The introduction of inorganic nanomaterials as additives into polymers has resulted in polymer nanocomposites exhibiting a multiplicity of high-performance characteristics beyond what traditional polymeric composites possess. These “multifunctional” features attributable to polymer nanocomposites consist of improved properties, such as thermal, flame, ablation, electrical, moisture, chemical, permeability, and others. Through control/alteration of the additive at the nanoscale level, one is able to maximize property enhancement of selected polymer systems to meet or exceed the requirements of current commercial, military, and aerospace applications. This seminar includes: an overview of different nanomaterials, processing techniques, and selective examples to examine the behavior of polymer nanocomposites for applications, such as re-entry vehicles, rocket engines, additive manufacturing, and fire protection.
Dr. Koo has over 40 years of industrial and academic experience in program and engineering management. Currently, he is Senior Research Scientist/Research Professor/Director of Polymer Nanocomposites Technology Lab in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at The University of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX. Dr. Koo is the founder of KAI, LLC and currently serves as Vice President and CTO. He is a SAMPE Fellow and Chairman of the SAMPE Nanotechnology Committee. Dr. Koo is an Associate Fellow of AIAA and Past-Chair of the AIAA Materials Technical Committee. He specializes in polymer nanocomposites: processing, characterization, and applications, such as ablatives for thermal protection systems, flame retardant polymers, fire resistant fabrics & textiles, additive manufacturing, thermally conductive polymer matrix composites, sensor to measure in-situ ablation recession and thermal properties, sensors to measure char strength, thermophysical properties characterization, ablation modeling, modeling of polymer degradation, and insensitive munitions technology of solid rocket motors. Dr. Koo’s publications include two books, Polymer Nanocomposites: Processing, Characterization, and Applications, McGraw-Hill, New York (2006), and Fundamentals, Properties, and Applications of Polymer Nanocomposites, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK (2016), and over 500 papers/presentations in materials, thermal and optical science disciplines.