We’re “turning up the heat” in the field of polymer additive manufacturing. Our team successfully printed the highest-temperature capable, reinforced polymer composite parts using additive manufacturing. These 3-D printed parts can withstand temperatures greater than 300 degrees Celsius, making them potentially useful for turbine engine replacement parts or in hot areas around engine exhaust. This is an extremely impactful breakthrough in composite material additive manufacturing. The material, made with carbon fiber-infused polymer resin and selective laser sintering, also has potential use on the leading and trailing edges of fighter jets in the future. This state-of-the art material breakthrough sets the stage for next generation, cost-efficient Air Force manufacturing needs.
Flexible Hybrid Electronics
Our researchers are working on the next-generation of wearable sensors for human performance monitoring. Commercial products, such as activity trackers and other smart watches, focus primarily on sensing movement and heartrate and have limited sensing modalities and durability, limiting their use in many challenging warfighter operational environments. The ability to sense physiological changes…
Polymer Additive Manufacturing
Corrosion Evaluation System: CorRES
Aircraft coatings are the first lines of defense when it comes to mitigating structural corrosion of an air platform. As new coatings are developed, particularly those that contain non-chrome primers, there is a need for researchers to qualify the coatings for use on military aircraft prior to transition. Our new corrosion and coating evaluation system, CorRES, can measure the ability of coatings to protect aircraft structures by using sensor panels that measure localized changes during corrosion testing. Unlike conventional coating tests that rely on an expert’s visual evaluation of a test panel at the conclusion of a test cycle, the CorRES takes measurements throughout a coating’s test and transmits data in real-time to a base station for evaluation. Ultimately, the test will reduce costs associated with coating materials development and implementation through better data and understanding.