Graphite/Epoxy Composite Alloy that Counters Twisting Effect Under Applied Force

Technology #13438

Questions about this technology? Ask a Technology Manager

Download Printable PDF

Categories
Researchers
Peter G. Ifju
David A. Jenkins
Jarrod Bonsmann
Managed By
Richard Croley
Assistant Director 352-392-8929
Patent Protection
US Patent Pending US-2014-0221122-A1

Widely Applicable Alloy Sustains Significant Pressure and Bend Without Twisting or Buckling

This graphite/epoxy composite counters the twisting effect that usually occurs when a material is subjected to both inertial forces and bending deflections following applied pressure. For example, when a golf club is swung, the shaft of the club undergoes a series of bending deflections. In response to the inertial forces resulting from the head of the golf club lying off the longitudinal bending axis, a twisting effect occurs mid-swing, causing the club face to open or close, rather than strike the ball perfectly perpendicular as intended. This happens to even the best players because, until now, this twisting effect was relatively unpredictable and uncontrollable. University of Florida researchers have designed a graphite/epoxy composite that resists twisting under applied pressure, such as that which results from a golf swing, and with applications extending far beyond golf clubs. Nearly all products that are made with a durable plastic or metallic material sustain degrees of force. Since the composite can bend under titanic pressure without having to twist to accommodate the applied force, any such product would benefit from the use of the composite. The composite also allows for twisting effect not only to be eliminated altogether, but also to be controlled and predisposed if the twisting effect is in fact desired. Specific applications include construction beams, automotive manufacturing (both exterior and interior), aerospace design, mainframe technology (phones and computers), wind turbines, medical provisions, and industrial shelving units.

Application

A graphite/epoxy composite that can control the degree of twisting that accompanies the bending response when the material is under pressure

Advantages

  • Built with a composite graphite/epoxy, saving production and manufacturing costs
  • Weighs substantially less than competing products, allowing for use in circumstances that require durable but lightweight material
  • Applicable for an extensive range of industries and products, offering a huge and largely untapped market in many fields

Technology

When force is applied to a metal, plastic, or composite material, that material undergoes a series of bending deflections that cause it to bow in response to the applied pressure. In order to accommodate the bend, a twisting effect also frequently occurs, which inadvertently changes the plane of the material’s edges. This new graphite/epoxy composite counters this twisting effect, allowing for the material to bend under pressure without twisting or buckling. Depending on the desired application, the composite can either completely eliminate or control the twisting effect.