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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: GR/A00520/01
Principal Investigator: Drinkwater, Professor B
Other Investigators:
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
Department: Mechanical Engineering
Organisation: University of Bristol
Scheme: Advanced Fellowship (Pre-FEC)
Starts: 01 October 2000 Ends: 30 September 2005 Value (£): 204,672
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No relevance to Underpinning Sectors
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Summary on Grant Application Form
All surfaces are rough at a microscopic level. When real surfaces touch, contact occurs at the peaks of the surface roughness. As yet there is no robust experimental method to measure the degree of solid-solid contact. The percentage contact is the key parameter governing the wear, life and efficiency of rolling and sliding components. The applicant has shown in previous work that ultrasonics can be used to measure useful parameters of the solid-solid contact such as the contact stiffness. The first part of this proposal addresses the problem of the interaction of high frequency ultrasound (wavelength comparable to the gaps and contacts) with solid-solid interfaces. This work will underpin and extend existing research projects managed by the applicant. As the frequency increases, so the ultrasound will become more sensitive to the precise shape, size and distribution of the gaps and contacts. A better understanding of these interactions will be gained which will allow more quantitative information about the interface to be extracted. This information would allow workers in tribology to improve current understanding of contact and wear mechanisms. The second, and more speculative, part of the proposal aims to study the interaction of high power ultrasound with solid-solid interfaces. As well as the possibility of extracting more information about the state of the interface, a further reason for doing this is to improve the detectability of `kissing' bonds in adhesive joints. They are a class of adhesive weakness where the bond `appears' good but in fact has little or no strength. They currently cannot be detected ultrasonically. As the power of the ultrasound input to the joint increases it has been suggested by a number of authors that the interface will start to behave in a non-linear manner. The extent of this non-linearity could then be used to characterise the integrity of the bond. These mechanisms will be studied and this poorly understood topic placed on a solid scientific foundation. Although this second part of the proposal is more speculative, if it enables improved detection of weak bonding in adhesive joints the benefits to users of adhesives (in particular in safety critical applications) would be enormous.
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Organisation Website: http://www.bris.ac.uk