Intelligent processing of composite materials

Christopher P. Bowen, Thomas R. Shrout, Clive A. Randall

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

3 Scopus citations


Using the dielectrophoretic effect, it is possible to fabricate polymer/ceramic composite materials in which the filler phase can be manipulated to form a desired microstructure. This is performed via the application of an electric field to a colloidal suspension consisting of a filler material dispersed in a fluid polymer medium. Field induced dipole-dipole interactions cause particles to experience a mutual attractive potential resulting in distinct particle chains which exist parallel to the applied electric field direction. This chained microstructure can then be `frozen in' by curing the polymer matrix. The chaining phenomena is dependent on both the magnitude and the frequency of the applied field. Optimum assembly conditions for this process are determined via optical microscopy and electrorheological behavior. The dielectrophoretic assembly process is projected to be utilized for electrical, structural, and thermal composite applications. The dielectrophoretic assembly process also has the advantage of `in-situ' quality control through dielectric measurements. Both the degree of alignment and the batch uniformity can be confirmed via dielectric measurements.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationAdaptive Structures and Material Systems
EditorsWalter F. Jones
PublisherPubl by ASME
Number of pages10
ISBN (Print)0791810410
StatePublished - Dec 1 1993
EventProceedings of the 1993 ASME Winter Annual Meeting - New Orleans, LA, USA
Duration: Nov 28 1993Dec 3 1993

Publication series

NameAmerican Society of Mechanical Engineers, Aerospace Division (Publication) AD
ISSN (Print)0733-4230


OtherProceedings of the 1993 ASME Winter Annual Meeting
CityNew Orleans, LA, USA

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Space and Planetary Science


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