Date of Award


Degree Type

Honors College Thesis


Polymers and High Performance Materials

First Advisor

Jeffrey Wiggins, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Heather Broadhead, Ph.D.

Advisor Department

Polymers and High Performance Materials


Dynamic mechanical analysis (DMA) is a technique commonly used to identify the thermomechanical properties of polymeric materials. In the aerospace industry, a typical DMA sample is a glassy epoxy-amine polymer network. On a laboratory scale, these types of materials are cured in a silicon mold and sanded by hand to yield a sample with testable dimensions. This preparation technique is time consuming and causes sample imperfections which negatively affects data acquisition. This thesis aims to absolve the issues with DMA sample preparation by using a custom vacuum housing and a DeWALTTM brand orbital sander. This novel approach has been shown to improve the efficiency and data acquisition of post-cured epoxy-amine DMA samples.