All posts by Dr. Samandari

Injection Molding

Project name Injection Molding
Project Title Injection Molding Process Design of Multi-Functional Electrolyte
Abstract Multi-functional electrolytes (MFEs) are a critical component in the development of energy storage solutions for modern energy demands. Professor Caiwei Shen of the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth performs research toward the creation of Structural Supercapacitors (SSC) that require the MFE to function. The fabrication of the MFE is comprised of Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET) and Lithiumbis(trifluoromethanesulfonyl)imid (LiTFSI). In order to achieve a favorable MFE, mechanical and electrical properties should be maximized without negatively impacting the SSC. To assure the homogeneity of the MFE, it was determined that injection molding would be the selected manufacturing process. However, due to complexity within the process design, the IMPD team was commissioned to deliver solutions for a myriad of stakeholder coupon requirements and processing parameters.

The three main requirements posed by the stakeholders include the following:

1.      A portable fabrication cell regulating humidity levels to 30% RH

2.      A temperature-controlled fixture for varying mold types

3.      Optimized processing parameters of MFE with support data

The IMPD team was able to deliver customized fabrication equipment and process design work instructions that would support research activities into the future state. The IMPD team developed conceptual designs for a glovebox designated 1.1 to house the AB100 injection molding equipment. In addition, a desiccant drying system was integrated to supply treated facility air into the control environment with reduced RH levels and low particulate counts. It was determined that to meet project timeline expectations that the fabrication of 1.1 would be sourced to a 3rd party manufacturer. The decision to outsource fabrication was supported by a supplied certificate of compliance which guaranteed the equipment’s functionality. The portability of 1.1 was achieved through the acquisition of a prefabricated cart to which the glovebox and desiccant dryer were fixed. Subsequent testing revealed that levels of 14% RH were achieved, exceeding stakeholder requirements.

The temperature control fixture designated 1.2 featured customized molding solutions for the AB100 equipment. The IMPD design engineers employed engineering principles of fluid dynamics, heat transfer, and material science to effectively design an insert molding fixture. The fixture features 2 heating cartridges wired in parallel to a voltage controller that receives active feedback from a standard thermocouple to regulate heating cycles. In addition, the fixture features ported channeling for liquid cooling upgrades. The IMPD team achieved stable temperature control at 180°C, allowing for optimized cavity pack-out. The interchangeable insert cavity allows for quick processing rates, and low-cost cavity alterations increase net productivity.

For deliverable 3, a design of experiments was developed to actively fabricate MFE coupons. A subsequent work instruction was developed which outlined the processing parameters required for fabrication. Next, each technician performed a series of experimentation featuring 5 trials. These results were documented and evaluated to supply the stakeholder with optimum processing parameters based upon compositions that range from 100%-PET to 70% -PET + 30%-LiTFSI compositions. It was found that the process design was capable and repeatable throughout all compositions.

In conclusion, the IMPD team fulfilled or exceeded the criteria set forth by the stakeholders. In the future state, it has been recommended to the stakeholders that a preventative maintenance schedule should be developed to support the process design supplied. In addition, the exchange of material compositions should be evaluated for use within this custom molding solution to ensure effectiveness.

Faculty advisor Dr. Caiwei Shen
Sponsor Dr. Caiwei Shen
Team lead Roger Tessier
Team Members Anthony Lazzareschi, Christophe Chedid, Mario Farah
Video link

The Fluidics

Project name The Fluidics
Project Title Optimized Fluidic Connection of Calibration System
Abstract The Maximal Asymmetric Drag Wave Energy Converter (MADWEC) is a small scale, single point wave energy conversion device that is currently being developed at University of Massachusetts Dartmouth’s School of Marine Science and Technology (SMAST). MADWEC is a heaving-type system consisting of a Louver system, a power take off unit (PTO), and a buoy. The system works by creating an asymmetrical drag force over the rise and fall of a wave cycle. This drag force is used to wind and unwind a reel which is connected to a generator via a drive shaft. When the generator is spun, it outputs electrical power that can be stored in a battery system and later utilized to charge offshore AUVs, and buoy stationed electronic payloads.

Fluid Metering Inc has tasked our team with designing and manufacturing a quick connection for the calibration of their OEM Sub-1 Duplex Pump. The goal is to provide a timed connection and disconnection of less than 1 second, which is 5 seconds less than the current calibration design. It is crucial to maintain the pump’s extreme precision and efficiency at dispensing the desired flow rate while achieving this.

