The effect of reduced gravity on ultrasonic nanoparticle dispersion (ergund)

N. Rongione, M. Agate, B. Patterson, F. Gheiman, S. Markus, M. Fittipaldi, L. Rodriguez, C. Garcia, Landon R Grace

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


Nanoparticle dispersion is an increasingly critical field, as composite materials become a more viable option for improved performance. While the properties of a single material can be well suited for the objective, combining several materials that possess advantageous properties can drastically improve the performance of a component. Composite materials can fulfill this need, but overall properties depend on the quality of its constituents. In this experiment, the quality of nanoclay Cloisite 30B exfoliation and dispersion in an Epon 828 epoxy matrix is sought to be improved by acoustic cavitation. This is attempted using a sonicator in a reduced-gravity environment to eliminate the buoyancy force. Buoyancy is a driving factor when cavitation occurs and eliminating it will result in higher energy cavitation. This higher energy cavitation will result in smaller sized nanoparticles that are better dispersed throughout the liquid. An even dispersion will cause the material to have better mechanical properties as shown in a tensile test than samples created in a 1G environment. However, the results are inconclusive. This discrepancy is attributed to the fact that the samples were not cured immediately after sonication. While the experiment yielded negative results, this work is intended to provide inspiration for future novel in-space manufacturing techniques.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationProceedings of the American Society for Composites - 31st Technical Conference, ASC 2016
PublisherDEStech Publications Inc.
ISBN (Electronic)9781605953168
StatePublished - 2016
Event31st Annual Technical Conference of the American Society for Composites, ASC 2016 - Williamsburg, United States
Duration: Sep 19 2016Sep 21 2016


Other31st Annual Technical Conference of the American Society for Composites, ASC 2016
CountryUnited States

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ceramics and Composites

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