Into the Lab: Mechanical

Hareesh Tippur, McWane professor in mechanical engineering, has been awarded a three year grant from the National Science Foundation to develop a full-field digital stress gradient sensor that can optically measure small angular deflections of light rays to one thousandth of a degree in transparent structural materials that are subjected to mechanical loads.

Tippur’s new method could contribute towards understanding the mechanical failure of transparent materials under rapid loading conditions due to projectile impact. Tippur also hopes to utilize the sensor for mechanical characterization of a range of other materials such as hydrogels and electronic materials, as well as for the materials’ nondestructive evaluation.

Optical transparency is a common characteristic of solids used in various engineering applications including electronic display covers, automotive windshields, aircraft windows and canopies, hurricane resistant windows, helmet visors and hydrogels, as well as in electronic materials such as silicon that are transparent to certain infrared wavelengths.

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