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School of Mechanical Engineering
SA 5005



Final Year projects from 1999

Student(s):  Mun Loong CHIN
Supervisor: Dr. Keith Baines
Client: Mitsubishi Motors Australia Limited (MMAL)

Engineers at Mitsubishi Motors Australia Limited (MMAL), have determined that the idler pulley attached to the air-conditioner mounting bracket on the V6 Magna/Verada series, was not a necessary part of the air-conditioner / alternator drive belt system. The idler pulley served to increase the angle of wrap of the drive belt around the compressor pulley. A new drive belt with a higher coefficient of friction was later introduced. This meant that the angle of wrap around the air-conditioner pulley could be reduced, removing the need for the idler pulley. Therefore, the redundancy in the design of the compressor bracket prompted the engineers to seek a better, more cost-effective design.

The project goal is to design a significantly cheaper and lighter bracket. Tooling and performance testing costs must be amortised within 100,000 units. The mass of the new bracket must be less than 3.63 kg. The new bracket must equal or exceed the Noise Vibration Harshness performance of the existing bracket, and conform to Japanese Industrial Standard JIS D 1601. Machining should be kept to a minimum and the design be kept as simple as possible.

New materials were considered for the redesign, including engineering plastic and die-cast aluminium. The existing bracket is made from ductile cast iron. Analytical techniques such as Finite Element Analysis were utilised to identify the critically stressed areas of the bracket so that the design could be optimised.

Student(s):  Daniel HANDLEY
Supervisor: Dr Gerald Schneider

With the increased use of global telecommunications the demand for satellite launch systems has risen dramatically during the 1990's. Currently, existing systems are unable to satisfy this demand. Kistler Aerospace Corporation is presently building the world's first fully re-useable launch system, the K-1, which will be initially launched from the Woomera Spaceport. The K-1 is designed to provide regular, reliable and cost-effective launches which will not only satisfy demand but increase the viability of space for commercial interests. While construction and operation of the K-1 is under-way, Kistler are beginning the development of a second-generation launch vehicle, the K-2. This is designed to accomplish a wider series of missions, including satellite deployment to geo-synchronous orbits and delivery and retrieval of cargo from the International Space Station. This project is concerned with the preliminary investigation and design of the K-2 re-useable launch vehicle. The primary focus of the project has been to evaluate the specifications put forward by Kistler, and to determine the basic mission plan, launch vehicle layout and mass distribution between the stages.

Student(s):  Alexander DUNSTONE
Supervisor: Dr David Nobes
Dr Graham Nathan
Client: School of Mechanical Engineering

The flow phenomena of precessing jets has been researched jointly by the Turbulence Energy and Combustion Technology International (FTC) to produce a gas burner which produces low emissions of nitrous oxides (NOx). The precessing jet phenomenon is used to produce a wider dispersion of fuel yielding significant benefits in terms of burner efficiencies. The project, which was undertaken this year, involves the design, construction and commissioning of a water tunnel for research purposes. The water tunnel is to be used to investigate the flow phenomena of two-dimensional oscillating jets exiting a sudden expansion.

Computer models have been developed to examine the phenomena of two-dimensional oscillating jets exiting a sudden expansion. These models have been developed in order to achieve an increased knowledge of the mechanisms contributing to two-dimensional oscillating jets in order to gain a greater understanding of the phenomena of precessing jets. The rig, which has been produced, will be used to test the validity of the computer simulations.

This rig is designed to examine the flow phenomena of an oscillating jet though a sudden expansion for a jet exhausting into a blind channel and a jet exhausting into an ‘infinitely; long channel. The flow velocities will be measured using laser velocity measurement techniques. The results obtained will be compared with those produced by the numerical simulation in order to verify the existence of the flow condition and the validity of the computer generated models.

Student(s):  Khai Luen WONG
Mun Heng OW
Supervisor: Dr. Cheryl Li
Dr. Scott Synder

Commissioning of industrial robot extends valuable knowledge in the integration of the Manipulator, Vision System and Conveyors into what is known as automation system. A full running process will be performed during the exhibition.

