BS, Mechanical Engineering West Texas A&M University, 2012
Assistant Professor of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering University of Colorado Colorado Springs
NRC Postdoctoral Research Associate United States Air Force Academy
Graduate Teaching and Research Assistant Texas Tech University
Additive manufacturing is an impactful tool in order to tailor materials to sensitive
applications. Popular methods in rapid prototyping include extrusion, injection molding
and 3D printing by fused-deposition modeling (FDM). Understanding how surface chemistry
and solid particulate morphology affect flow properties in molten polymers is crucial in
order to optimize these melt-processing techniques. This knowledge will help to better
predict material needs and melt-processing parameters toward additive manufacturing of
advanced composites including solid structure energetic materials.
Many current energetic formulations are used in loose powder form which creates many
application specific limitations. Employing this manufacturing technique will give these
formulations structural integrity which will allow them to be handled more easily and
precisely. This understanding will resolve issues in systems where space is very limited
and energetic components need to perform consistently. There are also many safety
concerns when handling these highly reactive mixtures due to their high surface area.
Many energetic mixtures are sensitive to electrostatic discharge which makes storage
hazardous. Transforming these mixtures into a condensed part will not only improve ease
of handling, but better protect the handler from unintentional ignition.