Current Areas of Research
High Temperature Resins
Three avenues are being pursued
- Linear polymers are being synthesized and characterized based on carbon, silicon, POSS, unsaturated units, metal, and boron for conversion to themosets (plastics, elastomers, and/or coatings), which are oxidatively stable to 500 °C, and subsequently charred to ceramic type materials – some can withstand temperatures up to 1500 °C in an oxidizing environment.
- Carbon and glass fiber reinforced phthalonitrile composites capable of withstanding temperatures up to 500 °C under oxidative conditions and exhibiting outstanding flame resistant properties are being investigated for railgun insulation applications.
- New low melting oligomeric phthalonitriles, divinylsilane-terminated oligomers and cyanate ester (CE) resins are being characterized and developed for potential marine, aerospace, microelectronic, optical, and geothermal applications.
Metal Nanoparticle Carbon Nanotube Compositions
- Research efforts are being pursued to control the size and concentration of various metal nanoparticles embedded homogeneously in polymeric, carbon, and ceramic domains.
- Carbon nanotubes are being produced from inexpensive precursor compounds, polymeric resins, and linear polymers.
- Materials are being evaluated for potential fuel cell, battery, nanodevice, and hydrogen storage applications.
- Magnetic and superconductive studies are being pursued on selected candidates.
- Various compositions are being formulated and evaluated for air filtration applications.
Peptide Nanotube Polymers (PNPs) for Smart Materials
- Synthesis and development of bioinspired smart materials such as PNPs with properties such as (a) healing and toughness, (b) self-reporting ability and (c) tunability and actuation is underway. The architectural motifs of these PNPs will be based on a mechanical protein such as titin and a natural fiber such as spider silk.
- The synthesis of the proposed PNPs will involve a new approach for building bioinspired nanomaterials.
- Potential applications of the PNPs are in active/smart coatings and fibers. Navy S&T areas to be impacted include: Affordability, Maintainability and Reliability; Maritime Domain Awareness and Operational Environments.