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MAE PhD Defense – James Lowrie

January 12 @ 10:00 am - 12:00 pm

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TITLE: Integration of Metal Forming Process and Real Time Lubricant Formulation Utilizing Hydrodynamic Cavitation

ADVISOR: Dr. Gracious Ngaile

DATE & TIME: Friday, January 12, 2018 at 10AM

LOCATION: EB3 – 3115



A more robust and cost efficient metal forming manufacturing process chain could be realized if inefficiencies due to the separation between the metal forming plants and the lubricant formulators could be reduced or eliminated.  This can be accomplished by combining the fields of metal working lubricant formulation and sonochemistry to achieve real time formulation of the lubricant at the point of use via cavitation.  In addition to reducing the number of steps in the process chain, this type of real time formulation would allow for the creation of entirely new lubricants, potentially, with superior characteristics.  Furthermore, this strategy can result in process enhancements, such as imparting cost effective surface texturing on the workpiece or improving mixing and dispersion of the lubricant.  A mathematical model has been derived that shows how this type of cavitation may be produced at the workpiece surface during a hydrodynamic drawing process.  Additionally, equipment has been developed so that the chemical and physical effects of hydrodynamic cavitation on the lubricant can be determined for various cavitation conditions.  This device was used to test the dispersive and particle break up effects of hydrodynamic cavitation on water and canola oil with suspended nano and micro particles.  The results of these tests were evaluated using SEM, ring compression tests, and ball penetration tests and were compared to the traditional method of formulating these lubricants (i.e. ultrasonic irradiation).  It was found that cavitation that was produced by hydrodynamic cavitation in the developed equipment could be an effective substitute for ultrasonic cavitation produced in an ultrasonic bath, while at the same time being a much more cost effective means of producing lubricants on the industrial scale.



James Lowrie is a North Carolina native and grew up in a rural area outside of Winston-Salem where he began to love learning about math, science, and the natural world.  He graduated from the mechanical engineering program at North Carolina State University (NCSU) in December 2012 and joined the Advanced Metal Forming and Tribology Laboratory at NCSU in January of the following year.  Here he learned about the analytical, numerical, and experimental techniques used to investigate metal forming processes such as forging, extrusion, and hydroforming.  James has had the opportunity to give talks at several international conferences, including the Japan Society for Technology of Plasticity’s (JSTP) International Seminar on Precision Forging, the International Conference on Micro Manufacturing (ICOMM), the North American Manufacturing Research Conference (NAMRC), and the Manufacturing Science and Engineering Conference (MSEC).  Additionally, he has published six full length articles in journals including the Journal of Manufacturing Processes, the Journal of Engineering Manufacture, and the Journal of Micro and Nano Manufacturing. James is committed to advancing the science of manufacturing to raise standards of living and protect the integrity of the natural world.


January 12
10:00 am - 12:00 pm