What is your thesis topic?
My thesis topic is on characterizing a high temperature copper alloy called GRCop-84 that NASA is developing for use in its future space craft with additive manufacturing. My efforts are focused on adding to the characterization efforts that NASA has already done by using neutron diffraction techniques to learn information unobtainable otherwise.
How is materials processing involved in your research?
Materials processing is intrinsic to my research as NASA is currently applying additive manufacturing to GRCop-84, which has many unknowns with regards to final microstructures, properties and performance. GRCop-84 was developed in the 80’s but has only been applied to additive manufacturing for the last few years, and additive manufacturing creates very unique microstructures with properties equal to or better than traditionally fabricated hardware. Additive manufacturing also allows for more complex geometries that greatly improve performance in high temperature applications.
Provide an example of where the material/process/properties you are studying might find an application.
GRCop-84 has excellent high temperature properties and is best served in applications as a heat conductor and structural component. NASA is developing it for the combustion chamber liners of rockets, but it can be applied to welding equipment, reactor walls, aerospace hardware and other similar high heat flux applications.