Open Access Publications

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Open access publications by faculty, staff, postdocs, and graduate students from the Center for Composite Materials.


Recent Submissions

Now showing 1 - 5 of 9
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    Development of a Recyclable Flax Fiber Reinforced Polymer Composite
    (Composites in Civil Engineering, 2023-06-28) Das, Shagata; Doshi, Sagar; Millan, Emmanuel; Mendez, Damaris; Luckenbill, Dan; Tatar, Jovan
    This study compared the mechanical properties of a recyclable flax fiber reinforced polymer composite (FFRP) with a covalent adaptable network (CAN) matrix to an FFRP composite with a conventional (unrecyclable) epoxy resin matrix. The results indicated that composites fabricated via vacuum-assisted resin transfer molding (VARTM) exhibited up to 19% higher tensile modulus and strength compared to those fabricated via hand layup, attributed to reduced air void content and more uniform fiber alignment. Microscopy evidence supported by mechanical property tests revealed superior adhesion of the CAN matrix to flax fibers compared to conventional epoxy resin. Additionally, a solvent-based method was demonstrated for separating fibers from the CAN matrix, facilitating reuse or upcycling.
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    Multi-axis Manufacture of Conformal Metasurface Antennas
    (IEEE Antennas and Wireless Propagation Letters, 2023-06-09) Gupta, Ellen; Bonner, Colin; Lazarus, Nathan; Mirotznik, Mark S.; Nicholson, Kelvin J.
    A conformal metasurface antenna exhibiting a pencil beam radiation pattern at 10.0 GHz has been designed using the Voronoi partition approach, and fabricated on the Kahu Uninhabited Aerial System (UAS) fuselage. Two manufacturing methods are presented and compared. The first approach utilized a 3-axis Trotec fiber laser to etch the flattened metasurface geometry in copper foil. The etched pattern was then ‘stretched’ over the UAS geometry. The second approach utilized a 6-axis nScrypt (retrofitted with an IDS aerosol jetting tool) to conformally print the metasurface pattern directly on the UAS fuselage. An electroless copper plating step was then utilized to improve the radiofrequency (RF) conductivity of the printed silver. Both manufacturing methods yielded functional metasurface antennas with equivalent performance at the operating frequency. However, the first method is limited to geometries that can be ‘flattened’ with acceptable tolerances, whereas the second approach is amenable to all practical geometries. This demonstration of two manufacturing techniques is a critical step forward in the cost-effective deployment of truly conformal metasurface antennas on realistic geometries.
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    Carbon Additive Manufacturing with a Near-Replica “Green-to-Brown” Transformation
    (Advanced Materials, 2023-05-30) Zhang, Chunyan; Shi, Baohui; He, Jinlong; Zhou, Lyu; Park, Soyeon; Doshi, Sagar; Shang, Yuanyuan; Deng, Kaiyue; Giordano, Marc; Qi, Xiangjun; Cui, Shuang; Liu, Ling; Ni, Chaoying; Fu, Kun Kelvin
    Nanocomposites containing nanoscale materials offer exciting opportunities to encode nanoscale features into macroscale dimensions, which produces unprecedented impact in material design and application. However, conventional methods cannot process nanocomposites with a high particle loading, as well as nanocomposites with the ability to be tailored at multiple scales. A composite architected mesoscale process strategy that brings particle loading nanoscale materials combined with multiscale features including nanoscale manipulation, mesoscale architecture, and macroscale formation to create spatially programmed nanocomposites with high particle loading and multiscale tailorability is reported. The process features a low-shrinking (<10%) “green-to-brown” transformation, making a near-geometric replica of the 3D design to produce a “brown” part with full nanomaterials to allow further matrix infill. This demonstration includes additively manufactured carbon nanocomposites containing carbon nanotubes (CNTs) and thermoset epoxy, leading to multiscale CNTs tailorability, performance improvement, and 3D complex geometry feasibility. The process can produce nanomaterial-assembled architectures with 3D geometry and multiscale features and can incorporate a wide range of matrix materials, such as polymers, metals, and ceramics, to fabricate nanocomposites for new device structures and applications.
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    Extrusion-Based Additively Manufactured PAEK and PAEK/CF Polymer Composites Performance: Role of Process Parameters on Strength, Toughness and Deflection at Failure
    (Journal of Composites Science, 2023-04-11) Sharafi, S.; Santare, M. H.; Gerdes, J.; Advani, S. G.
    Poly aryl-ether-ketone (PAEK) belongs to a family of high-performance semicrystalline polymers exhibiting outstanding material properties at high temperatures, making them suitable candidates for metallic part replacement in different industries such as aviation, oil and gas, chemical, and biomedical. Fused filament fabrication is an additive manufacturing (AM) method that can be used to produce intricate PAEK and PAEK composite parts and to tailor their mechanical properties such as stiffness, strength and deflection at failure. In this work, we present a methodology to identify the layer design and process parameters that will have the highest potential to affect the mechanical properties of additively manufactured parts, using our previously developed multiscale modeling framework. Five samples for each of the ten identified process conditions were fabricated using a Roboze-Argo 500 version 2 with heated chamber and dual extruder nozzle. The manufactured PAEK and PAEK/carbon fiber samples were tested until failure in an Instron, using a video extensometer system. Each sample was prepared with a speckle pattern for post analysis using digital image correlation (DIC) to measure the strain and displacement over its entire surface. The raster angle and the presence of fibers had the largest influence on the mechanical properties of the AM manufactured parts, and the resulting properties were comparable to the mechanical properties of injection molded parts.
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    Mechanical behavior of UV-cured composite stepped lap adhesive joints
    (SAMPE Conference Proceedings 2023, 2023-04-18) Das, Shagata; Gillespie, John W. Jr.; Shenton, Harry W. III; Tatar, Jovan
    Joints often control the design of composite structures because they represent locations of high stress concentrations. Adhesive joints offer several benefits over mechanically fastened connections such as reduced stress concentrations, and higher joint efficiency. This study evaluates the performance of stepped lap adhesive joints. The novelty lies in the implementation of UV-cured vinyl ester resin which allows integration of co-cured stepped lap joints in applications where fast curing at ambient temperatures is required. The experimental program consisted of a series of tensile tests on 20-ply 7781 E-glass laminates integrating UV-cured stepped lap joints, where the primary variables were stepped lap joint angle (ranging from 0.9° to 5.7°) and number of ply drops (ranging from 1 to 10). Physical properties of all the UV-cured joint panels, such as density, void content, fiber volume fraction, and hardness, were also evaluated and compared between the test groups. The preliminary findings indicate that reducing the scarf angle from 5.7° to 0.9° increased the joint strength by a maximum of 115%. The joint strength efficiency approached 100% of the laminate tensile strength for 19-step joints having a scarf angle of 0.9º.
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