Open Access Te Herenga Waka-Victoria University of Wellington
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Measurements of Magnetic Fiber Dynamics in Magnetic Fields using Optical and Electrical Techniques

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posted on 2021-12-08, 08:32 authored by Swan, Shaun

The fabrication of piezoelectric ceramics (Piezoceramics) currently relies on a costly dice and fill process to create an array of aligned pillars. These pillars act as waveguides, improving the performance of the piezoceramic wafers over the bulk piezoceramic alone. It is theorised the creation of aligned pores in the piezoceramic may exhibit the same waveguiding effect, removing the need for the dice and fill process.  A technique for creating these pores is in development at Callaghan Innovation, New Zealand, where nickel coated carbon fibers are added to the ceramic slurry, aligned with a magnetic field, and attracted to the bottom of a mold. The number of fibers and degree of alignment dictate the waveguiding effectiveness and hence the performance of the piezoceramic. Additionally the time taken for fibers to form an array in the bottom of the mold dictate the piezoceramics fabrication time. Thus it is crucial to be able to measure the alignment and magnetically assisted sedimentation of these fibers in-situ. However the ceramic slurry is opaque, hence the optical methods traditionally can not be implemented.  This thesis describes the development and implementation of an electrical technique using the anisotropic conductance of fibers, for measuring fiber dynamics during the fabrication of piezoceramics. The results of this electrical technique are compared to both optical monitoring results in a transparent solution, and models for the motion of rigid cylinders in a fluid suspension.  The change in conductance corresponding to fiber rotation was found to have a time constant corresponding to fiber rotation which is a scalar multiple of that of transmission microscopy and the mathematical modeling. This is a product of the geometry of the electrode configurations used to measure conductance. Furthermore, for fiber rotation, the fiber concentration in the solution changes the effective fluid viscosity due to hydrodynamic turbulence created by the rotating fibers.  The conductance change corresponding to the magnetically assisted fiber settling is in good accordance with both the optical observations and mathematical modeling for 50 mPas solutions, however for 30 mPas solutions the modeling underestimates the settling time by 20%. The maximum fiber concentration to create a single layer of aligned fibers in the bottom of the mold was found to be 12 fibers=mm³. Exceeding this limit results in a secondary and tertiary layer of fibers forming directly below the fiber suspension injection location.


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Date of Award



Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

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Author Retains Copyright

Degree Discipline


Degree Grantor

Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

Degree Level


Degree Name

Master of Engineering

ANZSRC Type Of Activity code

970109 Expanding Knowledge in Engineering

Victoria University of Wellington Item Type

Awarded Research Masters Thesis



Victoria University of Wellington School

School of Engineering and Computer Science


Gouws, Gideon