Center for Composite Materials - University of Delaware

CCM Equipment

CCM’s equipment is continuously upgraded and augmented as needed to support basic research as well as applied programs carried out in collaboration with industrial and government sponsors. Within the last year, the facilities underwent a significant expansion and upgrade in three areas: high-performance computing, materials processing, and materials characterization.

SGI Shared Memory Supercomputer (Veyron)

supercomputer1 The Altix UV1000 is the fastest shared-memory supercomputer in the world, according to its manufacturer, Silicon Graphics International. CCM researchers use Veyron to model fabric impact; model, at multiple length scales, the permeability, consolidation, and infusion of polymer composites; and simulate electromagnetic and thermal responses, impact, and wave propagation through heterogeneous materials and fluid-structure interactions.

Automated Tape Placement (ATP)

Check out our video on integrated ATP machine for automatic placement of dry, thermoset and thermoplastic tape.

UD-CCM has selected Mikrosam and their US representative Composite Automation LLC to deliver an integrated ATP machine for automatic placement of dry, thermoset and thermoplastic tape. Equipment specifications include placement of thin to standard ply thickness tape (up to 1 inch width), laser and IR heating with in-situ temperature control and thermal camera feedback, and horizontal axes allowing manufacturing of full-scale prototypes (10 foot length). Mikrosam is designating UD-CCM as their primary academic partner in the US providing open software and hardware access enabling R&D to develop new material solutions, in-situ process control and path/placement optimization. Robotic tape placement of composites in dry, thermoset and thermoplastic formats enables precision control of fiber orientation for high-performance applications with the benefit to meet higher production rates.
Click here for more details.

Fabric Prototyping and Tow Sizing System

Funded through a DURIP grant, CCM  acquired a CCITech SL8900 Sampling Loom System (2-D Loom, Warper, Sizing Unit) for research and development of composites with custom/hybrid fabric architectures and sizings. The Loom has a weaving width of 17”, multiple weft yarns and programmable weave patterns. The Warper can produce warp beams for short runs (~3 yards) and the Sizing unit allows custom sizing runs for a single end of roving/yarn. The system enables rapid design, prototyping and evaluation of unique fabric architectures in short runs (~16” width by 3 yards in length) with all the standard high performance inorganic and organic fibers.

Robotic Advanced Material Placement Head (AMP)

The AMP workcell is being used to conduct novel research on ATL/AFP processing. The system is designed to be flexible for research purposes, modular for multiple projects, and adaptive as new materials and processing techniques emerge. Current modules include two rollers, high-energy IR, induction and a spray bagging system. An IR camera mounted on the system is used for temperature measurement and process control.  The system can be used to evaluate processing thermoplastic and thermoset (OOA) materials as well as dry fabric and metal-matrix composites.

SC6100 and A615 IR Cameras

CCM recently purchased two FLIR cameras for temperature measurement and control: the science grade SC6100 IR camera and the industrial grade A615 system. The SC6100 camera with microscope attachment provides high-speed (35kHz) and high-resolution (640×512) MWIR imagery and can also be used for IR thermography. The system features a 50-megapixel clock that streams 14-bit digital data at up to 126 Hz in full resolution.  The A615 camera is used for process monitoring, automation, and control.

SkyScan 1172 Micro CT Scanner

This scanner features µm–resolution 3D images, allowing nondestructive evaluation of composite materials. The system is currently used to evaluate microstructural changes during composite processing, locate fiber in complex 3D fabrics, and detect internal damage such as cracks and fiber breakage. The system also allows the integration of a heat and mechanical stage to actuate the sample. It offers a novel tool for students, staff and industrial partners to provide insight into the composite microstructure without the time-consuming effort needed for standard microscopy.

