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Center for Novel High Voltage/Temperature (HV/T) Materials and Structures (HVT)

Michigan Technological University

University of Connecticut

University of Denver

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Last Reviewed: 02/13/2017

The Center for Novel High Voltage/Temperature  (HV/T) Materials and Structures  evaluates, designs, models, and develops novel high voltage and high temperature materials and structures for energy transfer, aerospace, automotive and other applications.

Center Mission and Rationale

The mission of the Center is to design, create, and study new advanced materials as well as evaluate existing materials and structures for a range of engineering applications. We use state-of-the-art experimental and computational tools to conduct the multiscale characterization and modeling of such materials to obtain reliable predictive models. The Center has an interdisciplinary and diverse environment for faculty and students to work jointly with companies and organizations on novel materials and structures. The Center can provide research support to electric utility, aerospace, nuclear, military, environmental, automotive, health and other industries interested in the application of novel HV/T materials in their design practices. Various novel high voltage/temperature materials and structures for high energy transmission and other related applications with superior resistance to in-service conditions are being studied. Our ultimate goal is to provide outstanding research service to industries utilizing novel materials and structures subjected to extreme HV/T loading conditions.

Research program

Multiscale Design and Development of Novel HVT Materials

There is a need for new HVT materials with improved properties for a range of technological applications. The goals are: (i) To design and develop new conductive materials for electromagnetic shielding and other applications; (ii) To design and develop new alloys for improved conductivity, strength, and corrosion resistance; (iii) To develop new silicone rubber RTV materials with improved resistance to in-service aging.

Advanced Manufacturing of HVT Materials

New manufacturing techniques can reduce cost, accelerate production, allow complicated designs, and offer tailored properties. This project will explore the effect of powder oxidation on mechanical properties of titanium parts made by Additive Manufacturing (AM). It will also research manufacturing of metal and polymer materials and the design of novel AM foams including tailoring microstructures during the AM process. Lastly, it will look at manufacturing of materials for aging prevention of fiber reinforced polymer matrix composites (PMC).

Prevention of Environmental Degradation of HVT Materials and Structures

Materials subjected to long-term exposure to harsh environments can experience significant degradation in properties. The goal of this project is to explore ways to help mitigate the effects of aging on material durability. This can be done by modifying the material constituents, or by using coatings. Specifically, this project focused on the aging of polymer nanocomposites, corrosion resistance of coatings, and the corrosion resistance of basalt fiber composites. 

Impact Damage Prevention of HVT Materials and Structures

There are several goals and objectives of this base project. In particular, we investigate effects of mechanical impacts on HV transmission infrastructure. We also design inspection, monitoring, and reliability assessment methods for impact damage and develop feasible protections against impact damage from a variety of sources ranging from negligence to terrorism. We will also develop a novel impact resistant structure - material system that can resist high velocity impacts.

Health Monitoring of HVT Structures

The needs are: (i) Standard and novel HTLS conductors, HV insulators, transformers, airframe structures … can fail (sometimes catastrophically) in service. (ii) Novel health monitoring techniques need to be developed. (iii) New models of failure are also needed for better monitoring. The goals are: (i) To develop novel health monitoring techniques for HVT applications; (ii) To develop comprehensive electro-thermo-mechanical full-scale models of conductors/cables and related HV/T structures to understand mechanical responses of cables and other systems due to heterogeneous material structures (e.g. nanocomposites…). 

Facilities and Laboratory

At the University of Denver

Dr. Kumosa’s lab has various equipment for materials testing and characterization including: MTS 809.25 55,000 lb axial and 20,000 in-lb torsion HT system; MTS 880 55,000 lb axial system; two MTS 858 HT systems; JEOL 5800LV scanning electron microscope (SEM); Oxford Pentafet energy dispersive X-ray detector; Netzsch DIL 402C dilatometer; Siemens D-500 diffractometer; Several acoustic emission systems; Micro indenter for hardness measurements; Atomic Force Microscope.

The Center will also have access in the Chemistry Department at DU to Mass spectrometry: Bruker Reflex IV MALDI-TOF, Esquire ESI, two GC-MS (Varian and HP); NMR spectroscopy: Bruker 500MHz Avance III, Varian 400MHz Mercury; Optical spectroscopy: Cary Eclipse fluorimeter, three UV/Vis spectrometers, two IR spectrometers, one total internal reflection IR spectrometer, outfitted with a laser (time resolved) accessory; Laser flash photolysis from Lambda Physik (nanosecond resolution); Fluorescence microscopy: two inverted fluorescence microscopes and a confocal fluorescence microscope; Electron Paramagnetic Resonance: EPR facility with 7 magnets, including two state of-the-art pulsed systems from Bruker.



Prof. Jasiuk’s Nano and Bio Materials Laboratory has mechanical testing machine (MTS Insight

2), microindenter and all standard equipment for processing samples for SEM, TEM, FTIR, Raman and other characterization techniques. Prof. Ostoja-Starzewski’s Multiscale Mechanics Laboratory has eight high-end personal computers with 3.4 GHz Intel processors and a suite of in-house and commercial software including Abaqus, LS-DYNA, MicroMorph, and Tecplot. Large scale simulations can also be done on computers at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NSCA), including the petascale supercomputer Blue Waters (with current budget of 100,000 node hours). The investigators will have access to the state-of-the-art materials characterization and testing equipment at several centers at UIUC: Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology (Beckman), Frederick Seitz Materials Research Laboratory (MRL), and Advanced Materials Testing and Evaluation Laboratory (AMTEL).



Prof. Odegard is the director of the Computational Mechanics and Materials Research Laboratory (CMMRL). CMMRL has full access to two large-scale high-performance clusters: ATHENA (28 compute nodes, each with 12 CPU cores & 24 GB RAM)  and SUPERIOR (72 CPU compute nodes, each with 16 CPU cores & 64 GB RAM; and 5 GPU compute nodes, each with 16 CPU cores, 64 GB RAM & 4 NVIDIA Tesla M2090 GPUs). Prof. King is the director of the Composites Preparation and Characterization Laboratories. The labs include the following pieces of equipment: Co-rotating twin-screw extruders, single-screw injection molding, Izod impact, TGA, electrical resistance, thermal conductivity, compressing molding, and tensile testing. Prof. Sanders is the director of the Metal Foundry Casting facility at MTU. The foundry consists of die casting, high-vacuum induction casting, high-pressure induction melting, arc melting, melt spinning, and directional solidification and crystal growth.


University of Denver

Daniel Felix Ritchie School of Engineering
2155 E. Wesley Ave.

Denver, Colorado, 80208

United States

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Department of Mechanical Science and Engineering
1206 West Green Street, MC-244

Urbana, Illinois, 61801

United States

(217) 333-9259

Michigan Technological University

Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics

Houghton, Michigan, 49931

United States

(906) 487-2329

University of Connecticut

Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering
97 North Eagleville Rd.

Storrs, Connecticut, 06269-3136

United States

(860) 486-0915