Date of Award

2015

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Chemical Engineering (MSChE)

Department

Chemical Engineering

First Advisor

Michael Greenfield

Abstract

There is a need for the development and trial of an accessible, robust procedure that can be followed to solve polymer-penetrant diffusion problems associated with marine hardware failures, incorporating some of the complexities abounding in these types of systems. The goals of this guidance are to instruct design engineers in the appropriate methods to apply when predicting diffusion phenomena as well as to assist them when selecting materials for diffusion-susceptible or -dependent applications, especially those related to marine hardware. A straightforward step-by-step flowchart tool is presented to accomplish this instruction to average scientists and engineers not deeply versed in the specifics of polymer-penetrant diffusion. The tool is based on fundamentals of mass transport from literature and is broken into 3 large steps: 1, forming the problem; 2, identifying the math; 3, applying the solution method. Auxiliary relevant resources for quantitative solution of the diffusion problems are compiled and presented to help users find tabulated values of coefficients and parameters from the resulting solution equations. The development of the flowchart tool and worked-through diffusion problem examples are presented to demonstrate its origin, use, and the scope of the effort required in order to develop solutions for mass transfer problems. Polymer barrier properties can be improved through the addition of nanoclay platelet fillers; this subject is presented in some detail to illustrate complexities of real-world transport problems and connect their origins to the fundamental steps of the flowchart tool developed herein.

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