A new gripper is designed to overcome the limitation of existing pneumatic gripper. The new gripper can handle workpieces with rough surfaces and enhance gripping ability. The design is based upon the existing pneumatic resources and thus it can be interchanged and assembled in about 2 minutes time.

An interactive learning package will also be presented in the exhibition to illustrate a multimedia based learning method to simulate the working environment of the system and to provide training to end users. Step by step guidelines from the basic IMFORM II Language will also be discussed in the package.

Student(s):  Shahrin Adzly SAINUDDIN
Jin Lee TEH
Supervisor: Professor Colin Hansen 
Dr Peter Teague (VIPAC)
Dr Uwe Kopke (VIPAC)
Client: VIPAC Engineers and Scientists Ltd.

Crayfishing is South Australia’s most valuable commercial fishery, netting an average of 3075 tonnes a year. Based on a single species of rock lobster, Jasus edwardsii, the total catch is equivalent to about A$ 83 million a year, or about A$ 27 a kg. A serious problem for the industry is the loss of crayfish occurring as a result of octopi eating them when they are trapped in the pots which are placed out in the sea. Currently South Australia loses an estimated 7% of its total catch due to octopi predation, which amounts to AUD 3.5 million per annum.

The purpose of this project is to address this problem by developing an acoustic sensor to distinguish between crayfish and octopi, and to repel the preying octopi by use of high intensity ultrasonic waves.

Student(s):  Tian Heng GOH
Supervisor: Dr. Bassam Dally
Client: Bentech Pacific Pty. Ltd.

The Bentech sliding roof system consists of up to four separate panels, each sliding in their own individual track. These panels can be located anywhere along the tracks. The tracks are fitted in C or I Aluminum channels. The roof height can reach up to five meters and locking the panels at this height requires the design of an automated locking mechanism. The requirement of the locking mechanism is split into two positions:

a) Fully closed position during night time or when building is unattended.
b) Partially opened position where one panel is opened partially for ventilation.

Hence the aim of this design project is to develop a centrally locking device for Bentech sliding roof system. The proposed locking design must be automated so that the locking mechanism can fulfil the system requirement without involving any manual assistance from user. It is also necessary to accomplish this design’s aim at an affordable price and reasonable size. From the aesthetics point of view, the designed locking system should be within the size limitation such that the any obtrusion underneath or above the roof has minimal significance on the roof structure. It is also an important requirement that the locking device installation does not compromise the strength of the C or I beam which hold the roof structure.

Student(s):  Julian AU YONG
Supervisor: Dr Richard Kelso

Fossil fuel is a limited resource and at its current rate of usage, it is estimated to run out by the end of the next century. Solar power is seen as an alternative to fossil fuels. Due to the high cost of solar cells, hybrid vehicles are considered a more economically viable proposition compared to pure solar powered vehicles.

The purpose of this project is to construct a human/solar powered hybrid vehicle to be entered into the World Solar Cycle Challenge and the Australian International Pedal Prix. The WSCC and the AIPP push the known boundaries of solar technology and by entering the solar cycle in these competitions, we are able to test the viability of a hybrid vehicle.

It is also hoped through this project that The University of Adelaide will continue to have a presence in the most prestigious solar race on the planet.

Student(s):  Eyad HASSAN
Supervisor: Dr Richard Kelso
Dr David Bies

In the transportation of a 44-gallon drum of mine tailings from the Ranger Uranium Mine it was observed that the solid component of the tailings had separated from the aqueous phase in an unexpectedly short time period. Preliminary investigations into agglomeration of particulate matter in slurries using the technique of acoustic streaming have indicated that whilst acoustic streaming may not actually be obtained, excitation at certain resonance frequencies within the particulate slurry may cause increased settling rates. It has been the findings of this investigation that the phenomenon of acoustic streaming is exceedingly difficult to reproduce. Hence the observation that promoted this investigation, that is the settling of the mine tailings on the back of the flat bed truck, must be accounted for by another theory of increased settling rate. Further investigations have suggested that there is a correlation between the settling rate of solid particulate matter suspended within an aqueous phase and the driving frequency of mechanical vibration into the system.

