||Edwards Air Force Base, CA 93524
The development of polymer composites and composite resins has made a profound impact on the progress and application of advanced materials. Many of these materials exhibit dramatic increases in physical, thermal, and mechanical properties over those of the unfilled polymers. AFRL/RZ is a recognized leader in the field of composite research. An opportunity exists for research in the areas of polymer composites and fiber-reinforced polymer matrix composite resin development. We conduct both basic and applied research, leading to the development of advanced materials for use in rocket propulsion. Synthetic research involves the synthesis and characterization of new hybrid organic/inorganic materials, as well as their polymer composites and composite resins. The synthesis and properties of alternative nanomaterials, including clays, nanosilicas, carbon nanotubes, and carbon nanofibers are also being explored. We are also interested in the preparation of particles produced from naturally-occurring minerals. Engineering aspects of this work involve the production and property determination of composite structures containing these materials, as well as the design and production of new composite resins, polymer composites, and fiber-reinforced polymer matrix composites. The materials produced are evaluated for use in solid rocket motor case and insulation materials, liquid rocket engine seal and ducting materials, as well as materials used in other Air Force applications. Investigations also continue on the fundamental structure/property relationships observed in these materials.
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Guenthner AJ, Mabry JM, et al: Polymer 52: 3933, 2011
Guenthner AJ, Mabry, JM, et al: Macromolecules 454: 211, 2012