Research internship in Germany

Colin, an OSU MSE junior, spent this past summer as an intern for Bodycote Kolsterising.  Here is some information about his work, though he doesn’t say anything about the lederhosen!

Bodycote is an engineering firm that specializes in low temperature diffusion of carbon into stainless steel.  I worked at the regional plant in London, Ohio, during the summer of 2012, and was asked to return for the summer of 2013.  Thus, during the summer of 2013 I went to Germany as an intern and researcher for Bodycote Kolsterising.

Colin at the Bodensee, also known as Lake Constance.

Colin at the Bodensee, also known as Lake Constance.

My goal as researcher for Bodycote was to find a better cleaning method for Kolsterised samples.  After Bodycote’s proprietary Kolsterising process, the stainless steel is left with a dull brown coloring, instead of the shiny metallic luster normally associated with stainless steel.  Bodycote has an in-house cleaning process that was yielding unsatisfactory results. It was my task to remedy this.

I first arrived in Landsberg Am Lech, Germany, where I spent a week studying the current cleaning process at the Kolsterising plant.  I spent the remainder of the summer in Konstanz, where I performed independent research within the Department of Materials Research at HTWG Konstanz, under the guidance of Dr. Paul Gumpel.  I was responsible for the design, data collection, and analysis of my testing.  After five weeks of testing, I had created my own cleaning process that showed promising results.  During the remaining 5 weeks, I optimized and analyzed the results of my cleaning process.

Colin rocking the Bavarian party attire

Results indicated that the new process created optically cleaner parts that were more corrosion-resistant than the current cleaning process.  At the end of my stay, I presented my findings to the VP and European sales of Bodycote who are now trying to implement my cleaning process into their plants.


NOVA’s “Making Stuff”

Getting pumped for this series, starting this week.

Bouncing Water Droplet on a Superhydrophobic Carbon Nanotube Array

Here’s an awesome slow-motion video showing a water droplet bouncing off of a superhydrophobic carbon nanotube array! I find it truly mesmerizing!


Other than watching cool materials science videos online, I’ve been swamped by schoolwork! Whoever told me that senior year was easier than junior year lied! This could be due to the fact that I’m taking my first quarter of organic chemistry. I find the class interesting, but it is extremely time-consuming as far as studying goes! I’m also taking two polymers classes, both of which I like! Then I’m also taking an electroceramics class, which is challenging to say the least! Also, I picked the topic of my senior project and I’m super excited about it! We are going to be researching the effects of biodiesel/biodiesel blends on the materials used in biodiesel storage tanks and pipelines. It’s a mouthful to describe, but it should be interesting and fun! =)

Metal Casting and NASA

This story aired last year, but WOSU-TV has repackaged it for broadcast on The Big Ten Network.  Worth repeating here, too.

Man of Steel… products

From Joel, MSE Senior

Time has flown and there are only 6 weeks left till classes start again!

Joel at the Charter Steel shipping yard

This summer I have been interning at Charter Steel in Cuyahoga Heights, Ohio (of Charter Manufacturing) which produces round bar, rod, and wire steel products.   Sizes range from 7/32 up to 1-9/16 inches and almost all common grades of steel are produced.

I work with the Quality and Technical Manager for the rolling mill. The two major projects I work on involve improving the yield of product as it rolls through the mill, and organizing and consolidating the cooling practices that the steel undergoes. These projects will reduce downtime for the company, and increase revenue of the final product.

Making the Slinky

We melt scrap with an Electric Arc Furnace (EAF) and strand-cast ~34-foot long billets that are 7×7 inches in cross-section. The billets are reheated in the rolling mill (where I work) and then rolled down from square cross-section to their final diameter.  A series of consecutive rolls (31 intotal) reduce the billet size. One 34-foot billet can produce up to 4-5 miles of steel rod. One billet weighs about 2.5 tons and is wrapped at the end of the rolling mill, much like a slinky.  One ring overlaps the next, which overlaps the next. The “coil” of rings is wrapped into a tight package which is then shipped to customers via truck or train. Common product uses include roller bearings, springs, welding wire, fasteners/bolts, and rebar for concrete.


Freshly-made Coil

Charter Steel ordered a set of uniforms and steel-toed boots for me so that I fit in with the hourly crews. I often get free lunch and I have taken a few business trips to customers’ facilities. It is a very laid back atmosphere at Charter, but everyone is a very hard worker when they need to be. There have been a few times throughout the summer where I actually had to pull out my old MSE 205 book to review some things with my boss.  It felt good to get some use out of my college knowledge.

Graduation looms at the end of fall quarter for me, but after this second internship, I feel better prepared for the real world. Now all I have to do is find a job….

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