Aerospace engineering lab researches polymer possibilities

Published: November 10, 2020

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Polymers are materials that yield endless possibilities and surround us in our daily lives. The Auburn University Polymer Mechanics Research Laboratory is dedicated to improving the understanding of polymers. Directed by Russell Mailen, assistant professor of aerospace engineering, the lab is focused on researching new ways to use polymers for the benefit of science and society.

The lab conducts basic and applied research on polymers and polymer composites, including shape memory polymers. In addition to studying the material itself, a large focus of the lab is testing the mechanical behavior of polymers in various environments, Mailen said.

“Polymers are a broad class of materials,” he said. “More commonly referred to as plastics, they are in everything from the clothes you wear to the computer that you type at. I use ‘polymers’ as the umbrella topic under which my broad research interests exist. I look at the material itself, its mechanical properties and how various environmental factors will affect structures made with the material.”

Learn more about the lab and Mailen's research by clicking here.

Submitted by: Cassie Montgomery