Funding agency: 
NASA

The goals of this research are to:

  1. Characterize and understand the degradation mechanism of structural, functional, multi-functional and adaptive materials that are exposed to high-temperature hostile application environments (e.g. oxidizing, corrosive, wear inducing, eroding, high heat flux, etc.);
  2. Identify and implement strategies, including advanced coatings development, to alleviate material degradation, thereby extending lifetimes and/or increase temperature capability in the application of interest;
  3. Determine material phases and measure high accuracy thermodynamic property data at high temperatures and in relevant environments; and
  4. Computational thermodynamic (ThermoCalc, Computherm, FactSage, Chemical Equilibrium) and diffusion (Dictra) modeling tools are employed to support the research activities.

Materials studied include research metals, polymers, ceramics, and composite materials. Special interests exists in development of materials that can meet the structural support requirements along with other functions, such as thermoelectric, piezoceramic, self-sensing, self-healing, acoustic attenuation, etc. Therefore, determining the environmental durability and degradation mechanisms of these materials and developing protective coatings to extend multifunctional materials life is desired. In addition there is an emphasis on developing and processing multi-functional coating materials, such as thermal barrier + erosion resistant or environmental barrier + temperature sensing or wear resistant + power harvesting coating systems. Other examples of the nature of the research include: Identifying new and/or optimizing coating compositions, identifying coating deposition techniques and optimizing process parameters, modeling failure mechanisms, and developing life prediction methodologies. Isothermal and cyclic oxidation studies are performed on a wide variety of research materials as a function of temperature, composition, oxygen partial pressure and test environments. The thermodynamic stability of ceramic and metallic alloy compositions for potential use at very high temperatures is studied by Knudsen cell mass spectrometry, transpiration furnace and vacuum thermogravimetric analysis. High-temperature, gas-solid interactions are investigated using high-pressure sampling mass spectrometry.

A full spectrum of experimental techniques is available and being utilized for these types of research areas. These include numerous high-temperature, controlled-atmosphere, thermogravimetric apparati; burner rigs; magnetic sector and quadrupole mass spectrometers; electron-optical analysis tools (scanning electron microscopy, transmission electron microscopy, x-ray, microprobe); and physical vapor deposition reactors. Research is also supported by fully equipped chemical analysis, metallographic, and mechanical test laboratories, as well as computational facilities.

Deadline: 
June 30, 2019
Funding type: 
Graduate students
Postdocs