Design of a low-cost soil drying oven

Chand, Praneel and Foulkes, Matt and Kumar, Ajay (2022) Design of a low-cost soil drying oven. MaDE2022: Manufacturing, Design and Entrepreneurship in NZ, Auckland, New Zealand, 25-26 January, 2022. (In Press)

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Abstract or Summary

Soil drying ovens are used by civil engineers to test suitability of ground conditions for roading and construction projects. These ovens are required to meet the industry standard NZS 4402: 1986 – Methods for testing soils for civil engineering purposes. Commercially available ovens can be expensive. Hence, this project investigates the in-house design of a low-cost soil drying oven. The main specifications of the oven required a capacity of 250-500 L, single phase 230 V AC supply, and temperature regulation between 105°C and 110°C with a readable accuracy of 1°C. Major influencing factors included: low-cost, locally available (NZ) parts, and easy assembly and portability. Engineering students from mechanical and electrical disciplines have worked in two teams to develop solutions. Both teams utilised Arduino microcontrollers to implement PID temperature regulation. The teams had variations in the number of heating elements and temperature sensors used in their designs. Other electrical control features implemented included a setpoint potentiometer, LED indicators and an LCD display. For the mechanical design, the teams utilised an angle iron frame with stainless-steel sheet metal. Glass wool insulation was used between the exterior and interior cavity to increase thermal insulation. Integrated removable trays were designed to house the electrical control system. The estimated total cost for materials was approximately $900 for one group and $1200 for the other group. The oven has not been fully fabricated yet due to CoVID-19. However, parts of the design have been tested functional in simulations. Future work will include fully constructing the ovens and testing them in the lab.

Item Type:Poster presented at a conference, workshop or other event, and published in the proceedings
Keywords that describe the item:civil engineers, ground conditions, roading, low-cost soil drying oven
Subjects:T Technology > TJ Mechanical engineering and machinery
T Technology > TK Electrical engineering. Electronics Nuclear engineering
Divisions:Schools > Centre for Engineering and Industrial Design
ID Code:7853
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Deposited On:28 Oct 2021 19:18
Last Modified:28 Oct 2021 19:18

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