Texas Tech University


This presentation will review the progression of additive manufacturing of energetic materials research at Texas Tech University. Our initial efforts were focused on developing adhesive films for thermal battery applications. The development of thin film energetics then expanded into flexible-free standing energetic composites for localized power generation. Further research focused on aluminum with a fluoropolymer enabled the introduction of solid structural energetics. While synthesis of mold cast, or extrusionbased shapes is important, the synthesis strategy is guided by the chemical thermodynamics and kinetics of these multicomponent systems and the application for the final product. Traditional additive manufacturing binders include ABS, but silicone based binders show unique reactive contributions to many solid particle formulations that enhance overall calorific output. Beginning with a thermite formulation that includes fuels such as magnesium or aluminum combined with solid oxidizers, the rheology of the binder-energetic system will be reviewed. The chemical kinetics of these systems have been characterized and unique combustion behaviors associated with fuels and binders will be presented that contribute or inhibit overall combustion performance. Finally, 3D printed shapes will be presented and assessed for their reactive properties.

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DR. MICHELLE PANTOYA received her PhD from the University of California, Davis in 1999 and joined the faculty in the Mechanical Engineering Department at Texas Tech University in 2000. As the J. W. Wright Regents Endowed Chair Professor, her research focuses on studying aluminum particle combustion in ways that can enhance our national safety and security. She has received many research awards including the US PresidentialEarly Career Award (PECASE) and the Department of Defense Young Investigator Program Award and has pursued Army & Navy relevant research through ARO & ONR for the past 15 years. Dr. Pantoya has also co-authored several children's books that introduce engineering to young kids, which have received national awards and, she actively works to promote engineering education in the early years through multiple NSF grants. She is a certified Engineering is Elementary (EiE) Teacher Educator, Board Member for the Science Spectrum and stars in 30-60 second PBS Kids segments as Dr. Michelle the Engineer.