About

On-Going Research Projects

Advanced polymeric materials for infrastructure applications

  • Creation of superabsorbent polymer (SAP) hydrogels for use as internal curing agents in high-performance concrete

Structure-property-processing relationships of polymeric or composite materials deformed in shear

  • Development of rheometry-based methods for characterization of fracture-healing kinetics of soft materials for biomedical applications (e.g., injectable hydrogels)
  • Construction of a new rheophysical system for investigation of opaque materials via ultrasonic speckle velocimetry (sponsored by The Procter and Gamble Company)
  • Investigation of jamming behavior and flow dynamics of concentrated solid particle suspensions, including magnesium oxide suspensions and biomass-based slurries (the latter in collaboration with Prof. Michael Ladisch and LORRE)
  • Advanced polymer and surfactant systems for enhanced oil recovery (in collaboration with Prof. Vivek Sharma at UIC)
  • Properties of lecithin-stabilized oil/water nanoemulsions for use as antimicrobial encapsulates in food science applications

Experimental Capabilities

  • Bulk and interfacial rheometry

    • Anton Paar Modular Compact Rheometer (MCR 302), equipped with Peltier temperature control, Peltier Hood, and various parallel plate, cone & plate, and Couette measurement systems. For investigation of transparent materials, the MCR is also equipped with a custom-built optical particle tracking flow visualization system employing a transparent quartz Couette cell, class 3b laser (Coherent, Inc.; OBIS 405 nm, 100 mW), and a high speed camera (dicam pro). For investigation of opaque materials, the MCR is being modified for ultrasonic speckle velocimetry flow-visualization measurements in collaboration with Sebastien Manneville at ENS Lyon and with generous support from The Procter and Gamble Company.
    • TA Instruments AR-G2 Rotational Rheometer, equipped with Peltier temperature control, heated plate systems for polymer melts, and immersion fixtures for compression tests.
    • Rame Hart Contact Angle Goniometer and Tensiometer, equipped with an Automatic dispensing System and Oscillatory Accessory, for measuring dilatational elastic and viscous response (E' and E'') as a function of applied frequency
    • Details on rheo-physical experiments (PDF)
  • Basic polymer synthesis and characterization

    • Including TGA, DMA, DSC, GPC (organic and aqueous), DLS, UV-Viz, etc., through the School of Materials Engineering Polymer Synthesis User Facility and Soft Material Characterization Core Lab Facility, the user facilities of Purdue's Birck Nanotechnology Center and other shared resources on campus

Lisa Murray loading a rheometer fixture on the Anton Paar MCR 302.

Lisa Murray loading a rheometer fixture on the Anton Paar MCR 302.

Travis Thornell with his RAFT polymerization set-up.

Travis Thornell with his RAFT polymerization set-up.

Jerome Nash doing some oscillating droplet measurements with the Ramehart goniometer.

Jerome Nash doing some oscillating droplet measurements with the Ramehart goniometer.