The Extreme Tribology & Diagnostics Laboratory is not just a lab for experimentation. We have the capability to not only test and analyze experiments but also have access to high-tech manufacturing tools to build anything we need.
The business end of our lab is the main laboratory where most of the experiments are carried out. It is in a separate room that contains the high-speed tribometer and everything that is required to run it. The room itself is sealed off for testing due to the safety requirements for operation of the machine.
The high speed tribometer is a machine that is capable of accelerating an aluminum armature to Mach speeds in a matter of milliseconds. This tool allow us to gain a better understanding on how high-speeds affect the friction and wear of the projectiles which than can be examined by the rest of the tools in the lab. It is equipped with a whole range of sensors to detect the current and voltage traveling through the tribometer, sensors to detect the acceleration of the test specimen, and an autoloader that allows for the multiple firing of projectiles in a single test. Shown below is a video of the tribometer in action.
In order to fully operate this piece of machinery a slew of other devices are involved to ensure smooth and safe operation. The experiment room of the laboratory consists of a catch tank to successfully catch the fired test specimens so they can be analyzed, a power relay to power the tribometer, a water cooling system to keep it cool, and a DAQ relay that allows for the safe firing of the machine from a different room. It also relays the data from tribometer to show the a whole array of data ranging from projectile acceleration from the voltage profile.
We are not limited to just the high-speed tribometer for testing and have access to a couple different tools such as a CETR: Pin-on-Disc Multi-specimen test system. This device measures the capability for electrical contact. This could be applied to the high-speed tribometer to test how well test-specimens can travel through the tribometer.
We have access to a wide range of manufacturing tools that allows us to create just about anything we need. In the lab there is a work bench where on the fly adjustments and altercations can be made with an on hand there drill press and a standard tool set. The heavy machining though is due in part with the conjunction of the available labs at Georgia Tech. The MARC building has EDM machine capable of precisely cutting out the test pieces, the invention studio has a water jet and laser cutter plus a whole slew of other machining tools, the machining lab in the MRDC with a huge array of drill presses, lathes and a CNC machine. These labs are just some of the few resources that we have at our disposable to be able to accomplish just about anything we need just short of actually just buying the raw material. These resources allow our lab to be independent and capable of doing most things on its own.