Arnold Garcia

Arnold Garcia
Mentor: Dr. Hitomi Greenslet
College of Engineering
 
"I got involved with research to be apart of the process of creating new knowledge. I was especially interested in exploring novel manufacturing processes with Dr. Hitomi Greenslet in the UF Center for Manufacturing Innovation."

Major

Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

Minor

Physics

Research Interests

  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Manufacturing
  • Engine Technology

Academic Awards

  • UF University Scholars Program
  • ITPEU Franklin/Conley Scholarship
  • MAE Spring 2013 Poster Competition
  • President's Honor Roll
  • Dean's List

Organizations

  • N/A

Volunteer

  • UF Student Science Training Program

Hobbies and Interests

  • Cars
  • Aircraft
  • Drawing and Painting
  • Music

Research Description

Polishing of Individual Sapphire Wafers
The combination of properties of sapphire (Al2O3) make it a useful material for structural and functional components in several industries. As its use continues to grow, the development of new sapphire manufacturing techniques is a worth-while endeavor. The current process for thinning sapphire utilizes complex machines with several gears to execute planetary motion of sapphire wafers relative to an abrasive surface. By their design, these machines have minimum thickness limits for the sapphires they produce. Also these methods can only produce wafers in large batches. This bulk method is not cost-effective for projects requiring a small number of wafers. The bulk polishing of sapphire wafers can be ruined if a single wafer cracks. Fragments of the cracked wafer can scratch remaining wafers. Magnetic field-assisted finishing has been proposed as a cost-effective and practical method to reduce the thickness of individual sapphire wafers. The process involves fixing the sapphire to a cylindrical ferrite magnet. Abrasive slurry is introduced to an abrasive surface. The magnet is then placed on the abrasive surface with the sapphire in contact with the abrasive surface. The assembly is then mounted above a magnetic stirrer equipped with neodymium guide magnets. The motion of guide magnets causes the magnet holding the sapphire to follow a circular path on the abrasive paper. The friction generated between the sapphire and the abrasive surface, and the velocity difference between points on the sapphire located at different radii from the center of rotation result in planetary motion of the sapphire and the magnet. Planetary motion accelerates the polishing process by allowing polishing to be uniform across the surface.