ME Senior Design Project: Sand Filter

Abby Frankart,
Senior, Mechanical Engineering

Athens, OH 27 January 2012

To graduate with a BSME at Ohio University, you need to complete a year-long capstone course, Senior Design. In Senior Design, you find a customer with a need (the project theme is “Design to Make a Difference”), develop a conceptual design based on customer input, begin prototype and testing, plan a schedule and budget, develop an owner’s manual for your project, and manufacture the final product. The project simulates what students will see in the workplace. The class focuses on building problem solving, research, technical, communication, and teamwork skills.

My team, Haitian Filtration, is working with 1000 jobs/Haiti. They focus on creating jobs for people in Haiti by using resources only found in Haiti. We are designing a sand filter and sending the manufacturing and operating instructions to our customer. Our project will improve the quality of life for Haitians (most of the country does not have access to clean water) as well as providing jobs.

We are halfway through the year. We have built a prototype to test factors such as flow rate and water purification, as well as to determine the type of maintenance necessary for our design. Below are images of prototype.

Sand Filter

We are beginning to design subsystems for our final product. Our final project will be a concrete housing, filled with gravel and sand (filter material), with a diffuser plate. We are including an optional activated carbon extension as an additional filter. The sand filter will remove the particulates and biological impurities, while the activated carbon will improve taste and color. All of our materials for the final product will be available in Haiti; no materials will be imported. Our goal is have a low cost filter that can provide clean water for a small community, such as a school. I’m enjoying not only using my engineering skills to solve real world problems, but also working with my group and customer, and feeling like I’m making a difference. Senior design is very time consuming, but well worth the effort.

To monitor Team Haitian Filtration’s progress and successes, see:

For more ME Senior Design projects, see:

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