Masters Theses

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Engineering Science

Major Professor

Dayakar Penumadu

Committee Members

David C. Joy, John D. Landes


Within the scope of this thesis, an experimental system has been designed, developed and manufactured for the determination of the wetting behavior of liquids and polymer melts with solid surfaces (coated and uncoated) at high temperatures (> 200 ºC). The measurement system incorporates a modified Wilhelmy plate technique, using a precision weighing module, a vertical linear stage, custom developed application software using LabView with suitable hardware and a high temperature furnace with thermocouple feedback control. Experiments have been performed and are reported to evaluate the performance of the testing system, using liquids of known wetting properties. A suitable testing procedure based on dynamic Wilhelmy plate theory is proposed, involving investigation of advancing and receding liquid-probe interactive forces and hysteresis loops.

Interfacial wetting and wicking behavior of polystyrene melt with clay based refractory coatings, as used in the lost-foam casting (LFC) process, are presented a function of temperature using this measurement system. Experiments of particular interest were performed for two different types of refractory coating and for polymer melts at processing temperatures between 220°C and 300°C, where they show pronounced viscoelastic behavior. Different variables, obtained from the hysteresis loops, were utilized as quantitative indicators for comparison, including the area under the loop from contact onwards, the slope of advancing and receding lines in the force-displacement domain, the force hysteresis at zero displacement and Fast Fourier Transform (FFT) analysis of the hysteresis loop.

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