The Mechanical Engineering Department contains a number of exceptionally equipped research laboratories: Applied Mechanics and Design Laboratories, Materials Science and Engineering laboratories, Manufacturing and Production Laboratories and Thermalfluids and Energy Laboratories.
Applied Mechanics and Design Laboratories
We have a strongly funded suite of Applied Mechanics Laboratories used for a broad range of research from nano-mechanics, elastic/elastic plastic stress analysis in design, adaptive mesh in FEM to human/biped locomotion and vibrational analysis of ice covered high power transmission lines. In support of this research, the following laboratories have been developed:
- Human-gait analysis laboratory containing motion measurement systems (four infrared cameras, three force plates, two pressure maps) and several computers to support biomechanics research.
- Stress-analysis facility contains a state-of-the-art biaxial servo-hydraulic load frame, strain-field measurement equipment, and extensometers for deformation measurement.
- Vibration analysis laboratory contains a wind tunnel, an anechoic chamber, extensive acoustical and vibration measurement equipment, spectrum analyzers, and non-destructive test equipment.
- A new finite-element base computational solid mechanics modeling laboratory has been recently established.
Additional laboratory facilities include: laser optics laboratory comprising a vibration-free optical bench; Spectra-Physics helium-neon 15mw gas laser, and optical accessories required for holography; a 50,000 lb. universal testing machine; a 10 ton high frequency resonant fatigue machine; biaxial bending fatigue machine; two Satec creep and stress rupture machines, Hounsfield tensometer; analog-digital facilities for the analysis of acoustic and vibration signals; measuring equipment comprising sound level meters, octave band filter sets, narrow band analyzer and transducers; acoustical excitation system; closed-loop 50lbs force vibrating system split Hopkinson’s bar system for measurement of dynamic material properties.
Materials Science and Engineering Laboratories
The Department has a long history of world recognized excellence in Materials Science and Engineering. This has allowed the establishment of one of the most well-equipped suites of materials research laboratories in Canada.The University of Manitoba, partnering with Manitoba industry, is emerging as a centre for research and development of composites and composite structures in Canada. The Composite Materials and Structures Research Group (CMSRG) heads up the fibre and fibre-reinforced polymer research at the University under the leadership of Dr. Jayaraman. The core research infrastructure of the CMSRG, located in the Mechancial and Manufacturing Department, has been significantly strengthened thanks to the recent $1.5 M research grant from the Western Economic Diversification Council.
The laboratories support active research in Deformation Studies, Joining of Aerospace Materials, Acoustic Emission, Solidification and Diffusion, Phase Transformation in Solids, Wear and Wear Protection, and Composites. In support of this research, the following laboratories have been developed:
- Fabrication Laboratory containing a rolling mill and material cutting equipment;
- Furnace Laboratory containing heat-treatment equipment;
- Mechanical Testing Laboratory containing tensile, fatigue, hardness, and impact-testing machines;
- Metallography Laboratory housing metallography equipment; and
- Microscopy Laboratory housing optical microscopy equipment, Scanning Electron Microscopes and a transmission electron microscope.
- Composite Materials & Structures Laboratories comprise an Advanced Composite Materials Lay-up and Modeling Laboratory, an Advanced Composites Processing Laboratory, an Advanced Composite Material Characterization laboratory, and an advanced composite testing laboratory. Together, these laboratories contain material characterization equipment, composite testing equipment, and modeling workstations.
Additional laboratory equipment includes: JEOL 2000 FX analytical TEM/STEM including EELS and EDS; JEOL 840 analytical SEM, including EBSP, EDS and WDS; Bauch & Lomb SEM; various TEM and SEM specimen preparation techniques including an ion milling machining; Rigaku 3 kw computer controlled x-ray diffratometer; optical image analyzer and metallographic facilities; 4 screw driven and two servohydraulic testing systems; three constant stress creep machines; two Hopkinsons bar high-strain rate deformation systems; Gleeble 1500 Thermo mechanical simulation system; corrosion testing and research facilities; induction melting; casting, rolling, swagging and other fabrication facilities; acoustic emission analysis facilities; wear testing facilities of materials and coating; facilities related to processing and manufacture of polymeric composites, such as MDSC, DMA, TMA, TGA, Rheometer, Thermal conductivity tester, FTIR, Hydraulic Hot Presses, RTM / VARTM, Contact Analyzer, Digital Microscopes, Immersion ultrasonic NDT equipment, Micro Xray CT, Twin Screw Extruder with pelletization, fiber spinning, film and tube drawing dies.
Manufacturing and Production Laboratories
The Manufacturing and Production Laboratories support active research in Robotics, Sensor Technology, System Integration, Automatic Controls, Information Systems, Human-machine Control Systems and Teleoperation. In support of this research, the following laboratories have been developed:
- Computer-Integrated Manufacturing & Automation Laboratory containing seven robots, three CNC machines, 12 personal computers, and six Omron PLCs. It also houses an award-winning computerized manufacturing cell and a number of workstations.