Student(s):  Simon HILL
Supervisor: Dr Scott Snyder

Transformers, while providing a useful contribution to society, also make the much less appreciated contribution of irritating humming for near by residents. One method of attacking this noise control problem is to attempt to reduce the transformer structural vibration and thus reduce sound radiated into the neighborhood.

In this project a Vibration Absorber has been studied for its effectiveness in providing a solution to such a problem. With the use of a well-tuned Vibration Absorber a structures’ vibration can be decreased as the resonating absorber provides vibration cancellation. As noise radiating from a structure is characterised by its resonance frequency, the absorber resonance must also correspond to the same frequency to be effective.

The vibration absorber used in this project was designed with the use of the finite element package ANSYS?. The use of such a design tool has lead to the pioneering of a tuning method for the first six-absorber modes. This has then allowed the absorber to provide possible vibration attenuation of multiple transformer resonance frequencies.

As the fundamental Vibration Absorber alone has no method of adjusting its resonance in response to structural variations, it has little scope for variation in environmental conditions and load changes on the transformer. The absorber has then been designed so that with the use of a control system it can vary its resonance frequency to tract any variations in structural resonance. The addition of a control system has then lead to the solution having far greater stability and robustness. However, in this case, the most important benefit is that of tuning the absorber to the transformer’s requirements. The control system will also greatly reduce the tuning time to the transformer resonances, a shortcoming of similar attempts in the past.

Student(s):  Said. W. KHELWATY
Constantine KOUTAS
Ary Aswary SAARY
Supervisor: Dr Scott Snyder

The aim of this project is to measure noise in nightclubs and evaluate the result on a spectral basis. The data will be used to evaluate occupational health and safety implication, and determine appropriate steps to ensure worker safety. The scope of this project is similar to that of the Environmental Protection Authority’s report of 1998, which set out to measure noise levels within entertainment venues in Adelaide. From our findings we endeavour to design a hearing protection device which can be used in a number of situations from entertainment venues, industrial laundries and car racing. Unlike conventional hearing protection that produces 10 to 20dB of high frequency attenuation and leaves the damaging lower band frequencies to penetrate through to the stereocelia and cause fatigue. This device will enable the user to block out the desired frequencies, which cause hearing damage and obstruct normal tone of speech thus eliminating the occlusion effect and adding a certain degree of comfort to the user.

Student(s):  Alfred LAM
Nathan LAM
Soon Kong LEE
Supervisor: Dr. Gerald Schneider
Mr. Stephen Kollias

The Zuni Program has been established by the Australian Space Research Institute (ASRI) for educational and scientific research.  A large number of surplus military single stage rocket motors have been made available for this program.

The objective of this project is to design a two-stage rocket with the use of existing Zuni rocket motors

For the two-stage rocket to be possible, several modifications have to be made to the existing motors, such as a new nozzle for the second stage motor and fins to improve stability. These modifications require the development of stabilising fins and associated attachment structures and the design of a joint that connect the first stage to the second stage motor.

Student(s):  Kim Seng YAP
Supervisor: Dr Denny Graham
Dr K.N Krishnan

This report describes an investigation of the effect of post weld heat treatment on selected mechanical properties and the microstructure of friction stir welded aluminium alloy 6061.   Following welding, the material was solutioned and aged to a T6 condition.  Hardness, bend and tensile tests, and microscopic examination were performed on samples in the as-welded and in the post-weld heat treated condition.  Microstructural examination of the as-welded samples show the typical friction stir welded grain structure, with a very fine grains resulting from dynamic recrystallisation  in center of  the weld  and  a mixed zone of deformed and recrystallised grains on each side.   The post-weld heat treatment resulted in considerable grain growth.  The tensile properties of the as-welded and the post-weld heated samples did not differ appreciably.  The bend ductility testings showed that as-welded samples had good ductility, however all of the post-weld heat treated samples failed.  Based on this investigation and the work reported in the literature, the ductility of as-welded 6061 does not appear to be degraded by friction stir welding.  However, a post-weld solutioning and aging  to the T6 condition was shown to severely embrittle the joint.  Further work is required to fully explain the mechanism.

