Engineered wood in wind turbine blades: Focus of Clouston’s NSF-funded summer Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU)

Engineered wood in wind turbine blades: Focus of Clouston’s NSF-funded summer Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU)

The UMass Offshore Wind Energy Program hosted an NSF-funded Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) this summer. BCT Professor, Peggi Clouston, along with her PhD student, Rachel Koh from Mechanical and Industrial Engineering, mentored and supervised two of these students in research projects that explored the use of engineered wood laminates in offshore wind turbine blades. The students, Malia Charter from Smith College and Yashira Valentin Feliciano from University of Puerto Rico/Mayaguez, participated in hands-on research in Clouston’s lab, a three day field trip to Cape Cod and Boston, weekly seminars on professional development and on the state of the art in wind energy research. Malia’s research involved computer modeling turbine blades using the Numerical Manufacturing and Design tool produced by Sandia National Laboratory (SNL). Three major blade components: spar cap, skin, and shear web were volumetrically replaced with laminated veneer lumber composites. These four blades along with an entirely wooden blade were subjected to static and inertial loads through finite element...
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Eureka Girls Build and Test Bridges with BCT PhD Students

Eureka Girls Build and Test Bridges with BCT PhD Students

BCT Ph.D. Candidates Carl Fiocchi, Nariman Mostafavi, and Soroush Farzinmoghadam sponsored a session for “Eureka” which is on campus for the month of July. Eureka is a fantastic program where young women are exposed to opportunities in science, technology, engineering, and math. In this session, “Why Buildings don’t Fall Down – Building with Macaroni” the girls, Eureka Scholars, viewed a presentation on buildings and bridges - elegant, strong, and safe; worked through a statics lecture solving a simple equilibrium problem, reviewed a vocabulary list of some structural terms and forces, and learned some of building techniques and strategies (with Macaroni). They then built a macaroni bridge and tested its response to greater and greater loads until finally the structures failed or in some cases until they started to fail as some girls wanted to keep their models. Some bridges were pretty darn robust --- check out the photos! You can find more images on our Facebook page....
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Building a Wood-Concrete Floor Mockup Bench

Building a Wood-Concrete Floor Mockup Bench

As part of their independent studies, two BCT students, Henry Braley and Loran Kaleci (with help from fellow student Rommel Cordova-Fiori and shop manager Dan Pepin), this semester built an 8 ft bench for Holdsworth Hall. This bench (while arguably extremely overdesigned) serves as a mockup of the wood-concrete composite floor construction that will be in the new (Integrated) Design Building. As shown in the diagram below, it consists of a three-layer cross-laminated timber (CLT) slab, which we generously received from Nordic EWP (thanks!). Above it is a 3/4 inch layer of rigid insulation and a 3 inch cast-in-place concrete topping. The concrete and the wood layers are connected rigidly with glued-in shear "HBV" connectors by TiComTec from Germany (thanks for those, too!), making both act as a single composite element. If you want to learn more about this technology, check out this research spotlight. BCT has been researching this technology for quite a while now and we are excited to see it in a real building on campus soon. The floors...
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Clouston co-authors book chapter on laminated bio-based composites

Clouston co-authors book chapter on laminated bio-based composites

A recently published book titled "Bio-Based Composites for High-Performance Materials: From Strategy to Industrial Application" (published by CRC press) includes a chapter on "Characterization and Strength Modeling of Laminated Bio-Based Composites", which was co-authored by BCT-faculty Peggi L. Clouston, Sanjay R. Arwade, and Alireza Amini. See below for an excerpt on Google Books: Link: http://www.crcpress.com/product/isbn/9781482214482...
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Clouston hosts Girls Inc. Eureka! summer workshop

Clouston hosts Girls Inc. Eureka! summer workshop

Helping girls excel in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics), Clouston worked with eighth graders on bridge construction during a workshop sponsored by Girls Inc. Eureka! They built and broke models of truss bridges while learning about forces and how material can be placed in special patterns to make stronger structures. More information: http://www.masslive.com/news/index.ssf/2013/07/post_392.html...
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