- Human-Computer Interface Laboratory containing virtual-reality facility, CMM machine and supporting computer and software tools.
- Manufacturing Process Research Laboratory containing fusion welding equipment controlled by a robot/PC, equipment for superplastic forming, and additional low-heat input welding equipment for gas turbine repair, build up of worn surfaces, and deposition of wear- and oxidation-resistant coatings.
- Production Simulation Computer Facility houses several workstations with commercial and custom manufacturing systems simulation and production planning software.
- Rapid Prototyping Laboratory specializing in rapid manufacture of multi-purpose models or prototypes for form/fit/function testing, master patterns for secondary processes, fluid flow visualization (excellent optical clarity) or high humidity applications. Prototypes are constructed using a versatile 3D Systems SLA 3500 solid imaging system (Rapid Prototyping System) also referred to as a Stereolithography Apparatus (SLA). The stereolithography process uses an ultra violet laser to cure liquid photo polymer resin into solid shapes directly from digital 3D CAD data (U of M Rapid Prototyping Service).
- Tele-operation & Controls Laboratory housing several robots, ranging from 3 to 7 degrees of freedom on hydraulic and pneumatic actuators, for controls research. Specialized hydraulic test rigs and fault diagnostic equipment is used in this laboratory for tele-operation research.
Additional laboratory facilities include: advanced manufacturing cells under full control of personal computers; SMARTCAM; CADCAM for systems for CNC tool path generation; ICAM/AutoCAM XD for CNC tool path control; QNX multitasked cell control software for CIM/FMS applications; Datamyte motion and time study software; software for image processing applications; a teleoperated hydraulic MK-II Unimate manipulator; an electrically-actuated research robot; a hydraulic test station for force/motion control studies; Electromyography (EMG) and EYE-GAZE Systems; several personal computers with softwares such as Slamsystem, Simon and Cinema, Witness, Promodel, Stella II, I-Thing and CineWorks (for motion analysis).
Thermofluids and Energy Laboratories
The Manufacturing and Production Laboratories support active research in turbulence, computational fluid dynamics and heat transfer modeling, two-phase flow, enhanced and combined heat transfer, supercritical flow, acoustic-wave-propagation, particle motion and accretion in complex flows, alternative energy, droplet and spray vaporization and combustion, and transport phenomena in porous media. In support of this research, the following laboratories have been developed:
- Energy & Combustion Laboratory containing a subsonic wind tunnel for research into liquid jet break-up and atomization, as well as liquid nozzle performance; a high-pressure combustion chamber for research into turbulent combustion; and a gas burner for research into swirling turbulent flows and combustion. Measuring tools include a Laser Doppler Velocimetry system, a high-speed imaging system, and a Particle Image Velocimetry System.
- Supercritical flow and Acoustic-wave-propagation Laboratory containing a NSERC CFI and AECL funded supercritical flow facility with related measurement equipment and an acoustic wave propagation. The facility will provide fundamental understanding of flows relevant to the new generation of Nuclear Reactors.
- Computational Fluid Dynamics and Heat Transfer Laboratory contains several high-performance workstations and several standard PCs with Computational Fluid Dynamics software.
- Multiphase Flow Laboratory contains several fully instrumented multiphase flow test loops.
- The Icing, Wind and Water tunnels are used for a wide range of fundamental and industrial studies. The specialized icing wind tunnel can be controlled to between -40C to 40C and to 35 m/s. A water sprayer allows a full range of ice types to form on test objects. The low turbulence recirculating wind tunnel has been used for a wide range of studies from fundamental turbulence investigations to vibration in power transmission lines. The subsonic wind tunnel is currently used for research into liquid jet break-up. Two water tunnels are in active use: a large scale flow loop suitable for evaluation of flow past and a smaller scale 2.5-m-long low turbulence water tunnel that can be used in a closed loop or open channel configuration. Flow in the wind tunnels is measured using Particle Image Velocimetry (PIV) systems and related software.
- Alternate Energy Laboratory
Additional laboratory facilities include: calibration equipment for temperature measurement and gas and liquid flow rates; Unix workstations and several high-resolution graphics terminals for computational fluid dynamics research; a research apparatus for the measurement of pressure drop and heat transfer in horizontal and inclined ducts of any cross-sectional configuration; a research apparatus for the study of two-phase flow regimes during condensation in horizontal and inclined tubes; a research apparatus for the measurement of flow rates and qualities of two-phase multiple discharge from large stratified regions; a research apparatus for the study of phase separation and pressure drop during two-phase flow in branching junctions; a research apparatus for the measurement of heat transfer, pressure drop and void fraction in two-phase, two-component flow.