Synthesis & Fabrication
Synthesis and Fabrication activities of the pre-eminent team are aimed at creating tailored energetic materials. Improved performance, sensitivity, toxicity and lifetime are key drivers for these new materials. We are also interested in developing disruptive materials that are tunable, switchable, and multi-functional. Both top-down and bottom-up fabrication approaches are being explored. These include additive manufacturing methods, nanoscale encapsulation, and high energy ball mill mechanical activation methods. We also hope to extend this to both chemical synthesis and cocrystallization at Purdue. Applications include all areas of energetic materials and include advanced propellants, enhanced explosives and novel pyrotechnics.
Diagnostics and Characterization
Diagnostic and Characterization efforts are primarily aimed at improving our ability to study energetic materials during dynamic events. A variety of laser-spectroscopy and imaging techniques spanning the UV to the far-IR are currently being developed and applied to study propellant flames, explosions and detonations, shock impact, and electromagnetic stimulation. These efforts employ ultrafast-, burst-mode-, hyperspectral-, and wavelength-modulation-spectroscopy techniques, as well as high-speed and ballistic imaging to provide non-intrusive, time-resolved measurements of chemical species, temperature, pressure, and velocity. In addition, X-ray techniques for imaging optically dense, multi-phase processes are also of interest. A combination of commercial and custom-built light sources and imaging platforms are currently being used to extend such measurements to: additional chemical species, multiple dimensions (2D to 4D), shorter timescales, and increasingly hostile and optically dense environments.
Drop-weight towers, Kolsky bars and gas guns are used to apply dynamic loads on the energetic materials to be characterized, optical and x-ray high-speed imaging techniques are used to determine the dynamic deformation and damaging processes in the energetic materials under impact. To identify the formation of hot spots, temperature field associated with the deformation and damage is measured with a new 2D topographical temperature measurement method using the laser-induced phosphorescence.
Detection and Defeat
Detection and Defeat activities of the pre-eminent team are focused generally on interdiction of terrorists and improvised explosive devices. Improved materials and methods are being developed for better detection of explosives residues at security checkpoints using contact sampling methods. These approaches involve understanding the adhesion and mechanics of explosives, as well as the development of novel materials with optimized properties for explosives harvesting. In addition, standoff methods for detecting and defeating explosives are of great interest. These methods involve the application of novel MEMS technology for recognition of explosive vapors, and the development of directed energy methods for inducing deflagration within explosives and for detecting explosives residues in the vapor phase and on surfaces.
Maurice J. Zucrow Laboratories
The Maurice J. Zucrow Laboratories is an interdisciplinary research laboratory that provides infrastructure for approximately 15 faculty members and their research groups. The Laboratories’ 7 buildings and 22 laboratories have a rich 65 year old history of graduate education and fundamental and applied engineering research emphasizing the technical areas of energetics, rocket propulsion, combustion and turbomachinery.
Ray W. Herrick Laboratories
The Ray W. Herrick Laboratories is an interdisciplinary research laboratory that provides infrastructure for approximately 20 faculty members and their research groups. The Laboratories have a rich, 55-year old history of graduate education and engineering research emphasizing technology transfer to government and industry. Technical areas of interest include: electromechanical systems; thermal systems and air quality; noise and vibration control; and human response modeling for machine and system optimization.
The FlexLab in Discovery Park, is designed to adapt to the creative and innovative needs of Engineering professors and their students. Its wet-lab, dry-lab and open spaces enable teams to collaborate on interdisciplinary research and discovery that ranges from advanced manufacturing to imaging, and from information technology to medical devices.
Birck Nanotechnology Center
The Birck Nanotechnology Center is an interdisciplinary research center that provides infrastructure for more than 150 faculty members and their research groups. The research center includes the Dynamic Analysis of Micro- and Nanosystems Laboratory - a world-class facility focused on sensor development and small-scale materials characterization.
Purdue Energetic Materials Summit
The Purdue Energetic Materials Summit (PEMS) is a biennial summit designed to bring together thought leaders and decision makers in the defense, security and academic communities to discuss key challenges and potential technical solutions associated with energetic materials. The inaugural event was held on May 22-24, 2017, on the campus of Purdue University in West Lafayette, IN. Invitation is required to attend or speak at the summit. The summit will alternate between invited presentations and free time allotted for conversation and community building amongst attendees. The work presented at the summit will neither be recorded nor released publicly.
Questions regarding the summit should be submitted to: firstname.lastname@example.org.