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Green Milky Way

Filed under the keywords

This is an image taken under a Polarized Optical Microscope with crossed polarizers. A mesogenic cyanate ester resin is melted between glass slides under the microscope and after a short time turns into a nematic phase due to crosslinking and chain growth of the monomer into a thermoset. The resulting image is exhibiting a nematic Schlieren texture.

Crystal Angel Hair

Filed under the keywords

An image taken with a Polarizing Optical Microscope of a liquid crystalline polymer in the super cooled RT state. The polymer was melted into a nematic phase first, supercooled below the nematic/crystalline transition. The polymer crystallizes with the underlying texture of the nematic phase still present, leading to the hair like texture.

Materials Networking

Filed under the keywords

False color Scanning Electron Microscopy image taken of a high temperature thermoset open cell foam. The ligaments and struts of the foam have been coated with a shape memory polymer. The macroscopic foam works as a shape memory foam. A temporary shape can be applied that retains its structural integity up to 75C. Above 75C it relaxes back to its permanent shape and can be shaped into a different temporary form. This can be locked in by cooling back to RT.

Nano Skeleton

Filed under the keywords

False color Scanning Electron Microscopy image of a polyurethane with embedded carbon nanotubes. The foam structure of the carbon nanotube nanocomposite allows large deformations in compression. The polyurethane is a shape memory polymer and different shapes can be locked into the material. The presence of carbon nanotubes allows remote triggering of the shape recovery process from temporary to permanent shape via current or infrared light.

Computational Study of a DISI Rotary Engine

Filed under the keywords

Due to the inherent low fuel efficiency of rotary engines and increasing gas prices, application of the rotary engine in conventional automobiles is decreasing. This project seeks to introduce DISI technology to the rotary engine, thus increasing the fuel efficiency and allowing it to be another efficient power source option for aero and automotive applications.

Break Out The Guns!

Filed under the keywords

This image depicts operation of a 9-stick Gatling-Gun micro PPT thruster firing. Sticks fire seqentially from 1 to 9, but long expose setting captures all 9 firing in brilliant detail.

Alien On the Tip of a Plasma Torch Cathode Tip?

Filed under the keywords

Various structures (and perhaps even an alien) can be seen in the ~600 micrometer diameter crater formed on the tip of a plasma torch igniter cathode. The structures were formed as the melted tungsten at the tip solidified while cooling from temperatures in excess of 6600°F.

A Naturally Micro Flyer

Filed under the keywords

This prototype flapping wing micro air vehicle is the first of its kind, because of its ability to flap each wing independently. This vehicle, designed and built by the artists, was used to test flight control algorithms for hovering flight. Fabricated from advanced composite materials, it has a wing span of 8 centimeters, weighs less than a gram and is powered by piezo-electric crystal actuators.

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