MAE Seminar: Leslie Lamberson, Drexel University, Matrix Matters: A Dynamic Look at Polymer Composites


4:00 pm-5:00 pm
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NEB 100
Gainesville, Florida 32611


Matrix Matters: A Dynamic Look
At Polymer Composites
Leslie Lamberson
Drexel University
Polymer matrix composites (PMCs) are becoming increasingly prevalent in structural, transportation and aerospace applications. As such, accurately predicting their performance, particularly under dynamic loading environments is necessary. At the same time, the matrix influence due to its nonlinear rate-dependent response and shattering behavior during damage evolution remains largely unknown. This talk focuses on the role of the polymer matrix and toughening mechanisms via microstructural crosslinking features and inorganic particulates. Under quasi-static and dynamic compressive loading, nominally identical woven fiberglass composites with varying resin matrix binders exhibited localized shear band formation with characteristic geometry stemming from instabilities at the weave interface. Moreover, two-stage light-gas gun impact experiments reveal dramatically different ballistic limit behavior between nominally similar binders. Variations of DGEBA (epoxy-based) resins were examined under mode-I (crack opening) impact conditions in order to extract relevant dynamic fracture criterion for matrix shattering. Digital image correlation (DIC), a full-field imaging technique, along with high-speed imaging tracks surface deformations around the moving crack front, and post-mortem microtomography is used to examine local crack path tortuosity. These results can be used to tailor the microstructure and performance of matrix materials in PMC’s, and are relevant in the development of next-generation additively manufactured thermosetting polymers.

Leslie Lamberson is a currently the PC Chou Assistant Professor in Mechanical Engineering and Mechanics, with affiliated appointment in Materials Science and Engineering at Drexel University. Leslie received her B.S. in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Michigan, her M.S. in Aerospace Engineering at the Georgia Institute of Technology, and her Ph.D. in Aeronautics from the California Institute of Technology. Prior to her faculty appointment, she was a postdoctoral research scholar with K.T. Ramesh at the Johns Hopkins University. A former Lockheed Martin ‘Skunk Works’ engineer, in 2013 Leslie was a NASA Glenn faculty fellow in the Materials and Structures for Extreme Environments Division. Her expertise lies in microstructurally-informed experimental mechanics under extreme conditions.


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