A hull for Hoofers

Posted on 02. May, 2013 by in Academic Departments, Issues, Magazine, Mechanical Engineering, Students

Students in boat hullStudents in Kuo K. and Cindy F. Wang Professor of Mechanical Engineering Tim Osswald’s Introduction to Composites Processing (ME 601) course are redesigning a BadgerTech boat for the Hoofers Sailing Club as a lesson in the mechanics of composite resins and process optimization. The students, many of them Hoofers sailing enthusiasts themselves, must infuse the mold with a polymer resin, and a vacuum seal to pull the resin through as it hardens. In the process, they’ll learn to optimize the air flow of the vacuum to ensure the resin flows at the correct rates to ensure a uniformly strong final product. They also will modernize the boat’s shape with the help of CAD software. Osswald says the course, which would have cost more than $10,000 in materials and software, has been entirely paid for by industry and alumni gifts.

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