P17701: ABVI Upcycling: Cotton Insulation
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Detailed Design

Table of Contents

Team Vision for Detailed Design Phase

At the beginning of this previous phase for this project, the team initially planned to acquire more shredded cotton material, build a form, refine test plans by talking to professors, and begin prototyping.

During this phase, the team accomplished most of their goals. The team purchased the necessary materials as well as enough cotton shred to begin prototyping. The team built the prototype form that they will be using to make the prototypes as well. The team met with Professor Stevens about the R-value testing plan and was able to get some contacts for some of the measuring devices needed for the test. Prototyping began and initial tests for burn characteristics were performed.

Progress Report

The team wants to clarify the details, feasibility, and purpose of insulation test plans. This includes thermal performance testing, fire retardancy testing, moisture absorption resistance testing, and a method to test product sag which occurs in industry with current products. The team also aims to establish a logistical plan for how prototypes are made. This involves answering such questions as: Do we spray on the boric acid solution or soak the cotton in the solution? Do we make prototypes custom each time or do we make a batch of the same prototype?

Thus far, the team has continued to work on procuring a significant quantity of shredded cotton. The team has successfully placed an order for 50 pounds which is in transit from Fiber Conversion as of 11/22/16. The team has also constructed a prototype form which will be used to create 12” x 12” x 3.5” thick insulation prototypes. Additionally, the team conducted preliminary feasibility testing of an adhesive spray. The details of that analysis can be found in the prototyping section below. Finally, the team has met with Dr. Rob Stevens, a faculty member in the RIT Mechanical Engineering department. Dr. Stevens had some advice for the team in regards to their thermal performance test plan. The details of that meeting and its outcomes can be found in the test plans section.

Construct “Proof of Concept” Prototype: Team Assignment, week of 11/28 Develop Prototyping Setup Sheet: Lucas Jackling, week of 11/28

Note: This will assist with prototyping and allow the team to capture critical information necessary to duplicate a particular design.

Thus far, the team decided that a 600 pound bale of shredded cotton will not be necessary. Assuming prototypes would be constructed to the same density as the Bonded Logic material, 600 pounds of cotton would amount to over 1000 12” x 12” x 3.5” prototypes! The team has settled on purchasing 50 pounds of material which would allow around 200 of those size prototypes to be produced.

Prototyping, Engineering Analysis, Simulation

50 pounds of shredded denim. Courtesy of Fiber Conversion Inc. Broadalbin, NY. Will be used as bulk material to construct several prototypes

50 pounds of shredded denim. Courtesy of Fiber Conversion Inc. Broadalbin, NY. Will be used as bulk material to construct several prototypes

12" x 12" x 3.5" Prototype Form

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Preliminary Adhesive Testing

As a team, we conducted a preliminary test using the spray adhesive that was purchased and the shredded material samples that were given to us. Both portions of the cotton and synthetic samples were sprayed and agitated, and then left to set for several days. The initial observation made from these samples is that the samples feel like they have too much adhesive and that the adhesive is not spread enough through the product. It should be noted, that all the observations made from these samples are purely qualitative, and can be seen in the table below.

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~ Bond Strength refers to the relative combined tensile strength of the interlaced fibers and the adhesive holding the fibers together.

~ "Fluffiness" refers to the relative density of the product, after the adhesive was applied, the fluff was agitated in an attempt to glue the fibers together more evenly.

~ Roughness refers to how the products feel on the surface, as stated above the adhesive was likely applied to heavily and unevenly, this resulted in clumps and mats of adhesive and fluff surrounded by relatively untouched sections of fluff.

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Initial Prototype Details

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FR Treatment Excel File

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Prototype 1 Excel File

Prototype Setup Details Blank Template

Preliminary Burning Characteristics Testing

A test was performed to get a qualitative representation of flame spread and smoke development.

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~ Flame Spread refers to the speed that an initial flame engulfed the rest of the product. The denim spread the flame significantly faster than the synthetic mix.

~ Smoke Developed refers to the amount of smoke that was produced while the product was actively burning as well as after it was only smoldering.

~ Flame Strength refers to the materials tendency to keep burning.

While the specimens with adhesive on them did show a lower rate of flame spread, it is more likely that the compressed nature of the specimens had more of an effect than the actual adhesive. The adhesive did make the specimens extremely hard to extinguish.

Preliminary Burning Tests

Prototype 1

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~ The setup sheet seen above was created in order to document the steps taken in creating an insulation prototype.

Bill of Material (BOM)

Below is the Bill of Materials that the team made taking every level of the construction into effect. The price may be lower if we are able to use some of the resources RIT has to offer. This BOM includes all of our test plans that will be described below as well.

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Related Document: Bill of Materials

Test Plans

Sound Transmission Test Plan

Risk Assessment

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Related Document: Risk Assessment

Design Review Materials

The documents below summarize the Preliminary Detailed Design Review with customer:

MSD I Gate Review

A gate review was held with the team guide on Tuesday, 12/6/2016. The purpose of this review was to summarize project activities completed during MSD I, and to assess the team's readiness to enter MSD II in the spring semester.

Notes from this gate review can be found at the link below:

MSD I Gate Review Notes

MSD I Team Self-Critique

Spring Semester Kick-Off Action Items

Current Status

At this point, the team has successfully created a thermal insulation prototype, as seen above. The next steps are to engage in an iterative process of prototyping, where design variables such as boric acid concentration in the FR solution as well as the method of binding and waterproofing the product are modified. Further development of tests to quantitatively describe and compare the effectiveness of different product formulations is required. The goal is for prototyping and testing to get to the point where major issues such as product sag (also a potential market differentiator) can be addressed and solved. To this end, the bullet points below represent the major project activities for the beginning of MSD II. The link below is a more detailed document which defines some specific goals.

Prototyping/Testing Goals

MSD Deliverable/Admin Goals

Team Plans for MSD II Kickoff

Plans for next phase

Mitch Goepel - 3 Week Plan

Lucas Jackling - 3 Week Plan

Denny Crenshaw - 3 Week Plan

Sam Kon - 3 Week Plan


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