PhD - Fractional Order Models Enabling Control Strategies Based on Material Properties

PhD defense Isabela Roxana Birs - Fractional Order Models Enabling Control Strategies Based on Material Properties

The thesis offers a theoretical and practical (experimental) framework to test dynamics and motion variations in liquids which fall beyond the classical linear Newtonian properties. Such liquids are very often encountered in practice, to enumerate a few: blood, liquid detergent, liquid steel, shampoo, etc. The novelty of the proposed approach is that emerging tools from mathematics are cross fertilized with systems and control theory to obtain a better understanding of non Newtonian
fluid dynamics. The approach uses physical features of the system to model its dynamics and makes a link to the proposed mathematical models. Motion control of these liquids (via external forces) or submersed objects is proposed. The application
areas are broad and utility of results is cross disciplinary. A versatile experimental setup is built with affordable components for studying the motion of suspended objects in non-Newtonian fluid environments. The benchmark consists of a circulatory system and an autonomous submersible for modeling and control related applications. The versatility of the experimental setup allows easy integration for both research and teaching purposes related to changes in material properties.

Based on a collaboration agreement with Arcelor Mittal Gent, there is special attention given to model liquid steel motion properties and control with external forces to regulate flow in the continuous casting process.

Another industrial case study is also presented through dry/wet granulation in a pharmaceutical tablet manufacturing process. The proposed research approach is in line with VWRI foresight for 2025 through emerging context aware control strategies, having the potential to be a technology enabler in various domains.