Rockwell Lecture Series — Towards Morphogenic Manufacturing: Reaction-Diffusion Driven Structure in Thermoset Polymeric Materials
CBB 124

Speaker: Nancy Sottos, Department of Materials Science and Engineering and the Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology, University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign

Reaction-diffusion processes are versatile, yet underexplored methods for manufacturing that provide unique opportunities to control the spatial properties of materials, achieving order through broken symmetry. Inspired by reaction-diffusion systems in nature, we seek to harness rapid reaction-thermal transport during frontal polymerization to drive the emergence of spatially varying patterns and tailor properties during the synthesis of engineering polymers and composites. Tuning of the reaction kinetics and thermal transport enables internal feedback control over thermal gradients to spontaneously pattern morphological, chemical, optical, and mechanical properties of structural materials. Functionally graded and patterned regions with two orders of magnitude change in modulus and over 200°C change in glass transition temperature are achieved in thermoset polymers. Small changes in catalyst, resin formulation and processing temperature lead to remarkable changes in patterned structure. We characterize the influence of this patterned structure on the fracture properties of the polymer and find changes in toughening mechanisms and failure modes associated with the patterned structure

More information