Matching Items (5)

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Mechanically active heterogeneous polymer matrix composites

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An evolving understanding of elastomeric polymer nanocomposites continues to expand commercial, defense, and industrial products and applications. This work explores the thermomechanical properties of elastomeric nanocomposites prepared from bisphenol A

An evolving understanding of elastomeric polymer nanocomposites continues to expand commercial, defense, and industrial products and applications. This work explores the thermomechanical properties of elastomeric nanocomposites prepared from bisphenol A diglycidyl ether (BADGE) and three amine-terminated poly(propylene oxides) (Jeffamines). The Jeffamines investigated include difunctional crosslinkers with molecular weights of 2,000 and 4,000 g/mol and a trifunctional crosslinker with a molecular weight of 3,000 g/mol. Additionally, carbon nanotubes (CNTs) were added, up to 1.25 wt%, to each thermoset. The findings indicate that the Tg and storage modulus of the polymer nanocomposites can be controlled independently within narrow concentration windows, and that effects observed following CNT incorporation are dependent on the crosslinker molecular weight.

Polymer matrix composites (PMCs) offer design solutions to produce smart sensing, conductive, or high performance composites for a number of critical applications. Nanoparticle additives, in particular, carbon nanotubes and metallic quantum dots, have been investigated for their ability to improve the conductivity, thermal stability, and mechanical strength of traditional composites. Herein we report the use of quantum dots (QDs) and fluorescently labeled carbon nanotubes (CNTs) to modify the thermomechanical properties of PMCs. Additionally, we find that pronounced changes in fluorescence emerge following plastic deformation, indicating that in these polymeric materials the transduction of mechanical force into the fluorescence occurs in response to mechanical activation.

Segmented ionenes are a class of thermoplastic elastomers that contain a permanent charged group within the polymer backbone and a spacer segment with a low glass transition temperature (Tg) to provide flexibility. Ionenes are of interest because of their synthetic versatility, unique morphologies, and ionic nature. Using phase changing ionene-based nanocomposites could be extended to create reversible mechanically, electrically, optically, and/or thermally responsive materials depending on constituent nanoparticles and polymers. This talk will discuss recent efforts to utilize the synthetic versatility of ionenes (e.g., spacer composition of PTMO or PEG) to prepare percolated ionic domains in microphase separated polymers that display a range of thermomechanical properties. Furthermore, by synthesizing two series of ionene copolymers with either PEG or PTMO spacers at various ratios with 1,12-dibromododecane will yield a range of ion contents (hard contents) and will impact nanoparticle dispersion.

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Date Created
  • 2019

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Predicting structure-property relationships in polymers through the development of thermodynamically consistent coarse-grained molecular models

Description

Improved knowledge connecting the chemistry, structure, and properties of polymers is necessary to develop advanced materials in a materials-by-design approach. Molecular dynamics (MD) simulations can provide tremendous insight into how

Improved knowledge connecting the chemistry, structure, and properties of polymers is necessary to develop advanced materials in a materials-by-design approach. Molecular dynamics (MD) simulations can provide tremendous insight into how the fine details of chemistry, molecular architecture, and microstructure affect many physical properties; however, they face well-known restrictions in their applicable temporal and spatial scales. These limitations have motivated the development of computationally-efficient, coarse-grained methods to investigate how microstructural details affect thermophysical properties. In this dissertation, I summarize my research work in structure-based coarse-graining methods to establish the link between molecular-scale structure and macroscopic properties of two different polymers. Systematically coarse-grained models were developed to study the viscoelastic stress response of polyurea, a copolymer that segregates into rigid and viscous phases, at time scales characteristic of blast and impact loading. With the application of appropriate scaling parameters, the coarse-grained models can predict viscoelastic properties with a speed up of 5-6 orders of magnitude relative to the atomistic MD models. Coarse-grained models of polyethylene were also created to investigate the thermomechanical material response under shock loading. As structure-based coarse-grained methods are generally not transferable to states different from which they were calibrated at, their applicability for modeling non-equilibrium processes such as shock and impact is highly limited. To address this problem, a new model is developed that incorporates many-body interactions and is calibrated across a range of different thermodynamic states using a least square minimization scheme. The new model is validated by comparing shock Hugoniot properties with atomistic and experimental data for polyethylene. Lastly, a high fidelity coarse-grained model of polyethylene was constructed that reproduces the joint-probability distributions of structural variables such as the distributions of bond lengths and bond angles between sequential coarse-grained sites along polymer chains. This new model accurately represents the structure of both the amorphous and crystal phases of polyethylene and enabling investigation of how polymer processing such as cold-drawing and bulk crystallization affect material structure at significantly larger time and length scales than traditional molecular simulations.