Student(s):  Wade RUGLESS
Supervisor: Dr Anthony Zander
Client: VIPAC

This project deals with the reduction of noise in the fuselage of a C130J-30 Hercules. This is an extended version of the C130J Hercules being modified to operate as a mobile battle monitoring station and command centre. The noise reduction is to be achieved using Tuned Vibration Absorbers (TVA’s), the noise levels are required to be reduced to a level at which normal volume conversations can be conducted. Currently VIPAC have investigated reducing the noise by limiting the structural vibration using the TVA’s. Their results were not as efficient as expected and they decided this could be due to the orientation of the TVA’s.

Our project investigates the realignment of the TVA’s to the axial plane to see if this will improve the noise reduction levels. To do this we used the finite element analysis package ANSYS.

Three models were required to be built for the project. The first, a simply supported flat plate, was used to verify our solution and construction techniques in ANSYS. The results obtained for this plate were compared with theoretical values, and our results were favourable. The second model was an experimental ribbed plate test piece that was later constructed and the effect of the TVA’s experimentally compared with those in ANSYS. This exercise was conducted to verify our choice of position and techniques used to place the TVA’s on the ribs using ANSYS, so when correct they could be used in our ANSYS fuselage model.

The fuselage model was the end goal of the project. Once constructed, TVA’s were placed on the ribs of this model orientated in the direction found most effective experimentally on the ribbed plate. If all goes to plan the resultant reduction of noise will achieve the criteria demanded at the beginning of the project.

Student(s):  Kian Ti CHUA
Horng Yih WONG
Supervisor: Dr M A Wahab

An above and below ground landfill was proposed by Path Line Australia to handle up to 17,000,000 cubic meters of waste. It was also proposed that the active working face of the landfill be enclosed in a litter-net system that doubles as a wind reduction system as well as a bird prevention system that reduces wind speeds within the enclosure, prevent stray airborne litter and discourages the growth of a scavenging bird population.  The system is proposed to address some of the common problems faced such as scavenging bird pests, airborne litter as well as airborne dust due to local winds.

The project presented here is part of an ongoing project conducted by Path Line Australia to evaluate the employment of such a litter net system. A previous design team was called in last year to produce a conceptual system as well as address some issues such as the wind reduction mesh to be used. This year the project is further evaluated and we have chosen to concentrate on the support structure of the system. The display will present some of the design procedures and consideration of this project.

Student(s):  Bong Hang HENG
Jih Tsair TAN
Meng Leong CHAN
Supervisor: Dr. Cheryl Li

As the demand increases for machines of high accuracy, high speed and high stiffness, programmable closed-loop linkages emerge in the development of modern machinery.  A mechatronic design methodology is proposed in this project for the integrated design of mechanical structure and control algorithm for a programmable closed-loop mechanism system.

A four-bar linkage with adjustable link length and mass has been designed.  A servo-motor control system has also been connected to the four-bar linkage for motion testing.  By adjusting the geometric parameters of the linkage , an optimised system dynamic model can be obtained.  Based on this optimised dynamics, motion tracking performance and vibration behaviour of the linkage system can be improved by simply applying a conventional PD control algorithm.

Student(s):  Alvin KO
Kenny WONG
Supervisor: Dr. Graham (Gus) Nathan
Dr. David Nobes
Dr. Greg. Newbold

The cement kiln industry accounts for about 3000 cement kilns and part of the 10,000 rotary kilns around the world.  The amount of NOx emission, as part of the greenhouse gases, makes a burner with low NOx emission very essential.  Also, due to the strong business competition in this industry it is desirable to use an efficient burner.  One such technology is the Fluidic Jet (FJ) designed by University of Adelaide and Fuel Combustion Technology (FCT).  Hence, scientific research is important to assist in the understanding of flame characteristic difference between a Fluidic Precessing Jet (FPJ) flame and a simple jet flame.

