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Engineering  |  FURI

Heidi Pankretz

Hometown: Chandler, Arizona | Graduation Date: Spring 2020
Mechanical engineering

Through-Thickness Interphase Characterization of PMC

Research Theme: Sustainability
MORE: Spring 2020

Mechanical properties of a polymer matrix composite (PMC) are driven by the local interphase properties. Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM), using the technique of Peak Force Quantitative Mechanical Nanomechanical Mapping (PF QNM), was utilized to analyze Young’s modulus, adhesion, and topography at different depths of a PMC at the nanoscale. Dynamic Mechanical Analysis testing was completed for a comparison of the PMC properties at the macroscale. This research shows the evolution of through-thickness interphase properties at the subsurface and at the middle of an epoxy resin composite material. The extent of adhesion and cohesion damage affect the local interphase properties.

Other Projects

Embedded Composite Strain Sensors

Research Theme: Sustainability
FURI: Fall 2018

The primary objective of this research is to investigate various fabrication steps of the vacuum filtration and surfactant free techniques and their effects on nanocomposite strain sensors. This research is done by reading various research papers and understanding the effects of the fabrication process. The investigation will determine the effects to the sensor’s mechanical, ductile, and piezoresistivity responses due to each fabrication step. The expected outcome for this research is to optimize the piezoresistive response of the buckypaper sensor for more reliable damage detection for safer structures.

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