High Pressure Hybrid Rocket Test Bed with PIV System
This laboratory is equipped to supplement the various design electives as needed.
A solid fuel and gas fuel combustion experimental bench is under development. It will
be used as a demonstration unit in thermal sciences lab.
Materials Test SystemThe Composite Materials Research Laboratory conducts research
in composite materials with broad applications for agile manufacturing, energy conservation,
and technological advancement. This laboratory is equipped to give faculty and students
access to the latest technology in testing, data acquisition, and analysis equipment.
The laboratory features several devices to measure material response to temperature
extremes, impact, vibration and loading fatigue.
This laboratory is used to conduct investigations on low-temperature phenomena. It
includes a test rig that is composed of a vacuum-jacketed, 50-gallon, test tank equipped
with two side-view ports and a cryogenic pump with a variable frequency drive. This
laboratory is also equipped with various data acquisition systems for pressure and
low temperature measurements in cryogenic fluids. In addition, a 2-D laser Doppler
anemometer is available to measure two-phase flow velocities and vapor film thickness
under unsteady conditions. A two-dimensional Particle Image Velocimeter (PIV) is used
to measure instantaneous velocity fields in various fluids including cryogenic liquids.
Two wind tunnels are available for aerothermal research. The smaller wind tunnel delivers
5,000 cfm flow at about 80 mph speed.
The larger wind tunnel is equipped with changeable test sections, mainly for gas turbine
research. It can provide 12,000 CFM airflow with a top wind speed of 91 mph.
The speed of the wind tunnel is controlled by a constant-torque, variable frequency
motor controller. The temperature of the wind tunnel can be cooled at a rate of 4.5°C/min
(8°F/min) down to 10°C (50°F) and be heated at a rate of 0.77°C/min (1.4°F/min) up
to 60°C (140°F).
The data acquisition systems include an automatic traversing system, a four-channel
hot wire anemometry, a 96-channel thermocouple acquisition system, and a 288-channel
pressure scanning system.
The X-ray characterization laboratory was developed for materials characterization
and non-destructive testing. Instrumentation includes a Philips X-ray diffractometer
with dual optics for conventional powder diffraction measurements of phase identification,
and grazing incidence optics for studying surfaces and thin films. The instrument
is currently being utilized in research on the development of new alloys and on new
coatings and surface treatments for corrosion and wear resistance. A Skyscan 1072
high resolution X-ray micro-CT system is used for non-destructive testing on small
parts. The instrument works in a manner similar to a medical CT scanner, but with
higher resolution (down to a few microns). Research with the micro-CT includes studies
of the development of microcracks in composite materials and 3-D characterization
of micro-parts fabricated by X-ray lithography methods.
This laboratory contains equipment to conduct various experiments for ENME 3716 -
Fluid Mechanics Laboratory. Experiments are set-up for the measurement of fluid properties,
determination of critical Reynolds number, fluid meters, pipe friction, open-channel
flow, nozzle characteristics, pressure distribution around a circular cylinder, and
center of pressure on a submerged plane surface. The laboratory also complements the
lecture course ENME 3720 - Fluid Mechanics. A digital PC-based data acquisition system
is incorporated into the Subsonic Wind Tunnel setup. A second subsonic wind tunnel
demonstration has been constructed that incorporates a Hot-Wire Anemometer for velocity
This laboratory is equipped to support ENME 2711 - Structures and Properties of Materials
Laboratory. It contains equipment such as polishing wheels, microscopes, creep testers,
materials testing equipment, environmental chamber, hardness testing machine, and
ultrasonic nondestructive evaluation equipment. A metallograph, which was obtained
primarily as a research tool, is also used in this lab. The laboratory is adequately
equipped to conduct experiments in stress concentration, creep transition, temperature,
heat treatment, jominy tests, cooling curves, brazing and soldering, weld defects
This laboratory can be used to support ENME 1781 - Computer-Aided Engineering Graphics.
The laboratory features a Thermojet solid object printer that allows users to fabricate
a physical model or prototype directly from a 3D CAD file. Reverse engineering capabilities
are available through the use of a non-contact 3D laser scanner. The resulting scanned
data can then be modified and the design improved by the use of a force-feedback haptic
Low Pressure Combustion Setup with PC Based Data Acquisition System
This laboratory is equipped to support ENME 3711 - Thermal Sciences Laboratory. It
contains equipment for performing experiments in conduction, natural convection, radiation,
heat exchangers, air conditioning/heat pumps. This laboratory provides students with
experience in thermodynamics and heat transfer. Much of the equipment has been designed
and constructed in-house. A new PC-based data acquisition and analysis system has
been incorporated into an experimental bench that is used to study the effectiveness
of cross-flow air to liquid heat exchangers. Digital data acquisition systems are
also used in other experimental setups. A natural convection demonstration setup is
under construction that will use the PIV system for the measurements of buoyancy driven
This laboratory is equipped to supplement the course ENCE 2311 - Mechanics of Materials
Laboratory. Major equipment in this laboratory includes a 120K Tinius Olsen Universal
Hydraulic Testing Machine, a Tinius Olsen Torsion Tester (10000in-kip), a Scott Beam
Tester, a Rockwell Hardness tester, and a Tinius Olsen Wire Tester (1000lb). Experiments
conducted as part of ENCE 2311 include: Verification of the UHTM, standard tensile
tests of steel and other metal specimens, torsion test of steel and other metal specimens,
compression tests of concrete cylinders, direct shear test of steel bar, beam bending
test, column buckling tests, metal hardness tests, and wire tensile tests.
Instructional Support Laboratories
This laboratory is equipped to supplement the course ENME 2785 - Introduction to Computer-Aided
Manufacturing Methods. The equipment in this laboratory includes a CNC 3-axis vertical
milling machine and a CNC turning center (lathe). A computer is dedicated to this
laboratory, which is connected to each of the CNC machines. This setup enables students
to design machine parts on the computer using available CAD/CAM software packages
in other laboratories and then transfer the data to the computer to generate the instructions
for the CNC units, which machines the parts to the programmed specifications.
This laboratory is equipped to supplement the various design electives as needed.
They are also used in special topics courses, primarily for the design and construction
of the mini-baja vehicle, the moon buggy, and the various solar energy based competition
This laboratory is used for classroom instruction for ENME 1781 - Computer-Aided Engineering
Graphics. It is well equipped with twenty-four (24) computer stations. Each station
has AutoCAD installed to assist students in gaining experience in engineering graphics
design. This laboratory is also available to mechanical engineering students who are
taking courses in the area of computer-aided engineering.
This laboratory supports the analytical/numerical and graphical activities of advanced
undergraduate students and graduate students. It consists of PC-based and UNIX-based
workstations with available software including: FORTRAN, MATHEMATICA, TECPLOT, CFX,
PATRAN, NASTRAN, SINDA and ANSYS. This laboratory allows students to perform routine
homework assignments or assist in performing various research projects.
General (Support) Facilities
The machine shop has various machines such as: a vertical milling machine, an engine
lathe, a precision engine lathe, a drill press, two band saws and various other tools
for manufacturing parts. Undergraduate students who are involved with student projects
such as Mini-Baja have access to the shop.