The aim of this project is to design and commission an automated measuring system with sufficient accuracy in two areas, which are the temperature and heat flux measurements, and the spatial location.  The automated system consists of :

  • a traverse and a control box in assisting maneuverability
  • an interface box for data transmission
  • MATLAB programme to direct the experiments
  • R-Type thermocouple for in flame temperature measurements
  • Heat Flux gauge to measure flame radiant heat flux
  • Design of robust attachments for the measurement probe.
The thermocouple is calibrated against a reference probe in an oven.  A Medtherm heat flux gauge is used with the manufacturer calibration.  The attachments are designed to account for propane adiabatic flame temperature.  The Matlab program is designed to allow the user to change the sampling frequency and the number of sample to be collected.  The mean, RMS and the instantaneous signals are saved for each location.

The system was commissioned by measuring temperature in, and heat flux from the simple and FPJ flames using propane gas (bottle) at Reynolds Number of 20,000.  The observations will be presented during the exhibition and documented in the report.

Student(s):  Ben ABRAHAM
Supervisor: Dr M. Wahab
Mr I. Brown
Client: The University of Adelaide

Fatigue is a potential failure mechanism that can be strongly influenced by corrosive environments. The change in microstructure of a metal due to the heat-affected-zone (HAZ) caused by welding can also affect the fatigue life of a metal. The Project presented here will display S-N curves (Stress vs. No. of Cycles) produced for the chosen material (C1020 mild steel) in a dry environment of air at ambient room conditions, and comparing them with results from a wet (corrosive) environment consisting of 3.5% NaCl solution. Tests were also performed in both wet and dry environments on heat treated specimens that had their microstructure changed by (thermal simulation) to the microstructure of HAZ caused by Gas Metal Arc Welding process. These tests can determine the Fatigue Life of the material which can tell us how long a component or structure can survive at a particular number of loading cycles as well as determining the maximum stress for which fatigue will not occur within a particular number of cycles.
A theoretical result of the S-N curves estimates through the methods of Collins, Juvinall and Shigley are also displayed and are compared to our experimental results.

The display will also show the rotating-bending fatigue machine and the corrosion chamber that we designed and assisted in the construction and installation onto the rotating-bending machine.

Student(s):  Elizabeth SMITH
Supervisor: Dr. Richard Kelso
Client: Tigerfish Aviation

The Tigerfish Aviation Float System is a South Australian design, which offers many aircraft the opportunity to be used as an amphibious transporter.  Through ingenious design it enables aircraft to operate from both land and water with full beaching capabilities.  The system is a streamlined module, which attaches to the underside of the aircraft.  It is able to deploy or retract twin floats or tricycle undercarriage as required.  The system has been carefully designed to reduce weight and minimise drag.
Tigerfish Aviation who created the Float System required wind tunnel testing of their current pontoon design.  Testing included measurements of the drag on a scale model aircraft as a clean aircraft, with the float system, and with traditional floats.  The effect of varying pitch and yaw angles were measured as well as varying speeds.
A 1:72 scale model of a Lockheed Hercules C-130H was made with attachable traditional floats and Float System. Strain gauges were used to measure the loads experienced by each model configuration.

With the results from the wind tunnel tests Tigerfish Aviation will apply for further funding to undertake the next stage of testing, including a flying model and actual working prototype.

Student(s):  Craig CHANDLER
Supervisor: Dr Gerald Schneider
Mr Warren Williams
Client: Royal Australian Air Force

P-3 Orion Aircraft Performance Modelling Project was undertaken to investigate the performance affects on the Orion of RAAF Project AIR 5276.

Project AIR 5276 has introduced higher reliability avionics to the P-3C and P-3W fleets largely improving their operational capability. Due to the advancements in avionics technology and microtechnology, the avionics modifications will result in an overall decrease in aircraft gross weight and a forward shift for the Centre-of-Gravity (CG). Target gross weight and CG locations have been specified, but final figures will not be available until the first prototype is finished later this year.

A project has been undertaken to do a sensitivity study, varying aircraft CG and gross weight to investigate subsequent effects on various aircraft performance parameters such as range and endurance. Furthermore the study will include an assessment of take-off, landing and climb performance.

The analysis will make use of the Advanced Aircraft Analysis (AAA) Software and traditional analysis methods. These tools will be validated through comparison with the existing P-3C/W flight manual, the Weight and Balance publication, and other RAAF publications as required.

