Optimization of Stacked Laminated Materials to Increase Stiffness

Photo of Sopeade Lanlehin, Reshan Richards,
Neil (Hoyum) Shaddox, TL Shihab, Adlai (Austin)
Students: Sopeade Lanlehin, Reshan Richards, Neil (Hoyum) Shaddox, TL Shihab, Adlai (Austin)

Sponsor: Dell

Date: Fall 2010

Requirements:
The thickness of the optimized layers must not exceed 1.2mm. Other significant requirements were that the density and cost of the optimized sample not exceed that of die cast magnesium (at 1.73g/cc and $2.45/lb). The recommend laminant must withstand temperatures up to 60°C without shearing.

Problem:
Customers have complained to Dell that its laptop displays flex, which they interpret as a sign of low quality. Our team was tasked with optimizing the choice and dimensions of laminated materials for manufacturing cost, rigidity, and durability to create a display that is stiffer than the current benchmark.

Solution:
We identified all practical combinations of the laminant stack materials using discrete thickness values. We eliminated a number of these options based on weight and cost constraints. We modeled the deflections of the remaining possible stack designs under a constant force using Finite Element Analysis. We compared the samples based on deflection values. We then performed actual force-deflection tests on a batch of laminated materials using an Instron Machine and analyzed the results by plotting stiffness graphs. Based on the results, the combination of materials that is closest to our benchmark stiffness is 0.1mm Aluminum-.5mm Poly Carbonate-.1mm Stainless Steel.

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