanoindentation.

Number of positions: 1
Academic Level: Year 1, Year 2, Year 3

MAT-004: Electric vehicles; electric motors; materials characterization
Professor: Richard Chromik
E-mail: richard [dot] chromik [at] mcgill [dot] ca
Telephone:514-398-5686
Website

Research Area:


Description
The growing interest in characterization of magnetic materials used in electrical machine laminations is derived from the advanced development in efficient electromechanical machine design. This interest includes measurements and modeling. The aim of this project is to characterize the electrical steel with reference to core losses for several materials used in industry. Measurements will be carried out using different test fixtures. For example, Epstein frame and Single Sheet Tester (SST). Tests will be performed using sinusoidal and non-sinusoidal excitations for a frequency range between 50 and 1k Hz. The influence of stress on magnetic properties of electrical steel will be investigated. Results will be analyzed and compared based on the material grade, type, and composition. Hysteresis loops will be presented in order to extract the information that can be used in characterization of the material. For example, saturation, permeability, coercive force, residual magnetic flux density, and total core loss. Moreover, minor hysteresis loops will be generated to study their influence on core losses. This project will use the measurement results to identify the parameters of loss models using numerical techniques. An identification program will be written in MATLAB.

Tasks:
1. Learn how to use BROCKHAUS measurement system, which includes Epstein frame and Single Sheet Tester (SST). 2. Perform measurements with several materials for (a) Different grades (b) Different thicknesses (c) Different frequencies (50 to 1 kHz) (d) Sinusoidal and non-sinusoidal excitations (e) Exposing the material to a stress 3. Organize the results in a database. 4. Analyze the results with reference to the material characteristics. 5. Model the core losses including parameter identification the of the loss models 6. Write a final report 7. Present a SURE poster.

Deliverables:
Develop new understanding of the magnetic behavior of electrical steel with respect to excitation frequencies and material microstructure

Number of positions: 1
Academic Level: Year 1, Year 2, Year 3

MAT-005: Optimising the methodology for measuring mechanical properties of particles embedded in a composite matrix.
Professor: Richard Chromik
E-mail: richard [dot] chromik [at] mcgill [dot] ca
Telephone:514-398-5686
Website

Research Area:  Aerospace coatings; materials charaterization


Description
Cold spray technology is gaining lot of importance in the recent times where particles are deposited via supersonic velocity impact at a temperature much lower than the melting point of the spray material. Metallic as well as ceramic particles with size ranging from 10-200 um are used as a raw material to produce composite coatings. This project will involve characterization of individual particles embedded in a matrix using instrumented indentation testing. The Oliver-Pharr method will be used to generate the hardness and modulus values. When indentation is performed on a stiff particle embedded in a soft matrix or on a soft particle embedded in hard matrix, after certain depths the measured modulus and hardness values are affected by the property of the matrix. The aim of the project is to identify the particle dominated depth for different sized particles when embedded in polymer as well as metallic matrices. The experimental findings will help in optimising the methodology for measuring mechanical properties of micron sized particles embedded in a composite matrix.

Tasks:
The student will collect data using a nanoindentation instrument and the data will be analyzed using software programs such as Triboscan and Origin. The student will prepare a report. The student will present a SURE poster.

Deliverables:
A procedure to characterise micron sized particles embedded in a composite matrix.

Number of positions: 1
Academic Level: Year 1, Year 2, Year 3

MAT-006: Flow profile investigations of a spiral concentrator
Professor: Kristian Waters
E-mail: kristian [dot] waters [at] mcgill [dot] ca
Telephone:514-398-1454

Research Area:  Mineral Processing


Description
The project is to investigate the surface and velocity profile of a slurry flowing in a spiral concentrator. The project consists of developing a flow profile measurement tool and a stream sampler tool. Once the tools are functional and have been characterised, the project will be investigating the slurry layer thickness on the trough of the spiral, as well as the flow rate and velocity. Size analysis of slurry sample will be conducted to understand the particle motion along the trough.

