Materials Lab


Senior Design Projects utilizing the Materials Lab


ENSC 58 Recycled Thermplastic Composites – Phase 4

Collaboration with ATC Manufacturing and Boeing. Continuation of previous projects on recycled thermoplastic composites to further develop the stability and quality of the stamp forming part production process and part evaluation.

ENSC 63 SAMPE Student Bridge Competition

Design, analysis, build and test of a composite beam “bridge” for the SAMPE student competition.


ENSC-56 Recycling Thermoplastic Composites III

Showcase the feasibility of utilizing thermoplastic waste stream material to construct new interior aircraft components.

test strips

Acrylate/epoxy interpenetrating polymer network composites

Composite materials are comprised of fiber reinforcement embedded in a matrix that provides their form.  Thermoset polymer matrices cure and cross-link whereas thermoplastic matrices soften and flow at high temperatures.  This research is investigating the mechanical properties of acrylate and epoxy thermoset matrix materials that cure in different steps and as a result form independent networks at the nanometer scale.


composite joint

Effect of noodle material changes on composite tee pull-off forces

A “noodle” or deltoid shape fills the gap created when composite materials formed to a radius are brought together to for a tee intersection. This student research project investigated the use of different noodle materials and their impact on the pull-off force required to separate the vertical portion of the tee from the horizontal base.
plasma unit

Thermoplastic composites

Thermoplastics (think Teflon) are difficult to adhesively bond due to their low surface energy. Atmospheric plasma removes any lightly adhered contaminants and modifies the surface chemistry so that organic coatings (aka paint) will create strong bonds to thermoplastic composite surfaces.

White light interferometry

White light interferometry is used to accurately measure the surface profile of samples tested in the Tribology Lab. Using a white light laser source, the system can determine when the reflected laser light is in focus and then calculate a height map and 3-D image of the surface.

Hardness changes in hydroxyapatite due to coffee saturation

The microhardness tester uses a diamond indenter to produce an impression on a solid surface. The size of the impression indicates its strength. Hydroxyapatite is an inorganic material present in bones and teeth. Microhardness testing is being used to measure changes in hydroxyapatite prior to and after saturation in coffee.

Mechanical testing of catheter samples

The strength of catheter end fittings are being tested by loading the catheter in tension.

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502 E. Boone Ave
Spokane, WA 99258