Center for Composite Materials - University of Delaware

Materials Development & Characterization

Materials Development & Characterization

The Materials Characterization Laboratory consists of thermal analysis, micro-mechanical, and surface characterization facilities. The laboratory is used to establish the basic molecular and microstructure of materials as well as the thermal, optical and electronic macroscopic properties. Key equipment includes a comprehensive thermal analysis facility including Netszch, Mettler Toledo, and TA Instruments equipment. The facility contains the latest version of standard thermal analysis equipment such as DSC, TGA, DMA, TMA, and Parallel Plate Rheology, as well as some specialized equipment such as Mettler Toledo’s Flash DSC. The micro-mechanical and surface analysis facility allows detailed characterization of the fiber/resin interface. The Dynamic Interface Loading Apparatus (DILA), a patented technology developed at CCM, allows measurement of the interface properties at both low and high strain rates. Spectroscopic characterization facilities include a Perkin Elmer Spectrum 200 FTIR spectrometer with NIR, IR microscopy, and ATR FTIR capabilities. X-ray characterization facilities include a Bruker DaVinci Discover 8 2D WAXD system for characterization of oriented fibers/films and semicrystalline polymers,

as well as a CT tomography facility for 3D visualization of composites, materials. The laboratory is complemented with optical, atomic force, and scanning electron microscope equipment.

High Strain Rate/Energy Materials Capabilities

The impact physics lab is equipped with a one-inch diameter gas gun connected to a compression Split Hopkinson Pressure Bar (SHPB) experimental set-up with 1, 3/4, & 1/2-in diameter 72-inch long incident and transmission bars. These SHPB experimental set-ups are equipped with a high speed data acquisition system, and can measure the high strain rate properties of different engineering materials, e.g., polymers, rubber, foamed materials, composites, metals, and ceramics under compression and shear loading. SHPB has been adopted to perform controlled direct impact model experiments for validation of numerical models including direct impact punch shear testing and a Taylor cylinder impact experiment. One two-inch diameter gas gun capable of shooting projectiles up to 150 ft/sec is connected with an impact chamber (48-in x 60-in x 30-in) where direct impact experiments can be performed in conjunction with high speed photography (HG 100k, and Ultra 8). Impact on ceramic-interlayer-composite beams has been performed to investigate the high strain rate behavior of interlayer materials. Both the SHPB and Impact Chamber allow developing new model experiments to be performed under high strain and penetration loading.

A unique apparatus for studying the high energy impact behavior of thick-section laminated composite panels, fastener assemblies and other components of vehicle structures has been developed as part of a cooperative effort between CCM and the Army Research Laboratory. A large impact tower with a drop height of up to 12 feet, a maximum drop weight of 2000 pounds and an operating test bed measuring 74 by 100 inches has been design and constructed. The “tower of power” (TOP-2000) is a LabVIEW® driven, highly instrumented apparatus with high resolution displacement measuring devices, accelerometers, sophisticated load sensors on the striker and sample fixture, and digital image correlation for full-field deformation and strain monitoring, as well as high speed cameras.

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