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Engineering  |  FURI

Chase Lee

Hometown: Laveen, Arizona, United States | Graduation Date: Spring 2022
Aerospace engineering

Investigation of Novel Composite Reinforced with Mechanophore-Enhanced Multi-Walled Carbon Nanotubes

Research Theme: Security
FURI: Spring 2020

Mechanophores, described as molecules that emit visible change when induced to force, have been proposed as a potential solution for damage precursor detection in fiber-reinforced polymers. Multi-Wall Carbon Nanotubes were grafted with cinnamoyl mechanophore and embedded into carbon fiber reinforced polymer. The objective was to synthesize an alternative method of grafting that would increase the concentration of mechanophores, and by extension, enable more accurate damage detection. Tensile loading and fatigue tests were conducted onto samples to determine whether the mechanophore could accurately display the sample’s condition through a change in fluorescence.

Other Projects

Stress-Responsive Reinforced Composites via Functionalization of Carbon Fiber

Research Theme: Security
FURI: Fall 2019

Mechanophores, described as molecules that emit detectable change when induced to force, have been proposed as a potential solution for damage precursor detection in fiber-reinforced polymers. The objective is to determine whether the fluorescent cinnamoyl mechanophore could accurately sense damage when incorporated onto the surface of carbon fiber, a known UV absorber. The carbon fiber surface will be grafted with cinnamoyl mechanophore via ammonia treatment and fabricated into a reinforced polymer composite. Tensile load and fatigue tests will be conducted to test the mechanophore’s damage sensing ability. It is anticipated the mechanophore will show successful fluorescent stress-response.

Streamlining Rocketry: How to Cut Costs Without Compromising Performance

Research Theme: Security
KEEN: Fall 2019

The objective was to design, simulate, and launch a rocket for Spaceport America Cup 2019. This design was focused on developing new manufacturing processes that would cut costs and streamline manufacturing. Due to administrative and financial difficulties, the rocket itself was unable to be built in the given timeframe. However, the team was able to develop manufacturing processes that are streamlined and more cost-efficient, such as an improved method for wrapping carbon fiber body tubes. These processes and techniques have been and will be used to keep costs and manufacturing time down in all future projects.

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