Center for Composite Materials - University of Delaware
University of Delaware

Composite Update

March, 2019

March 13, 2019
Newark, DE
TuFF Fiber Count Contest
UD- CCM Announces the Winner of the “Guess the Fiber Count” Contest held at DMC 2018.

Click here to view the full article.

March 6, 2019
Newark, DE
A Digital Design & Additive Manufacturing Featured Seminar: On-Demand Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems Integrated Research in Design and Additive Manufacturing
Speakers: John Gerdes & Eric Spero
On the modern battlefield, warfighters are required to operate in dispersed small groups with reduced logistical support. The mission needs arising from this landscape can be difficult to predict, resulting in an incompatibility with the materiel that is available. Unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) are a key example of this challenge, as they may provide extensive capabilities, but often are unavailable or poorly matched to mission needs. At the US Army Research Laboratory (ARL), we seek to address this challenge by designing and manufacturing customized UAS, on-demand, in a short period of time. By leveraging engineering design tools, additively manufactured vehicle frames are produced and matched to commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) parts that result in vehicle designs specifically tailored to a particular mission need, with the whole process requiring approximately one day to complete.

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The history of this research will be presented, including early work in developing a catalog and selection strategy for candidate COTS parts, development of a parametrically scalable vehicle design that accommodates a variety of mission needs, and a vehicle selection dashboard that facilitates matching of mission needs to vehicle designs. Results from several experimental evaluations conducted with warfighters will be discussed, all of which resulted in valuable insights into the diverse and challenging mission needs that are faced on the modern battlefield.

Dr. John Gerdes, Vehicle Technology Directorate
John Gerdes is a mechanical engineer and acting team leader in the Vehicle Technology Directorate, US Army Research Laboratory, in Aberdeen Proving Ground, MD. He has been working there since 2010 on research focused on technology impact analysis, additive manufacturing, and small UAS including flapping wing aerial vehicles and quadcopters. He earned his Ph.D. from University of Maryland, College Park in mechanical engineering in 2018. John’s research interests include technology tradespace analysis, experimental test and evaluation, and the intersection of manufacturing, unmanned aircraft systems, and engineering design.

Mr. Eric Spero, Office of Strategy Management
Eric Spero is a Special Project Lead with the US Army Research Laboratory Office of Strategy Management. Mr. Spero has over 20 years of industry and government experience in aerospace and defense across research, design, engineering, development, test, and project management. Before joining ARL, Mr. Spero worked as a Systems Engineer on solid rocket propulsion programs at ATK (now Northrop Grumman Innovation Systems). Prior to that, he served as a Project Engineer with the Air Force Research Laboratory Propulsion Directorate (now Aerospace Systems Directorate), managing liquid rocket propulsion technology demonstrations and small business innovative research projects. Mr. Spero received a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemical Engineering from Colorado State University and a Master of Science degree in Aerospace Engineering, with a concentration in system design and optimization, from the Georgia Institute of Technology. His research interests include technology impact assessment, system analysis, and interactive tradespace exploration.

February, 2019

February 11, 2019
Newark, DE
A Digital Design & Additive Manufacturing Featured Seminar: 3D Printing of Multi-Functional Structures
Speaker: Eric MacDonald
Until recently, 3D printing has been relegated to fabricating conceptual models and prototypes; however, increasingly, research is now focusing on fabricating functional end-use products. As patents for 3D printing expire, new low cost desktop systems are being adopted more widely and this trend is leading to products being fabricated locally. However, currently the technology is limited in the number of materials used in fabrication and consequently is confined to fabricating simple static structures. For additively manufactured end-use products to be economically meaningful, additional functionalities are required to be incorporated in terms of electronic, electromechanical, electromagnetic, thermodynamic, chemical and optical content. By interrupting the 3D printing and employing complementary manufacturing processes, additional functional content can be included in mass customized structures. This presentation will review work in multi-process 3D printing for creating structures with electromechanical actuation, electro-propulsion and the Internet of Things with an emphasis on defense relevant applications.

