BS in Materials Engineering
Materials Engineering Department
An outdoor earth science museum exhibit was designed for the Exploration Station in Grover Beach, California, and will use the harvesting methods of fog as a clean water resource to educate children. The design of the exhibit has two parts: a 1 m x 1 m static Standard Fog collector for long term fog collection which rises 2 m off the ground, and a mobile six-panel display consisting of six different materials and structures of meshes, all of which could potentially be used in a large scale fog collection setting. The six-panel portion will present the children with a hands-on method of applying “fog” to different meshes and quantify the efficiency of each by measuring the amount of water collected in a trough while using qualitative observations of the collection process. The meshes were chosen during the design process using observational differences in attachment on the surface of the mesh (including droplet size and surface area), the rundown rate, and the final collection. The material types (polymers and steel) were tested with varying sizes of square, diamond and Raschel mesh. Qualitative results for the condensation of the water droplets for square steel and polyvinylchloride mesh showed a small diameter droplet size and high surface tension. The polypropylene Raschel mesh had larger drop size but the water did not bead, implying a lower surface tension. The differences in collection will allow children to see how small changes in design (i.e. material selection and mesh design) can yield large changes in outcome.