Student: Valeria C. Arce GonzÌÁlez
University of Puerto Rico, MayagÌ_ez
Major: Chemical Engineering
Degree Level: Bachelor of Science
Internship Site: NASA Glenn Research Center, Cleveland, Ohio
Mentor: Dr. Marisabel LebrÌ_n-ColÌ_n
Abstract: Today’s helicopter gearboxes are limited by their poor structural design and lack of capability to correlate changes in transmission and gearbox noise levels with expected changes in cabin noise levels. This research focuses on the development of multifunctional nanocomposite materials that possess high strength, good thermal conductivity and high-performance abilities in vibration and noise control. The project seeks to demonstrate improvement in the vibration damping properties of polymeric materials by the addition of carbon nanotubes. Carbon nanotubes are commonly used to improve the stiffness, durability, performance and damping properties of materials. Because of their adjustable elasticity and ability to act as springs, they can dissipate energy much more efficiently, becoming a key component in noise-reduction applications. Some of the greater benefits and payoffs of this research include quieter cabins and the development of lightweight materials that carry no weight penalties. These materials have many other applications, especially in the automotive and aerospace industries where manufacturers require vibration-absorbing materials that are cost-effective for the production of next-generation vehicles. This research project involves the synthesis of epoxy nanocomposite materials, dispersion and organic functionalization of carbon nanotubes, and the processing and characterization of polymeric samples.
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