Hussam Saleem, an Iowa State University doctoral student in structural engineering, is lead author of an article in The International Journal for the Science and Technology of Polymers (Polymer), one of the world’s top journals in polymer science.
Saleem, Assistant Professor Simon Laflamme, materials science and engineering postdoctoral research associate Mahendra Thunga, Washington State University mechanical and materials engineering Professor Michael Kessler, and Potsdam University physicist Matthias Kollosche published “Interfacial treatment effects on behavior of soft nano-composites for highly stretchable dielectrics” in the Aug. 18, 2014, edition of Polymer. The article describes their work in investigating fabrication methods and newer surface treatments of a titanium oxide polymer nano-composite used in structural health monitoring sensors.
Saleem concludes that the best surface treatment for the nano-composite is polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) oil, which yields the nano-composite’s optimal mechanical, thermal and electrical properties for structural damage detection.
The nano-composite builds upon Dr. Laflamme’s U.S.-patented structural sensing skin, a novel and inexpensive method in structural health monitoring. Through his dissertation work, Saleem aims to develop an industrial structural health monitoring system for wind turbine blades using polymer sensors.