To manufacture windows, multiple components are assembled for sealing, aesthetics, and functionality. Sealing windows from air and water infiltration is critically important, and a weatherstrip is often used to seal a window. However, common weatherstrip materials often shrink because of age or use. As a result, the weatherstrip loses its ability to seal, resulting in significant energy loss and property damage.
While working at Andersen Corporation as an Engineer Technician III, Kellan started a project to design better weatherstrip materials with minimum shrinkage. This is important to keep the weather seal while still allowing the window to open and close. Designing new weatherstrip materials requires a deep understanding of the structure-property relationships of various materials, which is the reason why Kellan decided to pursue a second degree in Materials Science and Engineering.
Using his knowledge in Materials Science and Engineering, Kellan was able to find a new material that shows five times improvement for rigid shrinkage in cold air chamber testing. While additional testing is needed, this material could lead to high-quality windows with improved cold-weather performance, which is important for Andersen Corporation to maintain a high level of quality and customer satisfaction. “It’s amazing how invested you can become ensuring your company is producing a quality product,” Kellan says.
Given the promising results, Kellan is ready to produce a business case, which will be presented to the Andersen Corporation Business Team. “My second bachelor’s degree in Materials Science and Engineering has given me diverse and extensive knowledge involving multiple engineering issues, which leads to new opportunities,” Kellan says. Kellan is expected to graduate this fall and will be promoted to be an Engineer I following graduation.
Interested in learning more about capstone projects or materials-related internships? Contact Dr. Matt Jewell at email@example.com