Tasks:
Machining of soft material Mineral spiral concentrator operation (slurry preparation, piping, pumping) Ore sample analysis (particle size distribution, composition analysis) Statistical analysis of the data

Deliverables:
Final report to be submitted Presentation to the Mineral Processing Research Group Submission of manuscript to an international journal

Number of positions: 1
Academic Level: Year 1, Year 2, Year 3

MAT-007: Flotation of rare earth elements bearing minerals using ionic liquids as collectors
Professor: Kristian Waters
E-mail: kristian [dot] waters [at] mcgill [dot] ca
Telephone:514-398-1454

Research Area:  Mineral Processing


Description
Rare earth elements (REE) are a group of fifteen elements of the lanthanide series along with yttrium and scandium, which exhibit similar properties and are found in the same ore deposits. Flotation continues to be the main method for mineral concentration since is suitable to process ores of complex mineralogy and low grade. Its versatility makes possible to customize concentration process to the unique mineralogy of a given deposit. Rare earth elements-bearing minerals are not the exception: industrial scale flotation has been used to process basnäsite ores, in the presence of collectors such as hydroxamates, dycarboxylic acids, fatty acids and organic phosphoric acids (Jordens et al., 2013). Ionic liquids as collectors Generally speaking, ionic liquids (ILs) are salts with a melting point is below 100 degrees C - often liquid at room temperature. Ionic liquids are characterised by their low vapor pressure, high viscosity, good thermal stability, wide range of miscibility with water and other solvents and dual polarity. ILs can also be customized by selecting a proper combination of cations and anions could make them good candidates to become flotation collectors. Furthermore, ILs could be tailored to specific rare earth ions on the surface of the minerals, and therefore designed to produce a specific rare earth (or combination thereof) concentrate.

Tasks:
Pure mineral samples of REE bearing minerals (e.g., basnäsite) purchased from mineral suppliers will be crushed, hand-sorted, and ground & screened to obtain narrow size fractions. The first ionic liquid to be investigated will be tetrabutylammonium di(2-ethylhexyl)phosphate ([TBA][DEHP]). Zeta potential Study of collector mineral adsorption as a function of pH will be performed by zeta potential measurements with the FieldESA analyser. This equipment used the electroacoustic technique, which allows zeta potential determination on suspensions at solid contents higher than the typical electrophoretic devices. Microflotation Floatability characterisation by using a Partridge-Smith cell will be performed. This study will be carried out in synthetic ores, using REE-bearing minerals and silica as gangue. Mass and REE-bearing mineral recovery will be calculated

Deliverables:
Build up the experimental procedure to explore ILs type collector and REE-bearing minerals interaction. Improve the knowledge of REE-bearing mineral flotation. Final report to be submitted Presentations to Mineral Processing Research Group Submission of manuscript to an international journal

Number of positions: 1
Academic Level: Year 1, Year 2, Year 3

MAT-008: Dewatering of leaching waste by electro-osmotic potential
Professor: Kristian Waters
E-mail: kristian [dot] waters [at] mcgill [dot] ca
Telephone:514-398-1454

Research Area:  Mineral Processing


Description
Waste from acid leaching needs to be dewatered to reduce the amount of disposed materials as well as potential environmental hazard. Examples of this waste are the low grade coper oxides treated by acid leaching. Electrokinetic phenomena are a series of effects on heterogeneous systems (e.g., liquid and particles) that generates motion of a fluid with respect to a charged surface when an electrical field is applied. Examples of those are the electrophoresis (particles move respect to the liquid) and electro-osmosis (liquid moves respect to particles). The use of electro-osmotic potential to assist the dewatering of this type of waste may be an attractive alternative, which would help to facilitate its subsequent management and disposal.

Tasks:
Th aim is to evaluate the influence of practically relevant factors on the electro-osmotic dewatering of waste from acid leaching on the base of laboratory scale. The suggested factors to investigate are are voltage (V), initial humidity (Xo) and pressure (kPa). The latter has been considered, due to the fact that pressure exerted by the material stacks may favour dewatering in the lowest layers (leaching piles are commonly as high as 6 m). The low and the high levels for this factor are 0 and 80 kPa. The former represents the material in the upper layers. The latter is suggested since is the approximate pressure at the bottom of a stack of 3 m of an ore with a density of 2700 kg/m3. Despite the fact that pH affects electrokinetic phenomena (H+ and OH- universal potential determining ions), it is not considered as a variable, since waste from leaching are already too acidic and thus pH regulation is not realistic. For each test a sample will be conditioned with an amount of acid solution according to the experimental design for one hour to acclimatize. The sample will then be transferred to the dewatering cell and then the voltage will be applied over 2 hours. After that, the solid will be weighed before and after being dried in an oven. Additionally, it is proposed to make the moisture profile at the centre-point repeats. This can be made by dividing the sample transversely into three (or more) sections and determine the moisture in each of these sections. The same tests can be performed at different times to get different profiles of moisture.

