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MURI Program: Manufacturing of Light Fiber-Reinforced Polymer Composites

DUE is home to IEL and the CRL which is administering the Multidisciplinary Undergraduate Research Institute (MURI) both in the academic year and the summer, which creates and supports multidisciplinary research teams consisting of undergraduate and graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, senior staff and faculty. The primary purpose of these teams is to provide undergraduates a unique opportunity to gain research skills by working with mentors on real world problems.

Overview of department:
The Purdue School of Engineering and Technology at IUPUI offers undergraduate and graduate degree programs that prepare students for careers in a global economy and is recognized locally, nationally, and internationally for the quality of its programs and graduates.

Project summary:
The proposed research will help to design and implement a practical advanced manufacturing capability to reduce the amount of carbon fiber in composites by their enhancement with CNs as well as improvement of the interlaminar shear strength by depositing a thin layer of electrospun CNT reinforced epoxy fibers in between the pre-impregnated composite. This multiscale method is effective at increasing ductility of the composite structures due to the incorporation of the CN and enhancement of the mechanical strength due to the addition of CNT/epoxy nanoscaffolds as it provides a large volume to surface ratio with porosity and forms interlayer bonding and has proven to increase the strength by over 25%.

Specific tasks that the MURI student will complete: 
This project will allow optimal design and processing of low-cost, high-performance enhanced CN-bonded CFRP composites. It will help establish a BML framework for the design and discovery of the next generation of CFRP composites. It will also impact U.S. manufacturing with a new material system with tremendous commercial potential.

Specific qualifications (knowledge, skills, class standing, etc) we desire the MURI candidate to have:
Be motivated to be involved in the design and manufacturing of advanced composites for industry applications.

Learning objectives:
By the end of this position assignment, the student will meet the following learning objectives

  1. Attain a position solving real-world problems using engineering and science skills and principles developed.
  2. Participate in ongoing personal and professional growth by actively seeking additional skills and experiences.
  3. Contribute to society through involvement in professional organizations, developing mentorship relationships, taking on leadership roles, and other service activities.