Dr. Jena McCollum
- PhD, Mechanical Engineering
Texas Tech University, 2015
- BS, Mechanical Engineering
West Texas A&M University, 2012
- Assistant Professor of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
University of Colorado Colorado Springs
- NRC Postdoctoral Research Associate
United States Air Force Academy
- Graduate Teaching and Research Assistant
Texas Tech University
Additive manufacturing is an impactful tool in order to tailor materials to sensitive applications. Popular methods in rapid prototyping include extrusion, injection molding and 3D printing by fused-deposition modeling (FDM). Understanding how surface chemistry and solid particulate morphology affect flow properties in molten polymers is crucial in order to optimize these melt-processing techniques. This knowledge will help to better predict material needs and melt-processing parameters toward additive manufacturing of advanced composites including solid structure energetic materials.
Many current energetic formulations are used in loose powder form which creates many application specific limitations. Employing this manufacturing technique will give these formulations structural integrity which will allow them to be handled more easily and precisely. This understanding will resolve issues in systems where space is very limited and energetic components need to perform consistently. There are also many safety concerns when handling these highly reactive mixtures due to their high surface area. Many energetic mixtures are sensitive to electrostatic discharge which makes storage hazardous. Transforming these mixtures into a condensed part will not only improve ease of handling, but better protect the handler from unintentional ignition.