Research Team Accomplishments
The current research team has produced new technology and novel industrial solutions in:
- CFD modeling of particulate flows
- CFD modeling of paint delivery sprays
- Detection and defect inspection tehnologies coatings and thin films
- Spray booth airflow, energy, and transfer efficiency
- Effects of electrostatic fields on particulate flows
For the past ten years, Dr. Kozo Saito, TVA Professor of Mechanical Engineering, and the Paint Technology team have developed a new generation of painting tehcnology techniques with higher energy efficiency and environmental friendliness than those currently used on commercial products. The center also draws upon the expertise of faculty from across the College of Engineering and our international collaborators.
The Team’s Completed R4D Includes:
- Invented, designed, and patented the Vortecone in collaboration with Toyota. The Vortecone can be added to conventional painting booths to increase partical capture efficiency. This system is now in use at several Toyota manufacturing facilities.
- Developed in situ inspection systems for locating “holidays” (coating defects) suitable for use in conventional painting booths. Prototype systems are being developed and tested.
- Pioneered work in flame synthesis of carbon nanotubes.
The Team’s In-Process R4D Includes:
- Transferring technology to the automotive sector
- Engineering sustainable coating solutions with reduced environmental impact and energy costs
- Applying lean manufacturing principles to future coatings and surface inspection systems
- Developing strategic direction for sustainable coatings and coating systems
- Transferring technology to non-atuomotive sectors
- Developing in situ inspection systems for marine, industrial, and bridge applications
- Developing particle capture systems for reduced environmental impact of combustion and solids handling applications
The Team’s In-Process Fundamental Research Includes:
- Applying nanotechnology to coatings applications
- Developing nanosystems with unique surface properties – wetting and/or non-wetting
- Developing thin coatings with unique optical properties
- Developing thin coatings with unique mechanical properties
- Developing nanocomposite coatings with unqiue transport properties for improved transfer efficiency and rapid curing
- Developing 3-D imaging of coating applications systems
The Team’s Future Research Direction Includes:
- Research accomplishments, completed research and development projects and in-process research and development research leading toward new directions
- Future work will combine research and development engineering with materials science to find solutions for coating quiality and environmental issues