High Capacity Impact Tower

A custom-built high-energy drop tower system is being used to test thick composite panels, fastener assemblies, and other components of vehicle structures. The tower provides up to 37kJ of impact energy over an open (10ftx12ft) test floor and has a movable test fixture for multi-impact (durability) and damage tolerance testing. The system also has built-in lighting and isolated camera extension cranes for full-field DIC (Digital Image Correlation) analysis.

TA Instruments Discovery Hybrid Rheometer

This new rheometer utilizes magnetic bearings, which greatly increases the sensitivity in measurement of torque, compared to the traditional air bearing design.  The system can measure viscosities at temperatures in excess of 300°C and at sub-ambient conditions down to liquid nitrogen temperatures.  The system can currently carry out cone-and-plate and parallel plate viscosity measurements and can be adapted to other forms of viscosity measurement.  The main research application for this instrument is the measurement of polymer resin viscosity as a function of time, temperature, and filler content.temperature, and filler content.

Instron 5985 Testing System

Outfitted with the full ensemble of fixtures, grips and T-slot base, this system has a capacity of 250kN.

VK-X200 3D Color Laser Scanning Microscope

This microscope is used to capture high-resolution color images with nanometer-level profile and film measurement functions. The system provides 0.5-nm z-axis resolution on almost any material with 7-mm depth of field and is ISO 25178 compliant. The system is used extensively for accurate void and surface topography measurements as well as particle size distribution and crack and fiber filament analysis.

Bruker D8 Discover 2 Dimension Wide Angle X-Ray

This system has Bruker’s newest Vantec 500 area detector, which boasts increased sensitivity and stability compared to the older Hi-Star area detectors.   The new system greatly expands UD-CCM’s characterization capabilities, enabling the determination of crystal structure in a wide variety of materials including polymers, ceramics, and metals.  A major research focus for this facility will be investigation of oriented polymer films and fibers and evaluation of such parameters as degree of crystallinity, degree of crystal orientation, crystallite size, and changes in crystal structure as a function of temperature and mechanical stress.

Micro-scale Extrusion and Injection Molding Machine

This machine is capable of producing small batches, 15 cm3 of material, and directly molding ASTM-sized test specimens. This process is ideal for completing studies on thermoplastic nanocomposites and polymer blends.

Aqueous Bath Thermoplastic Prepreg Line

This facility addresses the current need for improved processing of high-temperature thermoplastic/carbon fiber materials.

A Dimension Icon Atomic Force Microscope (AFM)

This microscope was purchased by UD-CCM from the Bruker Corporation, a world leader in AFM. The new AFM will extend UD-CCM’s capabilities to explore the multi-scale properties (i.e., mechanical, electrical, topographical, etc.) of materials down to molecular length scales.

CCM Equipment by Laboratory:

Chemical Characterization Laboratory

  • NETZSCH Advanced Kinetics Software
  • Cahn DCA 322 – Dynamic Contact
  • Perkin Elmer – FTIR Spectrometer with microscope
  • TA Instruments Model DHR Rheometer
  • TA Instruments Model AR 2000 Rheometer

  • METTLER FP82 Hotstage

  • METTLER XP2U Balance w/ sensitivity of  0.0000001g

Composites Preforming Laboratory 

  • Bally – 1000 cu-ft. Walk-in Storage Freezer
  • Buehler – Three-Station Polishing Table
  • Thwing-Albert 90 Degree Peel Strength Tester
  • Surfx A250 Plasma System
  • Micro Hardness Tester
  • Rockwell Hardness Tester

Composites Machine Shop

  • ACER AGS 1020 AHD – Surface Grinder
  • Bridgeport – Milling Machine
  • DoAll  – Band Saw
  • Empire – Glass Bead Cabinet
  • Enco – Drill Press
  • Enco – Sheet Shear
  • Nasaturn 1340 – Lathe

