Research Laboratories

The Department of Mechanical & Industrial Engineering has developed the  state-of-the-art facilities to perform research in the fields of Fluid and Thermal Sciences, Mechanical Systems Engineering, Computer-Aided Design, Materials Science and Engineering, and High Aspect Ratio Microelectromechanical Eystems.

Heat Transfer Laboratory

Three low-speed wind tunnels are available in this laboratory to permit heat transfer experiments. A water tunnel is also available for flow visualization. The laboratory is equipped with two laser Doppler velocimetry systems, a constant temperature/constant current anemometer system, and other instrumentation for heat transfer, velocity, and pressure measurements.

Two-Phase Flow Research Laboratory

Two-phase, gas-liquid duct flow, and sub-merged jet experimentation facilities, as well as a spray-nozzle characterization facility, are available in this laboratory. The laboratory is equipped with a Phase-Doppler velocimetry and particle analysis system with phase discrimination capabilities, a video imaging and image processing system, and computer-driven data acquisition systems.

Rotating Mass/Heat Transfer and Flow Research Laboratory

This laboratory houses a facility for experimentation in rotating channels closely modeling those used for the internal cooling of gas turbine blades, with high Reynolds and Rosby number capabilities. It is equipped for highly resolved mass/heat transfer measurements using the naphthalene sublimation technique and for local velocity and temperature measurements using hot-wire anemometry. The equipment available also includes a high accuracy and resolution profilometer, and a computer data acquisition system.

Spray Combustion Research Laboratory

A full scale, gas-turbine spray-combustion model with high pressure and flow capabilities is available in this laboratory. It can operate with a variety of liquid fuels and is designed to allow active (acoustic) and passive forcing of the nozzle flows and the use of nonintrusive flow and combustion diagnostics. State-of-the-art planar laser induced fluorescence, phase Doppler velocimetry, and particle analysis systems are installed. A smaller scale model gas turbine combustor is also available for atmospheric pressure tests. A cold-flow facility is available for fluid dynamic studies of noncircular coaxial nozzles.

Computational Fluid Dynamics Laboratory

The CFD Lab houses several workstations (Digital ALFA/SGI) and Pentium PCs, and is dedicated to the development and application of CFD software. Codes developed in-house include Reynolds-averaged-Navier Stokes solvers, direct numerical simulation codes, and large eddy simulation codes. Applications of interest include turbine blade cooling, stirred tank reactors, gas turbine combustors, and heat exchangers.

Turbine Heat Transfer Laboratory

The Turbine Heat Transfer Lab houses several state-of-the art facilities for heat transfer measurements of turbine components. The lab has a high temperature, high-pressure combustion facility for hot engine condition measurements, and ambient temperature. High speed flow four blade cascade, transient liquid crystal imaging system for detailed heat transfer measurements, and a 32-point digital pressure measurement system are some of the other available facilities. Several experimental rigs for internal heat transfer and film cooling measurements have also been established.

Microscale Heat Transfer Laboratory

This lab consists of: A high temperature Ellipsometer system equipped with light sources and detectors covering the deep UV - VIS and IR part of the spectrum; and Reflectometer systems for studies of absorptance, reflectance and transmittance of materials. Several lasers are used in this lab for optical diagnostics.

Subsonic Wind Tunnel

A subsonic wind tunnel is available in the department for research in low-speed aerodynamics. The wind tunnel has a test section of 2' x 2' x 8' and is capable of velocities from 5 to 60 m/s. This facility is equipped with a variety of instrumentation including a laser Doppler velocimetry system, a particle imaging velocimetry system, and a laser-based flow visualization system.

Aeromechanical Laboratory

The laboratory specializes in aeronautical, hydraulics, and fluid mechanics research. It is equipped with a high-pressure air supply system that includes a 150 HP compressor providing 475 CFM air at 290 PSIG. After passing through a drier, the air is stored in a 2,650-gallon tank with a maximum pressure capacity of 350 PSI. An electric heater is available to provide heated air of 500 oF at a flow rate of 2,250 lb/hr. Two programmable controllers provide precise control of flow rates. The facility includes a 26x17x15 anechoic chamber for aero-acoustic measurements and a separate control room. Microphones and flow diagnostic systems are used to study supersonic and subsonic jets mixing and noise. A supersonic tunnel will be available in the near future. A simulator of a hydraulic system of oil well drilling is available for detailed studies of flow, pressure, and erosion patterns during drilling operations. An automated computer-controlled system allows precise measurements of water jets. The facility is also equipped for experimentation of flow-structures interactions, aerodynamics of high-angle-of-attack flight, and vortex dynamics.

Interactive Modeling Research Laboratory

This is a specialized research facility for computer-aided design (CAD) and interactive modeling research. The activities focus on the application of high performance computing and graphics workstations to a variety of engineering problems, including fundamental geometric modeling, biomedical modeling/imaging, and scientific visualization.

