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ACerS/EPDC Arthur L. Friedberg Ceramic Engineering Tutorial and Lecture

ACerS/EPDC Arthur L. Friedberg Ceramic Engineering Tutorial and Lecture

9-10 a.m., October 9, Room 315

Rosario A. Gerhardt, Georgia Institute of Technology

Structure-Property-Processing Relationships in Composite Materials



Composite materials are extremely useful in a large number of applications ranging from structural to electrical. The main advantage of composites (whether the matrix is a metal, a polymer or a ceramic) is that they can achieve properties that are not present in their individual constituents. Conducting fillers are normally added to insulating ceramics or polymers to improve their electrical conductivity, while stiff fillers are often added to polymers to improve their strength. However, the resultant properties not only depend of the nature of the added phase but they also depend strongly on their physical size, shape and arrangement, which is primarily controlled by how the composites are processed.


In this retrospective of the work conducted in Gerhardt’s research group over the last 28 years, she will describe how she ventured into the field of composite materials and their electrical characterization. In that work they have discovered the importance of using multiple characterization methods for fully characterizing materials at all necessary length scales in order to be able to develop robust structure-property-processing relationships. The talk will end with the development of a methodology for making conducting composites at very low volume fractions and the achievement of high dielectric constant composites while maintaining low dielectric loss.

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