Researchers at the Army Research Laboratory are continually pursuing multi-functional materials, or those that exhibit expanded performance envelopes. This talk will highlight two programs of differing maturities, representing both established and emerging approaches to multi-functional materials development.
The first topic will summarize the development of hyperbranched polymer based additives for bulk polymer systems which have been developed to control the surface chemistry of polymer films. The materials exhibit a thermodynamically driven surface segregation capability, along with the ability to deliver targeted functional groups to the film surface. Performance in model polymer and fully formulated coating systems will be discussed for a number of potential applications, ranging from chemical sensing to antimicrobial action to surface passivation.
The second topic will provide a snapshot of current efforts towards the investigation of monolithic graded polymeric materials, primarily as a test-bed for model physical testing development. The use of photo-polymerization to prepare persistent gradients in both traditional and dual-cure thermoset systems was investigated. The micro-scale chemical and physical properties of these systems were correlated, and were compared to the macroscale performance of the graded polymer monoliths.