Friday, December 5, 2014

Ready, Set, Go! Engineering Athletics

Currently, EYE is working on the final preparations for the December 6th “Engineering Athletics” Saturday Program as the date quickly approaches.  We are finalizing student and teacher volunteers as well as getting excited for the program.  We are also in the later stages of planning the December 13th “All about Engineering” program with Ballard School in South Glens Falls.  We are working with Shen to continue planning their “All about Engineering” event in January.  We have been developing our Sponsor a Young Engineer program, which accepts donations to cover the fee waivers of students who cannot afford to pay for the Saturday Programs themselves.  EYE expects to have a successful turnout at all of these events and we are excited to work with the community and interact with local students.  EYE has continued to support the Dorothy Nolan LEGO club and maintains the goal of becoming a 501(c)3 non-profit organization.

Nitinol Group is Still Doing Their Homework

Over the course of our last several classes, we have continued to reach out to Nitinol professionals
seeking any useful advice they may have. We also researched other types of shape memory
alloys, including Flexinol. These different SMAs (Shape Memory Alloys) are composed of various
metal mixtures.  One model of heat engine we are looking into consists of two different sized gears and a chain made partly of Nitinol that connects them. The linear deformation of the Nitinol
causes the gears to spin. This is known as the VT1 engine. Another model we have
learned about consists of pulleys and belts of Nitinol. One belt of nitinol wraps around two pulleys, one being slightly larger than the other. The temperature differential produces a spinning motion. Several pairs of pulleys are set up in a like and connected by the axes of the pulleys, allowing  constant rotation. Our plan is to continue learning about these as well as other existing models of Nitinol engines in addition to Nitinol itself. We are going to temporarily ignore the application side of the project so we can focus more on the development of an engine.