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Eric MacDonald, Ph.D.
Eric MacDonald, Ph.D. is a professor of electrical and computer engineering – with a joint appointment in manufacturing program and is the Friedman Chair for Manufacturing at Youngstown State University. Dr. MacDonald received his B.S. (1992), M.S. (1997) and Ph.D. (2002) degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Texas at Austin. He worked in industry for 12 years at IBM and Motorola and subsequently co-founded a start-up – Pleiades Technologies, Inc. – specializing in self-test circuitry and CAD software and the startup was acquired by Magma Inc. (San Jose, CA). Dr. MacDonald spent 2003 to 2016 at the University of Texas at El Paso as the associate director of the W. M. Keck Center for 3D Innovation and held faculty fellowships at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, SPAWAR Navy Research (San Diego) and a State Department Fulbright Fellowship in South America. His research interests include 3D printed multi-functional applications and closed-loop control in additive manufacturing with instrumentation and computer vision for improved quality and yield. Recent projects include 3D printing of structures such as nano satellites with electronics in the structure (one of which was launched into Low Earth Orbit in 2013 and a replica of which is on display at the London Museum of Science). He has over 50 refereed publications, several patents (one of which was licensed by Sony and Toshiba from IBM). He is a member of ASEE, senior member of IEEE and a registered Professional Engineer in Texas.

January, 2019

January 9, 2019
Newark, DE
A Digital Design & Additive Manufacturing Featured Seminar: Additive Manufacturing Within Army
Speakers: N. Joseph Kott, III & Michael Nikodinovski
The use of Additive Manufacturing (AM) as a repair process and source of part production has been around in the Army for at least 20 years. Early applications at the Army’s Anniston Army Depot demonstrated great potential for part reclamation, but the technology ran into obstructions that halted its implementation. Program Management offices, those responsible for each vehicle platform, where hesitant adopting the new technology. Yet, the Army’s research community continued to move forward and explored uses for Additive Manufacturing that could help transform many facets of Army. They envisioned a day where AM would revolutionize how industry and the Department of Defense (DoD) design, develop, and manufacture defense products and weapon systems.

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Over the past few years there has been a shift within the Army and leadership has started to embrace the benefits of AM. Program Offices have also opened to the idea of using AM to support their sustainment problems. With a focus on readiness, the Army now sees that AM has the potential to improve performance while reducing system weight, reduce our sustainment burdened, and provide the warfighter with the ability to produce parts at the point-of-need. This has led to the development of an Army wide Campaign that outlines how technology will be transitioned to the soldier. Over the next few years, the Army will invest to enhance AM capabilities across the OIB. Focus will initially be at the Arsenals, but eventually it will be found in all facilities. Efforts are being led across the Army’s RDECOM community to demonstrate the benefits of AM, how to validate AM produced produces, and procedure to get Program Office approvals.

This presentation will focus on the current state of AM with the Army, including capabilities, major efforts, the campaign, the Community of practice, and Rock Island Arsenal being stood up a the Army Advanced Manufacturing Center of Excellence.

Michael Nikodinovski
Mr. Nikodinovski is a Mechanical Engineer and the AM Technical Lead at the U.S Army Tank Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center (TARDEC), located in Warren, MI. He holds a B.S & M.S in Mechanical Engineering from Lawrence Technological University. He is also currently enrolled in the Manufacturing Systems Doctoral program at LTU. Mr. Nikodinovski works in the fields of manufacturing engineering, providing support for the broad TARDEC mission. Michael’s core research is on AM, with a focus on sustainment reduction related technologies. He serves as one of TARDEC’s AM Subject Matter Expert and is founding member of the Army’s AM Community of Practice. Along with his colleagues throughout the Army Research Development and Engineering Command (RDECOM), Michael is tasked with growing the Army’s AM competency and transition the technology to the warfighter.

N. Joseph Kott III
Before becoming the Supervisory Team Leader for Materials: AM/Joining, Joe served as the Project Lead for Occupant Centric Protection within Ground System Survivability. He began working for the Army in early 2008 in Ground Vehicle Robotics where he served as a Technical Project Lead, Program Manager. Prior to his time with the government he worked for an automotive supplier as an Engineering Manager responsible for all aspects of a cross functional located across the country. Over his career of more than 20 years, he has
had the opportunity to work technology development, testing, validation & verification, production & manufacturing, design, and acquisition/sustainment providing a broad base of experience.

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