Senior Capstone Design Challenge: These Brakes are Clutch.
For our mechanical engineering curriculum at BU, we are not allowed to graduate until we prove that we know our engineering fundamentals and are capable of applying it in a real world scenario.
My group (pictured above) was tasked with working with brake company that specializes in tension control. This is a particular use for friction-clutch brakes where the point is to keep tension in a line of material rather than stop a mass.
Our customer (the company) gave us free reign over the project, saying we should find any area to improve and work on it.
Following an examination of competitor products and a literature review on brake research, we identified areas to improve the customer product, implemented changes, and tested the effects.
The most rewarding aspect of this project is that there exists almost no scholarly literature on tension control brakes. Our research turned up automotive brake research but not much beyond that. For us to bring this type of work into academia was new and exciting for us, our professors, and our customer.