Date of Award

5-2018

Degree Type

Honors College Thesis

Department

Polymers and High Performance Materials

First Advisor

Jeffrey Wiggins, Ph.D

Advisor Department

Polymers and High Performance Materials

Abstract

The demand for a lightweight, easy-assembly tactical shelter is high for those faced with unexpected disasters and global conflicts. This project focuses on designing and prototyping the corner sealant for such a shelter. Two materials were chosen and tested: an in-house thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) and Texin 950. Thermogravimetric Analysis (TGA) was performed on both of these materials. The in-house TPU showed initial degradation at 282.50 °C and sample degradation at 457.45 °C. Similarly, Texin 950 showed initial degradation at 293.68 °C and sample degradation at 453.26 °C. Differential Scanning Calorimetry (DSC) was then run. The crystallization temperature (Tc) was observed at 79.73 °C for the in-house TPU and 99.07 °C for Texin 950. The melt temperature (Tm) was observed at 182.91 °C for the in-house TPU and 182.24 °C for Texin 950. Dynamic mechanical analysis (DMA) was run. The storage modulus for the in-house TPU was 42.72 MPa, and the loss modulus peaked at 7.013 MPa. The storage modulus for the Texin 950 was 47.03 MPa, and the loss modulus was 7.492 MPa. Due to the similarity in the properties of the materials, the choice became the most economical of the two: Texin 950. The final design chosen was one with a rounded edge to exclude unnecessary stressors and a hollow spine to reduce weight. Using a non-standardized test method, the volume of each corner sealant using the Texin 950 was calculated to be 4806.63 cm3. Using this value, the mass was calculated to be 5.52992 kilograms, or 12.19 pounds. Further research will have to be done to reduce this weight and further refine material selection and sealant design.

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