Biomechanics Laboratory

Facilities have been installed to support research on knee joint biomechanics. A six-axis ultrasound scanner with a real-time control system is available for mapping articular surface geometry and cartilage thickness. Two graphics workstations are available for visualization of data and computation. A micro-probe test station for cartilage evaluation will be added in the near future.

Surface Modification and Materials Synthesis Laboratory

This laboratory houses a dual deposition/plasma processing system, capable of plasma and ion beam assisted deposition and processing (e.g., nitriding), for the development of thin film coatings and composite surface layers. A separate thin-film deposition system is also available.

Wear and Friction Laboratory

A computer-controlled tribometer equipped with the appropriate software and environmental cell is installed in this laboratory for wear and friction testing, as well as for determination of coefficient of friction in air and in aqueous environments.

High Temperature Materials Laboratory

Mechanical properties of materials can be studied using a servo hydraulic testing facility equipped with suitable furnaces and control systems. A system computer analyzes the data.  A basic tester is available for creep studies at high temperatures.  Also equipment is available for thermal expansion studies.  Some of these facilities are located at Southern University nearby.

Composite Materials and Composite Piping Laboratory

The composite materials and piping laboratory within LSU and Southern University has various research facilities. An Instron MTS 810 machine is available for mechanical property characterizations of composite materials. The lab also has a TestStarII software package and an environmental chamber to conduct tests automatically under various environmental conditions. An available Instron Dynatup Model 8250 HV drop weight impact tester can automatically conduct low to medium velocity impact tests. A Nicolet digital oscilloscope and personal computers with analog/digital conversion boards are available. In addition to the hardware, several software packages with advanced numerical analysis capabilities, including COSMOS/M finite element analysis package, are also available. There is also a Hopkinson Bar facility for undertaking high strain rate testing.  The investigators have access to EDO Specialty Plastics, located in Baton Rouge, with a manufacturing area of more than 60,000 square feet and an additional 100,000 square feet for storage and fabrication. This plant also has the capability of manufacturing various composite structures and various testing equipment for the composite pipe and many state-of-the-art composites piping software.

Laboratory for Processing of Non-equilibrium Materials

This laboratory houses a SPEX ball mill for processing of nanocrystalline and amorphous metallic alloy powders, a hot furnace pressing system (Thermal Technology, 10 ton capacity, up to 1700° C, with ambient control) for consolidation of powders into bulk samples, and a differential scanning calorimeter (Perkin Elmer DSC-7) for studies of phase transformations and thermodynamic properties of metastable materials produced.

Materials Characterization Center

This centralized multi-user facility is open to the entire university, and dedicated to the characterization of materials using modern analytical instrumentation. Major instruments housed within the facility include a variable-pressure scanning electron microscope (Hitachi S-3600N), a 200kV analytical transmission electron microscope (JEOL JEM2010) equipped with an X-ray spectrometer (EDAX Genesis), a combined X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy/Auger electron spectroscopy system with ion-beam depth profiling and scanning capabilities (Kratos AXIS165), a depth-sensing optical interference microscope (Wyko NT1000). Other analytical instruments include an X-ray diffractometer and a differential scanning calorimeter. Standard specimen preparation tools available include an ion miller (Gatan 691PIPS) and a dimple grinder (Gatan 656), as well as other sectioning and polishing equipment and optical microscopes. In association with LSU Center for Advanced Microstructures and Devices (CAMD), an atomic force microscope (Digital Instruments Dimension 3100) and a nano-indentation/nano-scratch device (Hysitron Triboscope) are available, as well as various X-ray spectroscopy measurements, such as Extended X-ray Absorption Fine Structure (EXAFS) and X-ray Absorption Near Edge Structure (XANES) spectroscopy.

Microstystems Engineering Laboratory

The Microsystems Engineering Team (mSET) Laboratory is an 800 square foot facility that allows students in mechanical engineering to perform many of the processes associated with high aspect ratio micromachining and microfabrication. These processes include electroplating, bonding of photoresist to conductive substrates, evaporation of metal on to substrates and/or resist, development of resist layers, and characterization. The laboratory includes two electroplating stations, a source of DI water, an 8-ft. fume hood, a class 10,000 clean tent, profilometer, a Nikon M, 11 microscopes with video output to a computer, chemical storage, a resist press, and other support equipment.   In the near future, additional equipment, including a workstation for FEM analysis and a programmable furnace, will be installed.

Atomistic Materials Modeling and Simulation Laboratory

This laboratory is equipped with five Linux (3.0 GHz, 1GB) workstations and a 32 nodes Beowulf cluster with Gigabit Ethernet for parallel computing.  Molecular Dynamics, Monte Carlo and mesoscopic simulations are used in various materials modeling studies such as: grain growth, thermal stability and deformation in nanocrystalline metals and ceramics; thin film growth and coarsening, and in simulations of small molecules permeation across phospholipid membranes.