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A Multifunctional and Reconfigurable Microvascular Composite

URMI DEVI, REZA PEJMAN, ZACHARY J. PHILLIPS, KALYANA B. NAKSHATRALA, AHMAD R. NAJAFI, KURT R. SCHAB, JASON F. PATRICK

Abstract


Fiber-reinforced polymer (FRP) composites, consisting of stiff/strong fibers embedded within a continuous matrix, are a lightweight structural platform supporting an array of modern applications. Bioinspired vascularization of fiber-composites can augment existing performance with dynamic functionalities via liquid infiltration of the internal micro-fluidic network. Some vascular-enabled capabilities include self-healing to repair delamination damage and active-cooling to prevent thermal degradation. While such attributes have been demonstrated in separate platforms, research investigations that combine functionalities within a single composite have been limited. Here we provide a recent study that highlights a promising pathway for achieving both multifunctional, and reconfigurable behavior in microvascular FRP composites. Specifically, we detail the ability to regulate temperature and modulate electromagnetic signature via fluid substitution within the same serpentine vasculature. Varying microchannel density alters both active-cooling efficiency by water circulation and polarized radio-frequency wave reflection by liquid metal infiltration. We control these bulk property pluralities by widespread vascularization, while minimizing impact on structural performance, and decode the effects of micro-vascular topology on macromechanical behavior. Our in-depth experimental and computational investigation provides a new benchmark for future design optimization and real-world translation of multifunctional and adaptive microvascular composites.


DOI
10.12783/asc36/35898

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References


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