Case Western Reserve and Polymer Plus accomplice with Military analysis lab to develop manufacturing approaches for cost-effective manufacturing of sunshine weight, high-performance polymeric supplies
Case Western Reserve College researchers teamed up with the U.S. Military and a trio of trade companions to additional their signature work in manufacturing approaches for light-weight and high-performance polymeric supplies.
A brand new five-year settlement awards $5.four million (with the potential for as much as $11 million) to a crew led by Case Western Reserve, and features a subcontract to PolymerPlus LLC, a Cleveland-based polymeric growth firm based on the college in 2010, to guide manufacturing scale-up. A number of the funds will go to 2 different subcontractors, in accordance with the Military’s award discover.
The crew will collaborate with employees on the U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Command’s Army Research Laboratory, in Aberdeen Proving Floor, Maryland, to design supplies and superior manufacturing approaches for high-performance composites which have potential functions in safety methods and weapons.
The novel additive manufacturing expertise, pioneered at a small scale within the labs at Case Western Reserve and being scaled to bigger capability at PolymerPlus, basically transforms a number of polymeric supplies into sheets that may have tons of and even 1000’s of particular person layers. The anticipated outcome: new supplies which can be sturdy, light-weight and sturdy.
“Case Western Reserve College and PolymerPlus can repeatedly manufacture advanced mixtures of supplies into distinctive buildings which can be tough to generate even with refined laboratory strategies,” stated Joseph Lenhart, chief of the Polymers Department on the Military lab. “We see large alternatives for enhancing the efficiency of protecting methods and weapons. Long term, we’re excited in regards to the functions we’ve not even imagined.”
Case Western Reserve is home to the nation’s first stand-alone polymer department and the primary to supply a Bachelor of Science program in polymer science accredited by ABET, a non-profit that evaluates faculty and college applications in utilized and pure science, computing, engineering and engineering expertise.
Macromolecular science and engineering is the research of the synthesis, construction, processing and properties of polymers-the large molecules that kind the idea of artificial supplies, together with plastics, fibers, rubber, movies, paints, membranes and adhesives.
Sturdy polymer partnership
Within the new undertaking, Case Western Reserve researchers will experiment with new mixtures of ultra-thin plastics and ship them to PolymerPlus for larger-scale processing, stated Gary Wnek, chair of the Macromolecular Science and Engineering Department within the Case Faculty of Engineering and lead researcher on the undertaking.
“It’s an amazing partnership since you don’t need to make investments too many sources in new materials growth till you may strive it out first at a smaller scale,” Wnek stated. “We all know the expectations are excessive, that the Military desires us to don’t solely good analysis, demonstrated by publishing papers, but in addition translational analysis that can be utilized.”
Wnek stated the Military funding will go towards tools on the university-including an electron microscope-and for hiring further graduate college students and post-doctoral students within the lab.
“I can’t emphasize sufficient how essential it’s for the Military to interact with academia throughout the nation and with trade to quickly push novel ideas into actuality in superior supplies and manufacturing,” stated Dr. Mark Tschopp, ARL Central Regional Director.
“What’s nice about this effort is that there are ARL employees scientists stationed out right here within the Midwest to enhance collaboration and communication with our companions, serving to to deliver the subject material experience and distinctive amenities of all events to bear on this crucial utility. Collectively, we’re methodically tackling difficult issues aimed toward producing outcomes of affect for the Military.”
PolymerPlus, recently acquired in a multi-million-dollar deal by Texas-based Peak Nanosystems LLC, would be the major trade accomplice for the undertaking.
“What we’re seeking to do is use our course of to mix low- to mid-cost plastics-things like milk jugs and trash luggage at a price of about $three a pound-to create a powerful, versatile materials equal to issues like Tremendous Kevlar, that are about $100 a pound,” stated firm President Mike Ponting, a Case Western Reserve alumnus. He stated that the Military has “seen a number of the preliminary samples and expertise, however now they need to see how far we will take this.”
PolymerPlus was co-founded in 2010 by Eric Baer, Distinguished College Professor, founding father of the Division of Macromolecular Science and Engineering and the Nationwide Science Basis-funded Middle for Layered Polymeric Techniques, together with Ponting and Deepak Langhe.
The undertaking was supported by two Ohio members of Congress, Rep. Marcy Kaptur (OH-09), and Rep. Tim Ryan (OH-13). Each are members of the Home Appropriations Subcommittee on Protection.
Kaptur famous Ohio’s “storied manufacturing legacy,” particularly with reference to “analysis and growth of merchandise that help our nationwide protection.
“Partnerships corresponding to it will carry that legacy ahead,” she stated, including that she applauded the ingenuity of the Case Western Reserve scientists “as exemplars for future generations to grasp how science can enhance our weapons and armor methods to maintain our service members protected.”
Ryan stated that the title Case Western Reserve has “all the time been synonymous with educational excellence and their groundbreaking analysis and growth is thought worldwide” and that “this (award) will assist them design lighter, stronger and quicker supplies for our troopers.”