Mechanical Engineering Assistant Professor Troy Holland, recently converted a warehouse at CSU’s Mechanical Engineering Research Center into the Advanced Materials Processing Testing Lab. The AMPT Lab specializes in creating functional materials using metals, ceramics, and polymers, via sintering.
Introducing this lab seemed like the appropriate next step in developing and diversifying materials research at CSU, especially with the School of Advanced Materials Discovery on the horizon. Currently, there are a variety of projects underway in the lab. Graduate students in charge of each project make an effort to manufacture the best material possible for any given application.
- Modeling and testing the densification behavior(s) of functionally/mechanically graded oxide ceramics undergoing applied thermal gradients > 600 K/cm. Graduate students: Paul Colasuonno, Corson Cramer
- Producing hydroxyapatite composites for creating tougher bone replacements using 2-D materials (much like graphene) as reinforcements and comparing them with unreinforced and nanotube reinforcements. Graduate student: Trevor Aguirre
- Creating various foam, both syntactic and normal shape memory alloys to evaluate the mechanical performance in self-healing and elastocaloric applications. Graduate student: Peter Nivala
- Investigating the effects of applied, low-frequency loads on the creep and sintering behavior of ceramic materials. Graduate student: David Anderson
- Understanding the effects of applied electric fields on densification behaviors, as well as novel methods of manufacturing electride materials. Graduate student: Tom Hammann
- Designing, manufacturing, and testing ultrahigh temperature-capable heat exchangers (>1473 K) using low-cost materials and techniques. Graduate student: Vincent Torres
- Designing an additive manufacturing technique for metals and ceramics using sintering approaches and methods quite different than anything currently available. Graduate student: Tucker Hensen
Creating ceramic and metal-based materials that operate mechanically and functionally at high temperatures is the lab’s overall goal, says Dr. Holland. The AMPT Lab sets itself apart from other materials labs with new techniques and equipment that give the lab a singular ability to function synergistically, both theoretically and practically.
Dr. Holland is optimistic for the future of his lab, but specifically, he hopes to understand theoretical issues surrounding sintering and creep sufficiently to enable true scalability to industrially relevant sizes for ceramic and metal parts.