This Major Research Instrumentation (MRI) award provides funds for the purchase of a large scale, Solidica ultrasonic consolidation system. This equipment will be used to support research on the fundamentals of ultrasonic consolidation traversing lengths scales from atomistic, molecular dynamic modeling, to hierarchical design/optimization procedures. These include examination of atomic species migration during ultrasonic consolidation, fabrication of multilayer smart materials incorporating ceramic fibers, polymers and metallic layers, large scale ultrasonic curing of fiber reinforced thermosetting polymers, benign environmental treatment of textile fiber surfaces and low temperature fabrication of intermetallic matrix composites. It will also be used to support the undergraduate interdisciplinary senior design program.
This equipment will contribute to developing a knowledge base in ultrasonic consolidation which has application in biomedical devices, aeroengines and air frames. Specifically the knowledge gained will allow incorporation of sensors and direct communication links in orthopedic devices, achievement of real time control variable configuration wing components and direct manufacture of aeroengine components incorporating both cooling air passages and thermal/damage sensors and actuators.