Research Facilities and Programs:
AFRL/RX Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio
The work of the Materials and Manufacturing Directorate spans the total spectrum of technical investigations from fundamental research to production and in-service engineering applications of materials. Within this unique broad, multidisciplinary environment, the scientific challenges of tomorrow are considered to be as important as the technical problems of today.
These scientists and engineers conduct studies that lead to improved performance, predictability, reliability, durability, and affordability of materials in demanding applications including the following: synthesis, properties, and morphology of polymers; surface chemistry and physics of composites and electromagnetic materials; electro-optic properties of infrared detector and nonlinear optical materials; structural and high-temperature resistant metals and ceramics; processing science; quantitative nondestructive evaluation; mechanics and life prediction of metals, composites, and adhesively bonded joints; the synthesis and properties of lubricants, protective coatings, and wear surfaces; and environmentally benign approaches.
As part of the total professional development of the staff, publication of research results in scientific journals and presentation of papers at national and international meetings are encouraged. Several staff scientists are editors of journals and hold responsible offices in professional societies. Since the Directorate is a center of materials technology, its scientists are exposed to current trends in the research and applications of materials. This exposure to leading scientists from universities and industry is an especially important aspect of the professional enrichment of young scientists.
The Directorate also has unique experimental facilities. Each year, new equipment is added, including during the past few years, new laboratory facilities in materials processing, optical measurements, and virtual reality-based materials design. Extensive use of computers, and computer-aided testing systems is encouraged.