Corrosion in Power Industry
Every year the cost of maintaining, repairing and inspecting steam generators at U.S. plants collectively exceeds $100 million. Relatively comparable costs are estimated in other countries like France, Canada, etc. An important factor which contributes to the cost of maintaining steam generators is the presence of deposits on the secondary side of the heat exchangers. We are interested in characterization of iron oxides and hydroxides that form in power industry. Our goal is to minimize materials wastage and improve efficiency of power plants through reduction of fouling and deposit formation. An ongoing research project is currently underway and Texas Utilities (TXU) is the sponsoring organization.
Thin Film Deposition
Wear resistant coatings including diamond and cubic boron nitride are highly attractive for tool applications. Our laboratory has been involved in hot filament chemical vapor deposition (HFCVD) of diamond and deposition of cubic boron nitride by e-beam evaporation methods on WC-Co and Si substrates. Material Science and Technology Laboratory (MSTL) at Engineering Technology department offers an Ultra High Vacuum (UHV) e-beam evaporator with four pockets that are fully computer controlled allowing deposition of up to four elements simultaneously or sequentially. Metallic films of nanometer and micrometer thicknesses are being deposited for sensors, MEMS, and corrosion protection applications.
Nanotube, Nanocages, and Nanowires
These promising materials that are chemically stable and provide enough electron emission to be used as display materials in flat panel displays. Our goal is to develop thin film deposition technology that is cost effective for large area deposition using conventional methods. These materials are also attractive from point of view of energy storage using fuel cells and research is underway in developing suitable materials. Both undergraduate and graduate students are involved in this project.
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