Tuesday, September 28, 2021

URSP Student Daniel Hernandez Analyzes the Surface Degradation of Additively Manufactured (AM) ABS Polymers for Naval Application.

This summer, I worked with Dr. Ali Beheshti to analyze the surface degradation of additively manufactured (AM) ABS polymers for naval application. The aim of my studies was to determine the viability of AM ABS polymers in a saline environment in comparison to its traditionally manufactured counterpart. As of recently I have been working on a literature review as well as an experimental plan for the project. I also printed 20 rectangular ABS samples and ordered 20 traditionally manufactured parts from a plastic manufacturer. A typical day of research consists of me searching for articles while managing the printing of the ABS samples. In the remaining timeline of the project, the samples will be aged accordingly for a set duration of 4, 8, and 16 days in tanks filled with artificial seawater. The tanks will be heated to 22°C, 27°C, and 105°C accordingly using a water heater. After undergoing the appropriate exposure time, the topography of the sample surfaces will be assessed and compared with the initial data collected prior. If time permits mechanical and tribological evaluations will be done on the ABS samples to observe the change in mechanical strength, wear and friction of the surfaces.

My main interest is robotics with a sub interest of ocean engineering. Additive manufacturing (3D Printing) has had transformative effects on the performance and technology of many industries. In the robotics industries, additive manufacturing has contributed to the development of emerging fields such as soft robotics due to its ability to create flexible and creative designs at high quality. This project was the perfect learning opportunity for me because it has allowed me to gain an in depth understanding of the 3D printing process as well as the corrosive behavior of the ocean. Moreover, since I plan to obtain a master’s in mechanical engineering in the future this research has been an essential step towards that goal.  I have enjoyed learning about the degradation of ABS in a naval application and hope to continue this research in the future.