Teaching Professor, Associate Department Head, and Undergraduate Advisor
- BSc (Electronic & Electrical Engineering) 1977
- MSc (Electroheat and Industrial Process Heating) 1978
- PhD (Multiple Arc Discharges), 1985
- All degrees obtained at Loughborough University of Technology
Richard Knight has extensive technical experience and remains interested in the fields listed below, however, he no longer has an active research group or laboratory facility. Potential graduate students interested in coming to Drexel are encouraged to view the research interests of other Materials Science and Engineering faculty members and to contact those whose research is of most interest.
- Plasma Devices & Systems, Thermal Spray Coating Processes, Plasma Melting, HVOF Spray Processes
- Thermal Plasma Processes
The term "plasma processing" covers a diverse range of applications. Thermal plasmas utilize the intense heat generated by electric arc discharges as the source of energy for heating gases, melting particles, or the bulk melting of materials. Typical applications include chemical reactors for the production or synthesis of materials, ranging from TiO2 pigments to carbide- reinforced composites; the spray deposition of metallic, cermet or ceramic coatings; and extractive metallurgy and refining processes. Research is being carried out on several aspects of thermal plasma processing.
- Thermal Spray Deposition
The performance of many engineering materials can be significantly enhanced by the surfacing technology known as thermal spray deposition, which is used to apply coatings to substrate materials to tailor or improve their performance in service. Applications include protection against wear, corrosion, erosion, oxidation or thermal degradation. Thermal spray is widely used by the aerospace, chemical and manufacturing industries. Research is being conducted to develop an understanding of the process/structure/performance relationships and to provide a science base for the technology.
- Plasma Melting
Thermal plasmas can also be used in extractive metallurgy and remelting/ refining processes, including the recycling of reactive Ti-based superalloys for aerospace applications. Plasma/melt synthesis is being studied for the production of directionally reinforced composite materials.
- HVOF Processes
High Velocity Oxy-Fuel (HVOF) flame spray processes are an important member of the family of surfacing technologies known as thermal spray processes. HVOF is rapidly growing in importance since it can readily produce very dense coatings due to the extremely high particle velocities achieved by powdered material injected into the supersonically expanding jets of hot gas generated. In some cases, it is not even necessary for the particles to be heated to their melting point, since their high kinetic energy causes sufficient deformation on impact at the surface being coated to produce dense, well bonded coatings. HVOF spraying of coatings offers a number of other potential advantages over alternatives like plasma spraying owing to the lower process temperature of the flames used as the heat source. The processing capabilities of current HVOF systems are currently being investigated using typical HVOF coatings.
Research is also being conducted to investigate residual stress in HVOF coatings.
Laser stroboscopy is being used to study the motion of particles travelling in thermal spray jets. Techniques are being developed to measure particle velocities and trajectories. This information may ultimately be usable for "intelligent" process control.