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Research

Multifunctional Material Systems for Resilient Soft Electronics and Versatile Structures

Next generation applications demand multifunctional materials that deliver desirable properties from a wide variety of physical modalities. Our lab is addressing these emerging needs in a variety of ways. In one approach, we are creating flexible conductive materials that may serve in applications where soft electronics or soft robots must withstand shock and vibration, such as for wearables and service robotics. In another direction, we are establishing foundations to drastically control mechanical properties of elastomers using magnetoelastic interactions so that non-contact force may tailor performance capabilities of the materials. The efforts within this LSVR research initiative are supported by several organizations, including the Ford Motor Company, Owens Corning Science and Technology, Honda R&D Americas Inc., and the Air Force Research Laboratory.

 

 

Reconfigurable Origami-Inspired Structures to Guide Acoustic Waves

We are exploring origami-inspired acoustic arrays to steer and focus acoustic waves using the low-dimensional reconfiguration of origami tessellations upon which transducer elements are placed. The folding arrays cultivate highly portable architectures for applications with extreme transport limitations, such as for deployable medical ultrasonic probes and underwater sonar monitoring systems. The efforts within this LSVR research initiative are supported in part by the National Science Foundation, The Acoustical Society of America, and the American Society of Mechanical Engineers.

By way of shared fundamental wave physics, we are also collaborating with Prof. Asimina Kiourti of the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at OSU to investigate an integration of reconfigurable arrays with e-textile materials. Leveraging e-textiles empowers mechanically robust and adaptive radio frequency antennas for a variety of applications where motion and deformation must be monitored. These applications include biological system monitoring, structural health prognosis, and more. This collaborative effort is made possible by a grant from the STEAM Factory.

 

 

 

Illuminating Dynamic Behavior of Engineered Structural/Material Systems in Extreme Environments

Structural/material systems integrate detailed material choice and processing with unique structural forms to serve in demanding applications. For instance, fiber reinforced composite are used in the manufacture of structural components used in hypersonic aircraft where flight environments are severe enough to burn off layers and post-buckle structural members. In addition, vibration energy harvesting applications require slender piezoelectric, fiber-reinforced structures to undergo high cycle oscillations to produce electric power thus potentially inducing failure by either catastrophic or slow fatigue modes. This research initiative in the LSVR is establishing analytical approaches to accurately predict and explore the dynamic behaviors of structural/material systems operating in extreme environments. The approaches enable new insight on susceptibility and robustness by way of energy-based metrics. The efforts within this LSVR research initiative are supported by several organizations, including the National Science Foundation, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), Mide Technologies, the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory, and the American Society of Mechanical Engineers Haythornthwaite Young Investigator Award.

 

 

 

Controlling and Guiding Sound by Passive and Active Systems in Automotive and Aerospace Applications

Noise control in automotive and aerospace applications becomes a more pressing need as propulsion techniques are converted to electrified motors. The motors are quieter than conventional fuel-burning engines and electric motors emit higher frequency noise that is greatly unique to the low frequency sound from the convention. In this research initiative in the LSVR, we are devising passive and active engineered systems to control the sound field in interior automotive and aerospace environments. The solutions are creating innovations with compliant Helmholtz resonators for passive noise control and new strategies to leverage active parametric acoustic arrays for localized sound guiding. The efforts within this LSVR research initiative are supported in part by the Ford Motor Company.

   

 

 

Muscle-Inspired, Modular Metastructures for Adaptive Engineering Systems

Skeletal muscle is a prime inspiration towards the development of adaptive engineered structural/material systems. All at once, muscle is a super-structure, an energy coordinator, and generator of force. Recent studies have shown that the fundamental, passive constituents of skeletal muscle are analogous to strategically developed modular systems of metastable oscillators. We are developing and exploring such architectures on meso- and macroscale platforms to elucidate methods by which engineered systems may be invested with the desirable properties of skeletal muscle, such as its intriguing passive force enhancement, self-stabilization, and robustness to perturbation. Moreover, through the muscle-inspired structural dynamic studies, the research may provide new opportunities to interpret the multiscale spectrum of mechanical principles underlying muscle energetics. This research is partially supported by the U.S. Army Research Office.

 

 

We are grateful for ongoing and previous research financial support received from:

Air Force Research Laboratory, American Society of Mechanical Engineers, American Society of Mechanical Engineers Haythornthwaite Young Investigator Award, Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), Ford Motor Company, Honda R&D Americas Inc., National Science Foundation, Mide Technologies, Owens Corning Science and Technology, The Acoustical Society of America, The Ohio State University Center for Automotive Research, The STEAM Factory, U.S. Army Research Office