Using the above analysis techniques, the different performance parameters can be calculated for a range of gross weight and CG positions. A typical range of gross weights may be determined from a decrease in aircraft basic weight by 1000 lb, 2000 lb, 3000 lb and 4000lb. The range of CG’s can be evaluated by shifting the basic weight CG 1, 2, 3 and 4 inches forward.

Student(s):  Rudolf ZETTLER
Supervisor: Dr Keith Baines

This project discusses the problems with, and proposed modelling of, dust extraction units at Rossiter Pty. Ltd.  Current problems include fire inside the units resulting from poor performance and necessitating frequent maintenance.

The proposed investigation includes the aerodynamic modelling of the dust extraction units using a 0.5 scale laboratory model. It is proposed to use flow visualisation techniques to establish the characteristics of the flow under a range of operating conditions. These tests will help establish the optimum operating conditions for the units, to understand how the current problems are caused, and to propose improvements to the dust extractor design.

Student(s):  Cristian BIRZER
Rozetta PAYNE
Supervisor: Dr. Gerald Schneider
Mr. Cyril Wetherall
Client: Royal Australian Air Force
Maritime Patrol Logistics Management Squadron

This project is a study of the stress analysis of the horizontal stabiliser of the P-3 Orion aircraft, currently used by the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) for maritime patrolling. Recently the RAAF acquired two P-3 Orion aircraft from the United States Navy (USN) which, like the 19 Orions in the Australian fleet, have seen extensive service. As a result of this extensive service life, these aircraft have a substantially high number of repairs on primary load bearing structures. Attention is being paid to the horizontal stabiliser, which has a large number of repairs in close proximity to each other known as multi-site damage (MSD).  The question is weather the close proximity of the repairs will have detrimental effects to the aircraft.

Multi-site damage is a phenomenon related to the uncertainties of stress concentrations and alterations in load transmission paths. On primary load bearing structures, like the horizontal stabiliser, these uncertainties can collectively result in a disaster. The horizontal stabiliser itself is vital to the manoeuvrability and stability of any aircraft.

The aim of this study is to reduce the uncertainty through finite element analysis and ensure the safety, of military and commercial aircraft, as well as all structural members that may require multiple stress altering repairs.

Student(s):  Peter ADAMS
Supervisor: Dr. M. Bull
Client: Thomson Marconi Sonar

The 1999 Towed Array Sonar (TAS) project, carried out in conjunction with Thomson Marconi Sonar Pty. Ltd. (TMS) is a continuation of the Vibration Isolation Module (VIM) research project first undertaken in 1993. Towed array sonar devices are arranged to form a long cable, often several kilometers in length, dragged behind a towing vessel. The TAS system operates by detecting underwater acoustic waves propagating around linearly arranged hydrophones, and returning an output signal to be analysed by a computer processor onboard the towing vessel. The test array, now fully suspended, is used to determine the physical properties of a TAS and provide Thomson Marconi Sonar with information regarding the nature of acoustic waves propagating within an array. The properties of the respective waves within the array are investigated using both internal hydrophones (marked by red tape on the array section) as well as accelerometers mounted on the exterior surface of the jacket. The array is excited by a shaker and is tensioned at the same end using a winch / pulley arrangement. The output signals from the hydrophones are investigated using an analyser and the results recorded by means of an ink plotter. Of particular interest in this research project is the phenomenon occurring within the array when the elastic properties of the jacket and the internal fluid are such that they result in significant coupling between the two propagating waves. The resulting coupled wave is commonly referred to as a “bulge” wave. Whilst in previous years, the experimental results of the TAS project have shown some evidence of the existence of coupled waves within the array, the coupled mode of vibration has to date not been confidently identified.

Student(s):  Mario FRANCO
Supervisor: Dr John Bee

This project looks into the design of a mechanism that will produce friction surface deposits on a substrate. These will then be subjected to mechanical and metallurgical tests.

The friction surfacing process will be outlined along with its advantages over other forms of welding. Some applications will also be looked at the design process for the mechanism will then be described in detail. This begins with selection of the appropriate materials. Then the expected load on the backing plate is estimated as this has an affect on other parameters including the dimensions and also the final cost. Once the required force is known a cylinder with a specified load can be chosen and the backing plate and support column dimensions can be calculated. In addition, the temperature effects on the consumable are then investigated.

