Luke Hemenetz '08 Finalist for Engineering Award
Posted April 17, 2012
Congratulations to Luke Hemenetz ’08 on being named a finalist in Manufacturing Science and Engineering Conference Student Design Competition. The competition provides the manufacturing engineering community with fresh new perspectives on design, and create a forum for students to share innovative ideas. Finalists give an oral presentation of their projects at the International Manufacturing Science and Engineering Conference (MSEC) June 4-8, 2012 at The University of Notre Dame.
Hemenetz’s paper was titled "Temperature Control in Electrically-Assisted Metal Forming" and the entry was part of a two person team with a fellow student at Northwestern University. For those with an interest in engineering, here is Luke’s description of what the two partners were investigating…
"In the field of manufacturing, engineers are constantly looking to make manufacturing processes more efficient. One method of metal forming that has recently received some attention is that of electrically-assisted metal forming. Trioskii found in 1969 that passing high levels of electric current can reduce the stress in a material. More recently, Roth et. al. found that passing current through a metal during forming can increase the formability of metal and reduce forming forces. However, a fundamental question that has always remained is whether the forming effects were due to the associated Joule heating, or an additional physical interaction between the applied current density and the material.
A key in answering this question is to decouple the associated Joule heating and thermal- mechanical behavior from any additional electro-mechanical behavior while the specimen is being formed under an electrical charge. A typical method of accomplishing this is by cooling the tested specimens during experiments. Many researchers have accomplished this by either using liquid nitrogen  or by forced air cooling . In the case of air cooling, there is typically no temperature control beyond setting the flow of an air supply to get a desired steady state temperature.
For our experimental system design, we wanted to research this question further and truly see how much of an impact Joule heating had on forming forces and formability. In order to conduct this research, a new set-up was needed with which the Joule heating temperature can be controlled during a simple electrically-assisted metal forming process. This report details the design of a temperature control system for electrically-assisted metal forming. The system design is composed of two important parts: 1) an electrically-assisted compression setup and 2) the air-cooling temperature control system. As a result, an electrically-assisted mechanical compression test can be conducted along with precise temperature control in order to clearly determine decoupled thermal-mechanical and electrical-mechanical behavior."
Hemenetz graduates from Northwestern in June with dual degrees, a Bachelors of Science and a Master’s of Science in Mechanical Engineering. After graduating, he begins a position at the Boeing Company as a Mechanical Design Engineer at their space exploration design center in Houston, Texas.