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Date Created
  • 2016

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Design and fabrication of fabric reinforced textile actuators for soft robotic graspers

Description

Wearable assistive devices have been greatly improved thanks to advancements made in soft robotics, even creation soft extra arms for paralyzed patients. Grasping remains an active area of research of

Wearable assistive devices have been greatly improved thanks to advancements made in soft robotics, even creation soft extra arms for paralyzed patients. Grasping remains an active area of research of soft extra limbs. Soft robotics allow the creation of grippers that due to their inherit compliance making them lightweight, safer for human interactions, more robust in unknown environments and simpler to control than their rigid counterparts. A current problem in soft robotics is the lack of seamless integration of soft grippers into wearable devices, which is in part due to the use of elastomeric materials used for the creation of most of these grippers. This work introduces fabric-reinforced textile actuators (FRTA). The selection of materials, design logic of the fabric reinforcement layer and fabrication method are discussed. The relationship between the fabric reinforcement characteristics and the actuator deformation is studied and experimentally verified. The FRTA are made of a combination of a hyper-elastic fabric material with a stiffer fabric reinforcement on top. In this thesis, the design, fabrication, and evaluation of FRTAs are explored. It is shown that by varying the geometry of the reinforcement layer, a variety of motion can be achieve such as axial extension, radial expansion, bending, and twisting along its central axis. Multi-segmented actuators can be created by tailoring different sections of fabric-reinforcements together in order to generate a combination of motions to perform specific tasks. The applicability of this actuators for soft grippers is demonstrated by designing and providing preliminary evaluation of an anthropomorphic soft robotic hand capable of grasping daily living objects of various size and shapes.

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Date Created
  • 2019

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Modeling the performance and failure of elastomeric coatings under erosive cavitating flows

Description

Finite element simulations modeling the hydrodynamic impact loads subjected to an elastomeric coating were performed to develop an understanding of the performance and failure mechanisms of protective coatings for cavitating

Finite element simulations modeling the hydrodynamic impact loads subjected to an elastomeric coating were performed to develop an understanding of the performance and failure mechanisms of protective coatings for cavitating environments.

In this work, two major accomplishments were achieved: 1) scaling laws were developed from hydrodynamic principles and numerical simulations to allow conversion of measured distributions of pressure peaks in a cavitating flow to distributions of microscopic impact loadings modeling individual bubble collapse events, and 2) a finite strain, thermo-mechanical material model for polyurea-based elastomers was developed using a logarithmic rate formulation and implemented into an explicit finite element code.

Combining the distribution of microscopic impact loads and finite element modeling, a semi-quantitative predictive framework is created to calculate the energy dissipation within the coating which can further the understanding of temperature induced coating failures.

The influence of coating thickness and elastomer rheology on the dissipation of impact energies experienced in cavitating flows has also been explored.

The logarithmic formulation has many desired features for the polyurea constitutive model, such as objectivity, integrability, and additive decomposition compatibility.

A review and discussion on the kinematics in large deformation, including a comparison between Lagrangian and Eulerian descriptions, are presented to explain the issues in building rate-dependent constitutive models in finite strains.

When comparing the logarithmic rate with other conventional rates in test examples, the logarithmic rate shows a better conservation of objectivity and integrability.

The modeling framework was validated by comparing predictions against temperatures measured within coatings subjected to a cavitating jet.

Both the experiments and models show that the temperatures generated, even under mild flow conditions, raise the coating temperature by a significant amount, suggesting that the failure of these coatings under more aggressive flows is thermally induced.

The models show that thin polyurea coatings synthesized with shorter molecular weight soft segments dissipate significantly less energy per impact and conduct heat more efficiently.

This work represents an important step toward understanding thermally induced failure in elastomers subjected to cavitating flows, which provides a foundation for design and optimization of coatings with enhanced erosion resistance.

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Date Created
  • 2016

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Computational Modeling and Experimental Characterization of Pneumatically Driven Actuators for the Development of a Soft Robotic Arm

Description

Soft Poly-Limb (SPL) is a pneumatically driven, wearable, soft continuum robotic arm designed to aid humans with medical conditions, such as cerebral palsy, paraplegia, cervical spondylotic myelopathy, perform activities of

Soft Poly-Limb (SPL) is a pneumatically driven, wearable, soft continuum robotic arm designed to aid humans with medical conditions, such as cerebral palsy, paraplegia, cervical spondylotic myelopathy, perform activities of daily living. To support user's tasks, the SPL acts as an additional limb extending from the human body which can be controlled to perform safe and compliant mobile manipulation in three-dimensional space. The SPL is inspired by invertebrate limbs, such as the elephant trunk and the arms of the octopus. In this work, various geometrical and physical parameters of the SPL are identified, and behavior of the actuators that comprise it are studied by varying their parameters through novel quasi-static computational models. As a result, this study provides a set of engineering design rules to create soft actuators for continuum soft robotic arms by understanding how varying parameters affect the actuator's motion as a function of the input pressure. A prototype of the SPL is fabricated to analyze the accuracy of these computational models by performing linear expansion, bending and arbitrary pose tests. Furthermore, combinations of the parameters based on the application of the SPL are determined to affect the weight, payload capacity, and stiffness of the arm. Experimental results demonstrate the accuracy of the proposed computational models and help in understanding the behavior of soft compliant actuators. Finally, based on the set functional requirements for the assistance of impaired users, results show the effectiveness of the SPL in performing tasks for activities of daily living.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2018