Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering

COE/Structural Mechanics Seminar


Tailored and Multifunctional Energetic Materials (Propellants, Explosives, and Pyrotechnics)


Prof. Steven F. Son


Purdue University


Thursday, October 17, 2019 at 11:00:00 AM


MRDC Building, Room 4211


Dr. Ting Zhu
(404) 894-3294


Novel approaches utilizing unique ingredients are being explored to enable the manufacture of geometrically tailored propellants or explosives, and to precisely fabricate unique reactives/pyrotechnics. Components include nanoscale materials or materials with piezoelectric properties to enable multifunctional capabilities. Recently, additive manufacturing (AM) or rapid prototyping has allowed advancement in many fields because of the geometric flexibility it allows. By depositing layers of a material in a specific pattern layer by layer, one can develop very complicated multifunctional structures that would be difficult, if not impossible, with traditional manufacturing methods. The high geometric freedom accompanied with high resolution is appealing in many ways for the production of solid propellant or other deposited energetic materials. Additive manufacturing allows the study of more complicated geometries to produce tailored effects. In this presentation, I will first present recent efforts in the deposition of nanoscale thermites inks. We have investigated fused deposition modeling (FDM) of reactive structures also, and will present an overview of those results. And finally, I will also summarize our recent results in Vibration Assisted Printing (VAP) that allows the printing of very viscous high solids loaded composites. Other future and current areas of research, including piezoelectric energetics (piezoenergetics) will be discussed also.


Steven F. Son is the Alfred J. McAllister Professor of Mechanical Engineering in the School of Mechanical Engineering at Purdue University and is affiliated with Purdue’s Maurice J. Zucrow Laboratories. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana in 1994. Dr. Son has given invited presentations at national and international scientific meetings and is an author of over one hundred scientific publications. Prof. Son has served as an Associate Editor of AIAA's Journal of Propulsion and Power and is the Editor in Chief of the JANNAF Journal of Propulsion and Energetics. Before his academic career, beginning in 2006, he was a Technical Staff Member and J. R. Oppenheimer Fellow, Technical Staff Member, and Project Leader at Los Alamos National Laboratory in the High Explosives Sciences Group.


Refreshments will be served.