FURI | Fall 2018

Nanoscale Material Characterization of Polymer Matrix Composites Under Hygrothermal Conditions

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This experiment analyzed the structural capabilities of polymer matrix composite (PMC) samples exposed to hygrothermal conditions to determine if this strong, lightweight material could replace aluminum steel on critical structures, including power plants and spacecrafts. To obtain this information, the samples were exposed to an accelerated aging process simulating years of wear due to heat and moisture. Then filaments were analyzed using an atomic force microscope with a 10nm radial tip. This data allowed for the analysis of strength, such as elastic modulus throughout filament samples, explaining the capabilities and potential for this material’s future use.

Student researcher

Portrait of Anita Totillo

Anita Totillo

Mechanical engineering

Hometown: Tucson, Arizona

Graduation date: Spring 2019