Texas Tech University


A multidisciplinary research program between Rutgers University and the U.S. Army ARDEC Picatinny Arsenal is ongoing to develop multifunctional materials and integrated manufacturing systems for energetic applications. A key aspect of proposed activities is modernization of U.S. Army powder-based (e.g. primer) manufacturing operations, which includes benchmarking the performance of existing processes; testing raw and intermediate material properties and relating them to product/process variability; implementing methods for on-line sensing and monitoring of critical material properties during manufacturing; developing mechanistic/predictive understanding of the effect of processing parameters on process performance/product quality; and designing and implementing process alternatives that are more efficient, safer, or both. In addition, we are also developing a new class of multifunctional nanostructured materials with novel and enhanced properties for energetic applications, including (i) novel energetic composites (e.g. aluminum coated metal-oxide nanowires,); (ii) graphene passivated interfaces between fuel and oxidizer; (iii) boron nitride based reactive systems; and (viii) graphene-reinforced polymers. The specifics of the research approach and methodology to be used in this program involve: (i) developing manufacturing methodologies (e.g. flame-based, solution, and extrusion) for rapid and cost-effective scalable production of nanostructured materials and coatings; (ii) employing in-situ laserbased diagnostics to characterize the flow field, as well as the nanomaterials themselves during synthesis; (iii) modeling and simulation of nanomaterial growth dynamics; (iv) using ionic-liquid electrodeposition to coat materials with reactive metals; (v) consolidating nanopowders using high-pressure high-temperature methods; (vi) using novel extrusion methods to produce graphene-reinforced polymer composites; (vii) characterizing bulk materials and coatings for hardness, wear properties, and impact strength, using various nano-indentation/impaction techniques; and (viii) multiscale modeling and simulation of compaction and sintering of particulate solids. In parallel, a technology implementation effort is conducted by Rutgers' spin-off companies. Such a concurrent R&D strategy should significantly reduce the lead time from university discovery to industrial application.

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DR. STEVEN TSE received his BSE in Engineering Physics from Princeton University in 1991, and his MS and PhD in Mechanical Engineering from the University of California at Berkeley in 1994 and 1996,respectively. He is presently a Professor and the Outreach Director in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering. Prof. Tse's research focus is in the thermal sciences, involving applications in nanomaterials synthesis, microgravity processes, plasma, chemical vapor deposition (CVD), combustion and propulsion, and advanced laser-based diagnostics. His research methodologies encompass experimentation; computational simulation of complex flows, chemistry, and molecular dynamics; and mathematical analysis.