Composites Matrix Materials

Dr. Thames is the principal investigator for the Office of Naval Research projects that are aligned with the needs of the U.S. Navy and composites materials manufacturers.  The projects have been funded for two years to establish a composites matrix research and development center at The University of Southern Mississippi, School of Polymers and High Performance Materials (SPHPM). The focus will be on the Nation’s marine composite defense technology demands. The SPHPM has a tradition of focusing on the synthesis of new monomers, oligomers, polymers, and crosslinkers with an emphasis on structure-property relationships.  After a scientific review needs analysis (for both the Department of Defense (DoD) and industry), the center has focused on several critical structural composite matrix material research areas including:

  1. adhesion and joining of composite materials
  2. matrix materials development, optimization, wetting, and toughening
  3. materials characterization and non-destructive inspection/analysis
  4. process modeling
  5. coatings and surfaces for composite materials
  6. fiber matrix interactions 

More than fifteen projects are currently in progress involving several faculty members, postdoctoral fellows, research associates, graduate, and undergraduate students.  The SPHPM center is purchasing equipment that will complement these research efforts.  Some of the equipment includes:

  1. electrochemical corrosion equipment to quantify electrical potential between dissimilar materials
  2. cone calorimeter to measure thermal stability in combination with fire and smoke characteristics
  3. high velocity impact tester to determine total material resistance through catastrophic failure
  4. 3-D image correlation instrumentation to quantify strain and study fracture mechanics, service-life predictions, and composite delamination
  5. 3-D digital microscope for detailed characterization of composites, fibers, and surfaces to complement analysis of spreading and wetting characteristics
  6. high pressure dilatometer to determine coefficient of thermal expansion and shrinkage of composites upon curing
  7. high speed camera for visualization of composite failure
  8. water jet for cutting composites test specimens and shaping composite structures 

Composites 3D Profile

USM logo
Thames-Rawlins Research Group    |    118 College Drive #5217 Hattiesburg, MS 39406    |    Phone: 601.266.5618    |    Fax: 601.266.5880
Copyrights 2008 All Rights Reserved     |    AA/EOE/ADAI