Rapid, High-Detail Additive Manufacturing of Thermoplastics by 

Light-Driven Polymerization at a Liquid-Liquid Interface

 Project Lead: Niloofar Goodarzi

In collaboration with:
Professor A. John Hart, MIT
Professor Cecile Chazot, Northwestern
Dr. Donald Herr, Arkema

Project Support: NSF CMMI 2114316, Manufacturing PA Innovation Program in partnership with Arkema Inc. 

We are working to develop the first additive manufacturing (AM) technique that utilizes photopolymerization to produce high-resolution objects made of recyclable thermoplastics. Currently, AM techniques for recyclable thermoplastic polymers rely on local heating to melt and reshape the material. Other AM methods use photopolymerization, which can produce parts with superior surface finish and detail. In these methods, the polymer solid polymer forms within a bath containing the monomer. These methods rely on an intrinsic crosslinking mechanism in thermoset polymers-- therefore the intricate detail and quality achieved in the output products come at the expense of compatibility with large-scale recycling processes. 

End-of-Life Options for Wind Turbine Blades
and How to Balance Environmental Impacts
for a Circularized Material Economy

 Project Lead(s): Caroline Cameron, Stefen Moeller

In collaboration with:
Professor Jason Baxter, Drexel University
Professor Sabrina Spatari, Technion

Project Support: Louis and Bessie Stein Family Fellowship

Wind energy is a fast-growing source of renewable energy; however, it is also a fast-growing source of solid waste. While the concrete and steel bases are long-lived, the wind turbine blades are typically replaced every 20-25 years. This project aims to establish realistic end-of-life options for materials from wind turbine blades by examining processing options and identifying re-use pathways with mitigated environmental impact and high likelihood of adoption.

Advanced Ceramics for the Prevention of Mosquito-Borne Disease

Project Lead: Michael Prati

In collaboration with:
Professor Ali Afify, Drexel University
Professor Changhong Cao, McGill University

Project Support: Longsview Fellowship, Saint-Gobain Specialty Grains and Powders

Mosquitos are more than a nuisance: they are one of the most dangerous animals to human health.  Every year, there are hundreds of millions of cases of mosquito born disease (e.g. malaria, dengue, Zika, yellow fever) that overwhelm healthcare systems across the world, and the effects of climate change are exacerbating the spread. Therefore, there is a need to find higher-performing solutions to decrease vector and host contact and effectively stem the spread of these diseases.