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Advanced Materials Research Lab

Research Projects
  • Nonlinear electro-mechanical coupling behavior of ferroelectric materials: Ferroelectric ceramics and composites are one of the major families of smart materials that have wide applications in electromechanical transducers, such as ultrasonic generators, filters, sensors, and actuators. This project includes analytical and experimental investigations on electromechanical coupling behavior of ferroelectric composites by considering the microstructure of the systems. In particular, the analytical prediction involves micromechanics of heterogeneous materials, evolution of microstructures, irreversible thermodynamics, and physics of domain switch. The experiments start with the fabrication of PZT samples and PZT composites, and the electromechanical testing of such samples. This work will lead to the development of a robust predictive methodology of nonlinear electromechanical coupling behavior of ferroelectric composite materials. Understanding and accurately describing the nonlinear behavior of a ferroelectric material due to the domain switch will lead to the improvement of design methodologies in smart materials and structures using ferroelectrics. This project is sponsored by National Science Foundation
  • Experimental investigation of polymer-matrix composites under elevated temperature: This project aims to test viscoelastic behavior of polymer-matrix composites such as creep, relaxation, strain-rate sensitivity at different temperatures. These experiments will support and prove the developed theory of viscoelasticity of polymer-matrix composite materials due to the lack of testing data. The samples with various inclusion shapes are fabricated in our new advanced materials research lab, then tested under our MTS machine with an environmental chamber. This project is sponsored by NSF
  • Interphase effect on mechanical behavior of heterogeneous materials: Traditional study of the mechanical behavior of fiber-/particle-reinforced composites is often restricted to a two-phase system. With the development of coating technology and cohesive or intermolecular bonding between the filaments and the matrix, the effect of interfacial zone ¨C generally called the ˇ°interphaseˇ± ¨C is of practical importance to the determination of the overall behavior of the composite. This project focuses on the analytical study of the interphase effect on the overall elastic and viscoelastic behavior of composite materials.
  • Nano/micromechanics of nano-structured materials: This project is concerned with transition from nano-scale to micro-scale, then, to macro-scale of nanocomposites. Due to discrete structure of nano-materials at the nanoscale level, the traditional continuum mechanics cannot be applied directly to such a nano-system. Here, we try to develop a multi-scale hierarchical model to study the mechanical behavior of nanocomposite materials. At nano-scale level, molecular dynamics simulation will be adopted; then, at micro-scale, micromechanics modeling will be used. By carefully considering the connection at the interface between the nano- and micro-scale, the overall behavior of the nanocomposite will be pursued. The nano-tube-reinforced composites and nano-particle reinforced composites are the focuses.

  • Laboratory Facilities
    This new lab is located in B31. The major goal of the lab is to conduct experimental research on advanced materials such as ferroelectric materials, shape memory alloys, and composite materials. It also provides students opportunities having first hands-on and research experiences on advanced materials.
    Major Equipment: This new lab is currently equipped with various processing and testing machines. The list of major equipment is given as:
  • Custom built Autoclave for polymer-matrix composites processing
  • Aerotech vacuum bagging system
  • Lunaire model CE203 forced air oven
  • Keithley model 6514 programmable electrometer
  • Carver Model C hydraulic laboratory press with safety shield
  • MTI - 2000 dual channel fotonic sensor
  • NASLAB refrig circultr digital liquid bath
  • Piezo-d33 meter

  • Current Research Projects:
  • Nonlinear electro-mechanical behavior of ferroelectric materials
  • Processing and fabrication of polymer-matrix composites
  • Time-temperature dependent viscoelastic behavior of polymer-matrix composites

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