Date of Award

Fall 1995

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering - (M.S.)

Department

Mechanical Engineering

First Advisor

Kwabena A. Narh

Second Advisor

Rong-Yaw Chen

Third Advisor

Zhiming Ji

Abstract

As part of a joint effort by Cornell University and NJIT to find a replacement for mercury as a pressuring medium for P-V-T devices, we investigated the effect of liquid gallium on four thermoplastics: two semi-crystalline ( high density polyethylene and polypropylene ) and two amorphous ( polystyrene and polymethylmethacrylate ). Test specimens were covered with liquid gallium and held in vacuum oven at temperatures close to their melting points for up to two weeks. Change in weight after treatment with gallium was measured, along with tensile testing and particle analysis using dispersion x-ray spectroscopy. The results are compared with specimens treated under identical conditions but without contact with gallium. The gallium was found to cause no change in the mechanical properties of the polymers tested. Its diffusion into all the polymers was also negligible. These results encourage the use of liquid gallium in place of mercury in various devices.

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