META-STRUCTURE ENHANCEMENT OF RESONANT ACOUSTIC MIXING VIA EMBEDDED ADDITIVE MANUFACTURING

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2019

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The performance of energetic materials is founded on a wide range of material and mixing parameters. Resonant acoustic mixing (RAM) is advantageous as a scalable, contactless energetics mixing method; however, challenges remain in connecting process parameters to post-mix performance. In this thesis, we analyzed the influence of the structural arrangement of pre-mixture ingredients (i.e., the pre-mix “meta-structure”) on post-mix properties. We utilized an embedded additive manufacturing strategy for ingredient loading to realize two distinct pre-mix meta-structures: (i) a consolidated (control) configuration, and (ii) a novel distributed arrangement. Following identical RAM processing, post-mix products were sectioned and optically characterized using scanning electron microscopy and electron-dispersive electron dispersive spectroscopy, revealing significant reductions in void content corresponding to the distributed meta-structure designs. Mechanical testing of post-mix products revealed distributed meta-structure specimens elongated up to 147% more than consolidated specimens prior to fracture, suggesting a critical role for pre-mix ingredient architecture in post-RAM performance.

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