Project Details


High-Strength High-Strain Structures Using Ceramic Cellular Contact-Aided Compliant Mechanisms (C3M)

Cellular Contact-Aided Compliant Mechanisms (C3M) are made up of arrays of cells that come into contact with themselves as the structure deforms. This self-contact provides stress relief. That is, the structure can be deformed to a greater extent before failure than a similar cellular structure without contact. In this research project methods for design and fabrication of high-strength high-strain ceramic C3M will be developed. Ceramic materials are of interest because of their high strength and potential high temperature capability. Ceramic C3M are capable of ultimate strains that are at least an order of magnitude higher than the ultimate strain of the bulk ceramic material. The fabrication method that will be developed is based on a novel ceramic fabrication method known as lost mold, rapid infiltration forming (LM-RIF). This process uses ceramic material comprised of nanoparticles which provide high strength and excellent feature size resolution. In addition to the design and fabrication efforts, prototype ceramic C3M devices will be tested.

The project will benefit society by creating new and innovative science leading to applications ranging from morphing aircraft to damage tolerant composite armor. The research and education will be integrated through outreach to prospective students, particularly those from underrepresented groups. The results of the research project will be used to help recruit students from underrepresented groups into engineering by supporting the activities of the Penn State Women in Engineering Program (WEP). Specifically, an interactive module for Meet the Machine, the Penn State WEP summer camp for high school girls, will be developed. This effort is expected to spark their interest in Engineering, and help to build the pipeline of future engineers.

Effective start/end date5/1/094/30/13


  • National Science Foundation: $628,554.00


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