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Yamamoto receives ONR grant for scalable manufacturing of polymer nanocomposites

Thursday, May 19, 2016
TEM Image of a CNT showing multi-walled structure. Image: Yamamoto Group, Penn State

Namiko Yamamoto, assistant professor of aerospace engineering at Penn State, was recently awarded $376,599 through the Office of Naval Research (ONR) Navy and Marine Corps Science and Technology program for her research proposal titled “1D-Patterned Nanocomposites Structured Using Oscillating Magnetic Fields.”

Yamamoto, who is the principal investigator on the project, says the goal of the research is to “develop a scalable manufacturing capability of hierarchical 1D-patterned nanocomposites that will enable bulk application of multifunctional polymer-nanocomposites in aerospace structures.”

The proposed research aligns with ONR’s interest in the field of Sea-Based Aviation National Naval Responsibility – Airframe Structures and Materials. The successful development of lightweight, high-performance nanocomposites with unique properties could provide solutions to the tight requirements for next-generation aerospace vehicles and rotorcraft.

Currently, nanocomposites with ordered microstructures cannot be fabricated in large size; nanocomposites display poor organization of nanoparticles, resulting in lower performance than expected. By structuring nano- and micro-fillers in a polymer matrix suspension, and using external oscillating magnetic fields, Yamamoto seeks to accelerate the fabrication and design process of highly organized nano-fillers that can be tailored for desired mechanical, electrical, thermal and/or thermoelectrical functionalities.