Published: Mar 19, 2013 11:00:00 AM
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Transparent materials used in blast resistant safety goggles and windshields have not changed significantly for several decades and the need for advanced materials has grown. A project addressing this need is taking shape in labs on Auburn’s campus. Hareesh Tippur, McWane professor in Auburn University’s Department of Mechanical Engineering, and Maria Auad, faculty member in the Department of Polymer and Fiber Engineering, have received funding to develop strong, transparent, lightweight and durable materials that can be used to create windshields, goggles, visors, canopies and protective gear for the military, as well as for civilians.
Through a three-year grant from the U.S. Army, Tippur and Auad will be exploring a new family of polymer nanocomposites to create alternative blast resistant materials. Their project, “Molecular Interpenetrated Polymer Composites (MIPCs) for High-Strain Rate Applications” involves interpenetrating polymer networks to tailor materials for applications requiring optical clarity and high mechanical strength and toughness, as well as chemical resistance. They will also explore new techniques to measure stress and deformations in real-time.