Tolerances based on the dimensions and required fits are then worked out. Finally, pneumatic cylinders with a range of piston diameters and contact forces are compared with theoretical values so that one can be chosen to do the task.

Student(s):  Jason WOOD
Supervisor: Dr Keith Baines

This project concentrates on productivity improvements within a large-scale paint facility.  The paint shop produces automotive bumper facias with a capacity of approximately 500 sets per day.  The facility operates as a production line with individual bumper sets moving on a returning conveyor system.

Raw polypropylene bumper sets undergo a masking operation as part of their required styling.  The bumper sets are then loaded onto conveyor racks and undergo a series of on-line preparation stages prior to painting.  After receiving a series of paint processes the bumpers are fed through a bake oven and inspected at the oven’s exit.

A continuous improvement chart (i.e. beach ball chart) was created in order to monitor progress on a large list of improvement items.  Current areas of improvement are in oven temperature control and rack head storage.  An action plan has been created to combat inefficiencies through the conveyor system.  Improvements have been carried out to the conveyor system in areas causing the largest amount of down-time.  Still under investigation is the problem of poor paint regulation.  The key areas in this list of improvements represent a moderate fraction of the overall targeted improvements.

Student(s):  Farhad MOLLAHAGAHI
Supervisor: Professor Colin Hansen

The work described is directed at developing optimal design procedures for dissipative mufflers used in air handling systems to reduce noise.  The air handling systems have been contributing considerable amount of noise dissipation.

The aim is to implement the recent theoretical developments through a series of computer progam, which will allow design and optimisation using today’s most commonly available Duct Lining Materials.

The software will be used to generate design charts associated with some liner materials that are currently available.  This will allow more flexibility for designers to obtain the optimum design criteria.

Finally, a series of experimental tests will be conducted to test the numerical results.

Student(s):  Stephen LLOYD
Supervisor: Professor Colin Hansen

In their paper ‘Finite Element Analysis of an Industrial Reactive Silencer Array’, Howard and Cazzolato observed that when resonators of similar resonance frequency are located close together in an array, the overall performance of the silencer may be degraded. The aim of this project is to examine the effect, with the intention of producing some form of design aid to enable greater efficiency in silencer design in the future.

Helmholtz Resonators are passive reactive type noise control devices commonly used in ducts and exhaust systems where attenuation of a narrow frequency band of noise is desired. They are used particularly in the removal of tones produced by such sources as constant speed motors or fans, and are often used in an array to silence a large range of frequencies, to avoid the use of dissipative or absorptive material.

It is expected that linear acoustic analysis, with the plane wave assumption, will provide too inaccurate a model for the desired results. Finite Element Analysis has thus been utilised to model a duct, using the computer package ANSYS. A macro is used to generate solutions for multiple ducts with resonators in different positions, over a range of frequencies.

The results produced by FEM will be validated and compared with a linear theory prediction, using Four-Pole Analysis, and verified by testing a practical scale model. The practical model was constructed using Medium Density Fibreboard, and tested according to the Australian Sound Testing Standards.

Student(s):  Andrew PALTRIDGE
Supervisor: Dr Manfred Zockel
Client: Formula Vee Association of South Australia

FV2000 is an entry in the National Engineering Innovation Competition, sponsored by Concentric Asia Pacific. The project was created by the Re-Engineering Australia Forum to give students an opportunity to work on a real life project and to provide a test bed for changes to Formula Vee.

Formula Vee is the entry level category in Australian open wheel motor racing. The cars use the drivetrain and front suspension of the Volkswagen Beetle, making them relatively affordable and easy to maintain. Although the engines produce just 60 horsepower, the cars weigh only 400 kilograms so performance is surprisingly good.

The aim of the project was to develop enhanced racing driver safety while lowering the cost of buying and running a Formula Vee. Students from University of Adelaide were responsible for the chassis design, the re-design of the engine air-cooling system and the suspension design. They form part of a wider team comprised of students from the University of South Australia and TAFE SA. The finished car will be ready in time for the competition in July 2000.