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Minimize RSR Award Detail

Research Spending & Results

Award Detail

  • Anamika Prasad
Award Date:07/28/2021
Estimated Total Award Amount: $ 531,740
Funds Obligated to Date: $ 531,740
  • FY 2021=$531,740
Start Date:10/01/2021
End Date:09/30/2026
Transaction Type:Grant
Awarding Agency Code:4900
Funding Agency Code:4900
CFDA Number:47.041
Primary Program Source:040100 NSF RESEARCH & RELATED ACTIVIT
Award Title or Description:CAREER: Mechanics of Next-Generation Composites using Cellulose and Bioinspired Interfaces
Federal Award ID Number:2046627
DUNS ID:929929743
Parent DUNS ID:929538999
Program:Mechanics of Materials and Str
Program Officer:
  • Nakhiah Goulbourne
  • (703) 292-7715

Awardee Location

Street:1015 Campanile Ave
Awardee Cong. District:00

Primary Place of Performance

Organization Name:South Dakota State University
Street:1015 Campanile Ave
Cong. District:00

Abstract at Time of Award

This Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) grant will lay the research and educational foundations to usher plant-inspired design to address challenges for next-generation composites. As existing composites reach their functionality limits, sometimes with disruptive consequences on earth, engineering design needs to shift to sustainable materials. Furthermore, a biobased economy is also necessary for the viability of rural America. The project is uniquely positioned to address both these challenges through (1) research focus on the fundamental mechanics of plant cell wall and their interfaces to drive innovation in flexible composites, and (2) educational focus on rural and Native American communities to increase their preparedness for the high-skilled STEM workforce of the future. The remarkable ability for plants to survive and adapt to their environment can be attributed to their cell wall, balancing constraints from strength, fluid flow, and thermal regulation. The overarching research goal is to decode these principles for the cell wall of a fast-growing plant stem and use it to design new composites. Such flexible plant-inspired materials can have broad implications in tissue engineering, robotics, wearable electronics, and defense industries. The project will also collaborate with a science museum to develop and disseminate culturally integrated materials science curricula for underrepresented communities. Simultaneously, the project will also create research opportunities for undergraduates to increase their engagement and retention, and advance lasting benefits to society. The overall research goal is to create new engineering insights into the organization of primary cell wall structure in a fast-growing plant stem and use these insights to guide the design and manufacturability of cellulose-reinforced composites for flexibility and temperature sensitivity. The research objectives are to (1) create a micromechanics-based multiscale computational framework of the primary cell wall to identify the underlying mechanics driving their thermomechanical response, (2) experimentally investigate the fiber-matrix (here cellulose-pectin) interfaces within the cell wall under variable environmental constraints to guide the computational framework and develop predictive models, and (3) develop an electrospinning-based manufacturing platform to create cell-wall inspired flexible fiber-reinforced structures. The research will focus on the thick-walled xylem vascular tissue due to its multifunctionality for strength, water conduction, and temperature management. By taking a systematic and holistic approach from multiscale mechanics to interface characterization and manufacturing, this project will address unanswered questions to design next-generation multifunctional flexible composites. The project outcomes will open the field for a machine learning-based predictive platform for applications to broader engineering systems. This project is jointly funded by CMMI and the Established Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR). This award reflects NSF's statutory mission and has been deemed worthy of support through evaluation using the Foundation's intellectual merit and broader impacts review criteria.

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