Initially, our group conducted thorough background research on the supplied pump and various methods for quick connections that are currently available. We then brainstormed design concepts and evaluated each one based on weighted CTQ drivers to determine the best solution while adhering to safety standards. Our winning design utilizes two toggle clamps to apply a force on the two outlet pump heads on the top of the pump, creating a reaction force for the two inlet pump heads on the bottom of the pump.

To ensure the design’s efficiency, we conducted control and leakage tests. After testing many different methods of preventing leaks, we discovered that using a barbed fitting with a rubber stopper attached to the end of the toggle clamp provided similar results to the control while also speeding up the connection and disconnection time.

In summary, our team designed and manufactured a quick connection that achieves a timed connection and disconnection of less than 1 second while maintaining the OEM Sub-1 Duplex Pump’s extreme precision and efficiency. The use of two toggle clamps and a barbed fitting with a rubber stopper resulted in a successful design that met the desired CTQ drivers and safety standards.

Faculty advisor Dr. Alex Fowler
Sponsor Fluid Metering Inc.
Team lead Daniel O’Coin
Team Members Dustin Martin, Davidson Joseph, Nicholas Carvalho, Jake Kaulbfleisch
Video link

Team Photo


Project name MADWEC
Project Title Maximal Asymmetric Drag Wave Energy Converter 4.0
Abstract The Maximal Asymmetric Drag Wave Energy Converter (MADWEC) is a single point, small-scale wave energy conversion device currently under development at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth’s School of Marine Science and Technology (SMAST). MADWEC is a heaving-type system consisting of a Louver system, a power take-off unit (PTO), and a buoy. The system creates an asymmetrical drag force over the rise and fall of a wave cycle, which is used to wind and unwind a reel connected to a generator via a drive shaft. The generator outputs electrical power, which can be stored in a battery system and later used to charge offshore autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs) and buoy-stationed electronic payloads.

The objective of the MADWEC 4.0 mechanical team was to optimize and redesign the PTO system, which utilizes the oscillatory motion of the waves and a reel system to spin a shaft that drives a generator to create power output. The previous year’s PTO system had a low power output and efficiency, so the team needed to update the system to increase power output and optimize efficiency by characterizing the losses in the system and separating mechanical and electrical losses. To achieve this, the entire system was redesigned into a bench-top test setup utilizing a rail system. Each component was coupled together with shaft couplings to create subassemblies that can be easily removed or shifted along the rails to allow for the implementation of new components. The system is now modular, and sensors, including a reaction torque sensor, a rotary encoder, a load cell, and multiple current sensors, were implemented throughout the system to characterize mechanical and electrical losses. The final major change to the system was the use of a single low RPM generator instead of six small high RPM generators. This allowed the system to reach the nominal RPM of the generator, ultimately increasing power output.

Faculty advisor Dr. Daniel MacDonald and  Dr. Mehdi Raessi
Sponsor SAIC & NREL
Team lead Liam Cross
Team Members Christopher Collick, Liam McKenzie, Charles Fitzgerald, Syed Muhammad Hamza Ghous
Video link

Team Photo

Glider Cart

Project name S.G.C.U.
Project Title Slocum Glider Cart Upgrade
Abstract Teledyne Marine’s Slocum Glider is an international tool used to identify oceanographic changes, map the seafloor, and identify mammals through acoustic readings. However, the cart that holds the glider has presented some challenges regarding operator usage, safety, and transportation over the years. In the fall of 2022, Teledyne reached out to the engineering school at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth for an adequate solution to address these issues. The solution needed to ensure that the entire assembly, including the glider and cart with attachment, fit within the U.S. government’s “two-man lift limit,” as well as the military-specified crate that the glider and cart are transported in. Additionally, it was important to increase the maneuverability and ease of use for operators. After numerous challenges and revisions, the team developed a ratchet system attached to the underbelly of the cart to meet these requirements. This new cart upgrade design addresses the specific needs of Teledyne and improves the overall functionality of the system.
Faculty advisor Dr. Jun Li
Sponsor Mr. Jesse Desrosiers
Team lead Mark-Anthony Cardoso
Team Members Justin Moulton, Jake Hills, Jack Garforth, Matthew Devin
Video link

Team Photo

Imaging System

Project name Imaging System
Project Title Designing an Underwater Holographic Imaging System for Marine Microplastics Detection
Abstract Marine microplastics are a growing issue, with over 51 trillion pieces currently present in the oceans. These tiny particles are ingested by fish and then consumed by people, leading to cardiovascular and cerebrovascular diseases. In addition to harming aquatic organisms and ecosystems, microplastic pollution also negatively affects economies, causing a decline in fisheries and coastal tourism. To address this global problem, it is crucial to accurately detect microplastics in the ocean.

