Kawneer Sponsors Capstone Team

Capstone Season is upon us and there are over 50 Mechanical Engineering teams showcasing their projects at the Expo on December 4th at the McCamish Pavilion! The Capstone Design course is generously supported by numerous corporate partners and alumni. This weekly article series will highlight a few select sponsors, their projects and the student teams working on their projects.
This week’s spotlight sponsor is first-time Capstone Design sponsor, Kawneer, an Arconic Company. They focus on providing products for the commercial construction industry, and Kawneer is the leading manufacturer of architectural products and systems in North America. They are known for their blast mitigating products, high-thermal performance products, and hurricane resistant sliding glass doors. Kawneer allowed the student teams to visit a research and development location in Georgia where the teams learned about Kawneer’s door designs and how the company tests their glass doors for leaks. There, the teams were able to learn more about the processes that Kawneer uses for testing.

Problem: Sliding glass doors near hurricane-prone areas are difficult for people who do not have their full range of motion. The weathering strips on Kawneer’s hurricane-proof sliding glass door frames require 7 pounds of force to move the glass doors one inch off of the weathering strips. The glass doors themselves require 5 pounds of force to slide open once it has been disengaged from the weathering strips. The teams need to create a solution that is ADA compliant and will allow people to easily open and close hurricane-proof, sliding glass doors.

Projected Impact: According to Team Door Jamz’s research, 19.9 million people struggle with lifting and grasping objects in the United States. Kawneer’s target market for the new door-opening mechanism is people in the US who are over the age of 65. That population has higher rates of arthritis, carpal tunnel syndrome, and other illnesses that reduce motor function. According to the Population Reference Bureau, approximately 18% of the people living in Florida are over the age of 65. Many older citizens have a reduced range of motion or are unable to grasp objects as well as when they were younger. Due to its warm weather and plentiful beaches Florida is a popular location for installing Kawneer’s weather-proof, sliding glass doors. If the amount of force required to open glassdoors is reduced, it increases the independence for people who have issues grasping objects or a limited range of motion.

Team 1: Team Mavericks – Jacob Thomas, Thomas Cheng, Pranav Chunduri, Jason Paulose, Gonzalo Barreto, Saikamal Srinivas

Proposed Solution:  Team ‘Mavericks’ is creating a handle that will multiply a user’s force 2.4 times. Users will only need to be able to use 5 pounds of force to disengage the door from the weathering strips on the door frame. They have designed a handle that revolves to push out a 12 pound block disengaging the door. One of their challenges so far has been fitting the door-opening components into a door frame. The components must be small enough to be hidden within a door frame as well as durable. The team will be 3D-printing out their mechanism using ultra high molecular weight polyethylene (UHMW-PE), a low-friction plastic. They have tested out the durability of their concept using SolidWorks, letting them look at how the mechanism will wear after repeated cycling.

Team 2: Team Door Jamz – John Mitchell, Scott Bowden, David Johnston, Andrew Agliata, Katherine Freesemann, Clare Specht
Proposed Solution: Team ‘Door Jamz’ is using a specialized glove, borrowed from Dr. Brad Fain, which mimics arthritis to develop their solution. Using their experience with the glove the team will design and test a door-opening mechanism to reduce the amount of force required to open the door by 50% while retaining the structural soundness of Kawneer’s doors. The team will be designing a user interface for a door frame and door that Kawneer already produces. So far, the team has 3D-printed a prototype for their door handle.

Check out these projects and over 200 other exciting capstone design teams at the Fall 2018 Capstone Design Expo on December 4th at 3 pm in the McCamish Pavilion. More information on how to RSVP is on the website here: http://expo.gatech.edu/. Please invite friends and family to attend and cheer for our graduating seniors!

All senior students in Mechanical Engineering culminate their undergraduate educational experience with the Senior Capstone Design course in order to provide firsthand experience at solving real world problems in a team environment. Students typically work in teams of four to six individuals and each team is advised by a faculty member. Companies interested in submitting a project for consideration can contact Dr. Amit S. Jariwala, at 404-894-3931 or via email at: amit.jariwala@gatech.edu.