Deliverables:
Develop of a cell for studying dewatering assisted by electro-osmotic potential. Improve the understanding of electro-osmotic potential as driving force for dewatering waste from acid leaching. Produce a manuscript for submission to a journal

Number of positions: 1
Academic Level: Year 1, Year 2, Year 3

MAT-009: Adsorption of hydroxamates onto mineral surfaces determined via UV-Vis spectrophotometry
Professor: Kristian Waters
E-mail: kristian [dot] waters [at] mcgill [dot] ca
Telephone:514-398-1454

Research Area:  Mineral Processing


Description
This project would involve the investigation of the adsorption of flotation reagents known as collectors onto mineral surfaces. In particular this work would focus on alkyl and aromatic hydroxamic acid adsorption onto a variety of minerals that are currently the subject of longer term research projects (including Cu, Ti, Fe and rare earth element-bearing minerals).

Tasks:
The proposed experimental work would involve determining the surface area of a given mineral sample and then determining the adsorption of different flotation collectors onto the mineral surface via UV-Vis spectrophotometry.

Deliverables:
The product of this experimental work will be a series of curves of adsorbed reagent versus equilibrium concentration of the reagent. These resultant curves will then be compared against literature models of adsorption isotherms to infer the nature of a given reagent’s adsorption to a given mineral surface.

Number of positions: 1
Academic Level: Year 1, Year 2, Year 3

MAT-010: Surface Chemistry of Silicate Depressants
Professor: Kristian Waters
E-mail: kristian [dot] waters [at] mcgill [dot] ca
Telephone:514-398-1454

Research Area:  Mineral Processing


Description
project would involve the investigation of the interaction of several common depressants (reagents used to prevent flotation of a given mineral) with various silicate gangue minerals.

Tasks:
Proposed experimental work would include zeta potential analysis, to understand the surface chemistry of the mineral, as well as possible microflotation experiments to validate the results of zeta potential investigations. The work would require the optimisation of the parameters used in electroacoustic zeta potential measurement for each combination of gangue mineral and flotation reagent. A literature review will also be required to compare experimental results with published work and identify other possible depressants for these gangue minerals.

Deliverables:
Presentation to Mineral Processing Research Group Manuscript for submission to an international journal

Number of positions: 1
Academic Level: Year 1, Year 2, Year 3

MAT-011: Electron beam drilling
Professor: Stephen Yue
E-mail: steve [dot] yue [at] mcgill [dot] ca
Telephone:514-398-1378

Research Area:  Electron beam processing


Description
The high energy density, high net power and tight process control achievable with high power electron beams is applied to many thermal processes including melting, coating, welding, additive manufacturing and machining. This research concerns the investigation of a novel process called electron beam drilling, which includes a collaboration between McGill University and a Canadian OEM. In the simplest sense, electron beam drilling entails the synchronized deflection and pulsing of a focused electron beam. At the point of impact, the beam simultaneously melts, vaporizes and ejects the work piece material, resulting in a hole. Since the hole is generated via a thermal mechanism, the process is also referred to as electron beam perforation. The research is multi-disciplinary; incorporating heat transfer, electron optics, high vacuum systems, data processing, machine programming and materials characterization. These results will indicate the optimum machine parameters, and will be used to develop an empirical model which relates machine and hole parameters.

Tasks:
The student will develop numerical codes for machine operation, such that each hole drilling operation represents a unique set of machine parameters. The resulting hole patterns will be analyzed using standard metallographic techniques for depth, width and recast layer.

Deliverables:
Student will develop methodology to correlate hole characteristics (depth, recast layer, aspect ratio) with electron beam parameters (beam focus, power, pulse length).

Number of positions: 1
Academic Level: Year 1, Year 2, Year 3

MAT-012: Surface characterization of materials for biological applications.
Professor: Marta Cerruti
E-mail: marta [dot] cerruti [at] mcgill [dot] ca
Telephone:514 398 5496
Website

Research Area:  Biomaterial surfaces


Description
We will characterize the surface of different materials for bioapplications mainly with IR spectroscopy. The student in charge will develop a new technique to deliver probe molecules while analyzing the materials with IR spectroscopy. The materials will range from graphene to polymers to hydroxyapatite.

Tasks:
Perform IR analysis of a range of materials Setup a technique to determine surface functional groups using probe molecules Possibly other spectroscopic techniques will be used; possibly the student will have to synthesize some of the materials.

Deliverables:
A project report and a presentation to the group at the end of the summer A mid-way presentation to the group with a literature review and preliminary results.

