Date of Award

7-2009

Degree Name

MS in Engineering - Materials Engineering

Department

Materials Engineering

Advisor

Linda Vanasupa

Abstract

Rapid battery exchange systems were built for an electric van and pedal assist electric bike as a method of eliminating the need to recharge the vehicles batteries in order to increase the feasibility of using electric propulsion as a method of efficient student transportation. After selecting proper materials it was found that the systems would need a protective coating to ensure consistent operation. 1020 cold rolled steel samples coated with multiple thicknesses of vinyl resin paint, epoxy resin paint, and powder coating were subjected to environmental wear tests in order to determine if the type and thickness of common protective coatings has an effect on the durability of the system over its lifetime. The tests consisted of a 2400 hour extended salt spray test, coating delamination testing, and modified impact testing. The extended salt spray test, delamination test, and deformation tests of the coatings all found that the type of coating and the thickness of the coating to have a significant effect on the measured outputs. The significant effect shown in the deformation test could not determine the proper material without the aid of microscopic studies of the surface geometry change due to the induced deformation. Powder coating the rapid battery exchange systems would result in proper performance if coupled with epoxy paint for repairs. Testing of the Rapid battery exchange system indicated that the use of mechanical aiming was not suitable for the application, a further adaptation of the system indicated that the system may be better suited toward personal bicycles as there was a large increase in transportation efficiency.