Oven and Environmental Durability Laboratories

  • Blue M – Laboratory Oven
  • Blue M-Temporary Bath
  • Grieve- Laboratory Oven
  • Lucifer – Laboratory Furnace
  • Fisher Scientific Isotemp Laboratory Ovens (2)
  • Vulcan A550 Laboratory Oven
  • Fisher Scientific Laboratory Vacuum Oven
  • VWR Laboratory Vacuum Oven
  • Hotpack Humidity Chamber
  • Tenny Environmental Chamber
  • Linberg/Blue M Benchtop Furnace
  • Terra Universal Glove Box

Manufacturing Laboratory

  • ABB IRB 6400 – Robotic Tow Placement Workcell
  • Computer-Controlled N2 Hot Gas Torches (2)
  • Keycene LC-2450 High Precision Displacement Laser
  • Multitech Large-Scale Gantry System
  • Amtech Ultraseam 20 Robotic Consolidation System
  • Huttinger TIG 5/300 robotic induction welding  system
  • Matec – Four-Axis Ultrasonic Scanner
  • Radius Engineering 2500cc Computer Controlled RTM Injection Systems (2)
  • Wabash 150 – Transfer/Compression Molding Press
  • Wisconsin Oven- Convection Oven 8ft x 10ft x 8ft chamber
  • Blue M -Convection Oven 3ft x 3ft x 4ft chamber

Mechanical Characterization Laboratory

  • Dynatup Low-Velocity Impact Tower (2)
  • Instron 1331 – Hydraulic Fatigue Test System 
  • Instron 1332 – Hydraulic Fatigue Test System
  • Instron 4484 – Static Load Frame
  • Instron 8562 – Electric Actuator Test System
  • Instron 5567 – Table Mounted Test System
  • Instron 5985 – Static load Frame
  • MTS 657.03 – High-Temperature Furnace
  • Tenney – Environmental Chamber
  • Thermotron – Environmental Chamber

Microscopy Laboratory

  • Wild Optical Macroscope-Stereo Microscope
  • CCD camera for digital imaging Atomic Force Microscope (AFM)
  • Leitz Mettallux Microscope
  • Nikon UDM Eclipse LV1000 Optical Microscope
  • Bruker D8 Discover 2 Dimension Wide Angle X-Ray
  • SkyScan 1172: high resolution desktop micro-CT

Thermoplastic Processing Laboratory

  • Twin Screw Haake Extruder
  • Peltsman  Low Pressure Injection Molder
  • DACA Microextruder
  • Q-U-V Accelerated Weathering Tester
  • Perkin Elmer Series 2000 GPC Lab Scale Film Extrusion System

Impact Physics Laboratory

  • Compression Split Hopkinson Pressure Bar
  • Low Velocity Gas Gun
  • Digital Storage Oscilloscope
  • Stress Gage Bridge Box and Power Supply
  • LabView and GageScope Data Acquisition System

Autoclave Laboratory

  • TEC – 1000°F, 515 psi Processing Autoclave

Non-Destructive Evaluation Laboratory

  • Two 3x5ft water immersion ultrasonic tanks
  • Faro Arm

Materials Interface Science Laboratory

  • Dynamic Interphase Loading Apparatus (DILA)
  • Microdroplet Tester 
  • Experimental Electro-Spinning Machine
  • Redlake High Speed Photography and Motion Analysis System
  • Controlled-Atmosphere Microwave Furnace
  • Hitachi TM 100 scanning Electron Microscope
  • Instron 5848 Material Testing System

Applications and Technology Transfer Laboratory (ATTL)

  • HPI 20 kip Pultrusion Machine
  • Aqueous Bath Thermoplastic Prepreg Line
  • Virtek Laser Projection System
  • Spray Systems, Inc. Commercial Spray Booth, 34ft x 14ft x 12ft
  • Smart Molding System
  • Entec Filament Winder
  • Experimental Thermoplastic Lamination Workcell
  • 3D Laser Scanner/Coordinate Measuring Machine
  • HAAS VF-9/40 Vertical Machining Center
  • MTS Servohydraulic System
  • American GFM MA6388 Ultrasonic Plycutter

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