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Study aims to manufacture and characterize magnetic metamaterials for the remote detection of strains on tires used in the mining industry.

To design an in built strain monitoring system for tires used in the mining sector that will detect in real time complications like punctures and incipient glitches so that adequate maintenance can be scheduled, is the main objective of a R+D project currently being developed by academics of the Federico Santa María Technical University.

To design an in built strain monitoring system for tires used in the mining sector that will detect in real time complications like punctures and incipient glitches so that adequate maintenance can be scheduled, is the main objective of a R+D project currently being developed by academics of the Federico Santa María Technical University.

 

The research arose in response to a recurrent problem in the mining industry related to the lack of capabilities to forecast breaking strains of rims, thus jeopardizing the safety of workers and the scheduled use of vehicles transporting tons of minerals daily.

This study seeks the early detection of these type of glitches in the tires –which often measure up to 4.3 meters in diameter – to avoid more catastrophic and extreme damages, like an explosion that could be a life threatening accident for workers standing nearby.

The proposed system is based on the incorporation of ferromagnetic micro threads inside the tire´s rubber. Through this incorporation, the micro threads’ magnetic properties change according to the strain to which they are being subjected, thus providing information about the wear and tear of the tires and their capacity to resist additional strain when measuring the dispersion of microwaves, transforming the rubber into a metamaterial.

During the project’s first stage, a proof of concept will be conducted, which involves calculating the strain on the tire’s rubber through the measurement of electromagnetic waves. To that end, experimental techniques and computational simulations are being developed that pretend to optimize the distribution of micro threads on the metamaterial – consisting of rubber with incorporated micro threads - and characterize the absorption response of microwaves when submitted to various types of strains.

Meanwhile, the installation of the detecting system will be by means of a device that will show the variation of the microwave absorption caused by the change of the system’s magnetic response in presence/absence of internal and external strains. All of this will be done through the purchase of various generation and microwave detection equipment.

This project explores an innovative research niche, which also contemplates a major economic aspect when working with a smart material or metamaterial of low complexity. This way, a technological solution is delivered at an acceptable cost with high impact on the mining industry, which is key to our country.

Additionally, taking into account that the systems to be studied involve advance knowledge of magnetism, manufacturing of polymers, high frequency engineering and computational modelling, this project becomes a multidisciplinary study.

For the proper development of this project, the researchers involved proceeded to purchase relevant equipment to properly manufacture and characterize magnetic metamaterials, which will be finally implemented inside a tire. Afterwards, via a system of antennas, remote strain measurement will be conducted to read its internal state, which will be compared to the response obtained from different levels of strain so that it can forecast risk levels.

It is worth mentioning that this investigation – financed by the IDeA Program in Two Stages of Conicyt – also has the participation of Christopher Cooper of the Department of Mechanics Engineering as Alternate Director, as well as the researchers Cristian Acevedo and Felipe Chacana.

Escrito por Super User 27 · Sep · 2017

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