Number of positions: 1
Academic Level: Year 1, Year 2, Year 3

MAT-013: The Design of CO2 Scrubbing Technologies Through Quantum Methods
Professor: Kirk Bevan
E-mail:  kirk [dot] bevan [at] mcgill [dot] ca
Telephone: 514-398-2680
Website

Research Area: Electrochemical storage of energy


Description A B.Eng./B.Sc. student is sought to carry out quantum mechanical modeling research on designing CO2 reduction technologies. The project will encompass the density functional theory modeling of liquid phase electron transfer reactions, via state-of-the-art computational physics/chemistry software packages. The goal of this research is to devise new methods for removing green house gases from the atmosphere, using physically based models, to tackle the important problem of climate change. The applicant will work under the close training guidance of an experienced doctoral student, as well as the faculty member, and gain materials modeling, physical chemistry, electronic devices, and high performance computing expertise.

Tasks: The goal of this research is to devise new methods for removing green house gases from the atmosphere, using physically based models, to tackle the important problem of climate change. The applicant will work under the close training guidance of an experienced doctoral student, as well as the faculty member, and gain materials modeling, physical chemistry, electronic devices, and high performance computing expertise.

Deliverables Learn how to conduct basic atomistic quantum mechanical calculations and, time permitting, apply it CO2 chemical reactions in water.

Number of positions: 1
Academic Level: Year 3

 

Click on the title for full description of SURE 2015 projects in the Department of Mining Engineering.

MIN-001: Pipeline wear in minefill distribution system
Professor: Faramarz Hassani
E-mail: ferri [dot] hassani [at] mcgill [dot] ca
Telephone:514-398-8060 or cell 514-777-5767
Website

Research Area:  Mine backfilling


Description
This project is industry related and intends to contribute to better understanding of the erosion and corrosion occurred in mine backfill transportation system and evaluate the parameters may effect on the wearing mechanism of mine back fill transportation system. General background: Mine backfilling consists of filling the cavities of underground cavities created by mining activities by delivering of waste materials to underground. Mine backfilling is an integral part of underground mining methods which is generally practiced all around the world. Waste materials are mainly consisting of mine tailings and alluvial sand. Mine tailings are the fine ground waste materials produced in mineral processing plants. Mine backfill materials mostly delivers to underground via a series of pipe line system or bore holes. Erosion and corrosion of the mine backfill transportation system can cause a stop or delay in mine production and more importantly is a safety hazard for mine personnel. Furthermore, the reparation and reinstallation of damaged pipe line systems is time consuming and costly. The main objectives of this project can be identified as i. To evaluate the parameters may effect erosion and corrosion of the transportation system through a series of laboratory tests. ii. To contribute to better understanding of the wearing mechanism of mine backfill transportation system.
To achieve these project objectives, various laboratory tests are needed to be conducted namely, sieve analysis, slurry Slump test, UCS test, rotary test, and various technique will be employed XRD (X-ray diffraction) and SEM (Scanning electron microscopy). In this project primarily, the characterisation of primary material which are mine tailings, alluvial and water will be evaluated. Consequently, various mixing design of mine back fill will be prepared and effect of each mixing design on the wearing of mine backfill transportation system will be evaluated separately.

Tasks:
The two student will work together to conduct the following tasks (team work) A series of laboratory test will be conducted by two undergraduate students, the laboratory tests will be conducted on the two separate phase. In the first phase the characterisation of primary materials will be assessed, by conduction various tests. In the second phase the effect of various mine back fill mixing designs prepared with various proportions of primary materials will be evaluated by rotary test. Two undergraduate students with the help and supervision of a PhD students are in charge of conduction these primary tests. The list of task will be performed to discover the physical and chemical properties of primary materials are as follows: • Measuring moister content of tailings and alluvial sand • Conduction sieve analysis on different tailings and alluvial sands • Drawing particle size distribution graph for various mine tailings and alluvial sand • Measuring specific gravity of mine tailings and alluvial sand • Measuring PH of industrial water delivered from different mines In the second phase the following task will be performed by undergarduate students with the constant help and supervision of graduate students • Preparing different mixing design of mine backfill materials • Samplings from different batch of prepared mine backfill materials • Conducting slump test on various prepared batch of mine backfill materials. • Conducting uniaxial compression test on various mine back fill samples. • Conducting rotary test with various pipes and backfill materials. Finally the results will be analyzed and presented.

Deliverables:
All the tasks described and explained in the preceding section can be conducted and delivered by undergraduate students with the support of graduate students.

Number of positions: 2
Academic Level: Year 1, Year 2, Year 3