Design and construction of multi-variable vortex-ring bubble generator for use in interactive exhibit
Hughes, Cale B.
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The ultimate consequence of the current shortfall of students seeking higher education in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) is a lack of technical professionals trained to operate and maintain complex weapon systems crucial to the defense of this nation. A hands-on interactive exhibit able to capture the imagination and ignite curiosity is a powerful tool to advance the strategic goal of raising the number of students studying these disciplines. Vortex rings are a naturally occurring phenomenon that provides a medium for capturing the attention while providing the opportunity to teach complex subjects related to stable and unstable equilibrium, stochastic systems, and conservation laws. The diaphragm valve designed in this thesis provides the centerpiece for such an exhibition. The valve is capable of producing a broad range of vortex-ring bubbles through adjustment of three variables. The seal pressure, actuating pressure, and cycle time of the triggering solenoid valve each contribute to the type and quality of bubble produced. The behavior of the device through a select range of parameters is presented and future work to produce a fully interactive exhibit is discussed, to include mechanical design, electronic circuitry, and micro-controller coding.
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