Forming tables are used with stainless steel wire mesh conveyor belts to produce variety of products. The forming tables will typically run continuously for several days, with some hours of scheduled downtime for maintenance, cleaning and part replacement after several weeks of operation. The wire mesh conveyor belts show large variation in their remaining life due to associated variations in their nominal thicknesses. Currently the industry is dependent on seasoned operators to determine the replacement time for the wire mesh formers. The drawback of this approach is inconsistency in judgements made by different operators and lack of data knowledge that can be used to develop decision making system that will be more consistent with wire mesh life prediction and replacement time. In this study, diagnostic measurements about the health of wire mesh former is investigated and developed. The wire mesh quality characteristics considered are thermal measurement, tension property, gage thickness, and wire mesh wear. The results show that real time thermal sensor and wear measurements would provide suitable data for the estimation of wire mesh failure, therefore, can be used as a diagnostic parameter for developing structural health monitoring (SHM) system for stainless steel wire mesh formers.
A nanoporous polyvinylidene Fluoride (PVDF) thin film was developed for applications in energy harvesting, medical surgeries, and industrial robotics. This sponge-like nanoporous PVDF structure dramatically enhanced the piezoelectric effect because it yielded considerably large deformation under a small force. A casting-etching method was adopted to make films, which is effective to control the porosity, flexibility, and thickness of the film. The films with various Zinc Oxide (ZnO) mass fractions ranging from 10 to 50% were fabricated to investigate the porosity effect. The piezoelectric coefficient d<sub>33</sub> as well as dielectric constant and loss of the films were characterized. The results were analyzed and the optimal design of the film with the right amount of ZnO nanoparticles was determined.