HARVARD‐MIT MATERIALS SPECIAL SEMINAR: The Making and Breaking of Nanocomposites

Thursday, December 05, 2019 at 2:00pm to 3:00pm

Guggenheim Laboratory, 33-218 125 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, MA 02139

Noa Lachman
Department of Materials Science and Engineering, Tel Aviv University, Israel

Nanocomposites incorporate various materials such as metals, ceramics and polymers, where the composite filler is at the nanoscale. The nanoscale dimensions of the filler provide ultra-high surface-to-volume ratio, nearly defect-free structure, and unique properties – electrical, optical etc. These properties make nanocomposites highly useful in applications such as sensors, energystorage, biomed and aerospace. However, these same scale and properties make the processing and fabrication of nanocomposites far from trivial: the high surface-to-volume means that even small concentrations of nanofillercan change drastically the composite melt viscosity, heat transfer and other characteristics affecting process. The small scale of nanoparticles also complicates morphology control – as dispersion and orientation have to be applied indirectly. Post-processing behavior is also challenging to predict, as changes in morphology affects nanocomposite behavior, and different mechanisms are dominant at different length-scales.

In this talk, various approaches for nanocomposite fabrications, both “top-down” and “bottom-up”, will be presented in case-studies. Effects of different fabrication techniques, including 3D printing, on the morphology of nanocomposites and the resultant behavior, emphasizing mechanical behavior, will be discussed. Real-time imaging of said mechanical tests, the additional data acquired from them and its importance for deeper understanding of composite materials behavior will also be presented, including digital image correlation (DIC), micro-mechanics under scanning electron microscope (SEM), and nano-mechanics under transmission electron microscope (TEM). The lessons drawn from these case-studies can then be applied to other nanocomposites behavior, thereby providing better additional knowledge highly useful for improved planning and designing of composites as multifunctional materials.


Co-Hosted By:

Professor Brian L. Wardle, MIT-Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics

Professor Katia Bertoldi, Harvard – School of Engineering

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