This project aims to design an underwater holographic imaging system to precisely detect marine microplastics. The project is sponsored by Dr. Hangjian Ling, an assistant professor at UMass Dartmouth. The team has developed a system that uses three-dimensional (3D) imaging based on digital holography. It employs a camera, laser, and microscope objective to detect microplastics. The team spent several weeks researching optical imaging, microplastics, and digital holography to design the system correctly.

To ensure the system can accurately image marine microplastics while withstanding the pressure underwater, the team purchased the necessary optical parts and manufactured different components for the housing. They completed calculations and testing to find the focal length and confirm no leakage occurs while the housing is underwater. All optics are concentric with each other, guaranteeing that the microplastics will be accurately imaged. The resulting images from the system can be used to further research the link between microplastics and the health issues caused by consuming them.

Faculty advisor Dr. Hangjian Ling
Sponsor Dr. Hangjian Ling
Team lead Christina Hart
Team Members Ethan Osley, Damian Guilbe-Boscana, Shawn Marcoux
Video link

Team Photo

Baja SAE

Project name Baja SAE
Project Title Design and Manufacturing of a Baja SAE Off-Road Vehicle
Abstract Baja SAE is a collegiate competition that originated from the University of South Carolina in 1976 and has since grown to be a premier engineering design competition for university teams. The Baja SAE design team has been tasked with designing, fabricating, and testing the powertrain, frame, and suspension components for a Baja SAE buggy. Some components of this project were started by the ASME club on campus, as well as a previous senior design team. This year’s senior design team was tasked with redesigning the previous powertrain and designing the frame and suspension components. The team worked closely with the ASME club to try to get a fully functioning buggy by the end of the year. This task has proven to be challenging, but one the team feels is possible with a lot of dedication and hard work as a team. The final design choices made by the team were modeled in SolidWorks to get an idea of spacing and overall design constraints before moving to the manufacturing stage.
Faculty advisor Dr. Afsoon Amirzadeh Goghari
Sponsor American Society of Mechanical Engineering, Faculty Advisor Dr. Hamed Samandari
Team lead Payton Parker
Team Members Andrew Sheedy, Daniel Strode, Robert Sylvester, Ed LaLumiere, Dylan Hathaway
Video link

Team Photo

Anodization Equipment

Project name Small Batch Anodization Equipment (SBAE) – Anodye
Project Title New Product Development: Small Batch Anodization System
Abstract Anodization is a surface finishing technique that is usually applied to aluminum to create a corrosion-resistant coating and dye the material. Currently, the process for anodizing is typically an outsourced production that is conducted by companies specializing in anodized parts. This is because the traditional process involves large vats of chemicals that take up entire shop floors. The cost of contracting out the work is usually not an issue for mass-produced parts, but for small batches, this can be very expensive as the number of parts does not justify the extra cost. On the other end of the spectrum, those making parts in their garage have been using similar processes in 5-gallon buckets to achieve desired anodized parts. However, on the industrial side, the process can be expensive, time-consuming, and, on the do-it-yourself side, the process can be inconsistent and unsafe.

The goal of this project is to create a system that provides safe, consistent, fast, and cost-effective results for companies with small batches of parts that need to be anodized. Ideally, the outcome will fill the gap found in the market by the sponsor, Alex LeGendre, with a more desirable option. The team at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth was given the task of creating a prototype system that fills the gap described above. The project began with research to understand the anodizing process and the current market situation. From there, Environmental Health and Safety (EHS) documentation was created to ensure that the team was fully informed about the chemicals being used. Through many rounds of brainstorming, designing, and redesigning, the final prototype design was arrived at and manufactured. This final prototype will hopefully lay the groundwork for a final product that will fill the gap in the anodization space.

Faculty advisor Mr. Don Foster
Sponsor Mr. Alex LeGendre
Team lead Joshua James Banez
Team Members John Botelho, Kenny Bowers, Dominic Parrella, Richard Sousa, Alex Tavares

Team Photo

Running anodizing experiments.