Aiming to Advance Ceramic Materials Used in Aerospace Technologies – Hobart and William Smith Colleges \
The HWS Update

Aiming to Advance Ceramic Materials Used in Aerospace Technologies

A Ballston Spa native is working in a chemistry lab this summer exploring some possibilities in ceramics that could improve cars and planes.

June 26, 2002 GENEVA, N.Y.— Sarah S. Green, a rising junior at William Smith College, is working this summer in the lab of Chemistry Professor Alexis Puerta studying the synthesis of inorganic polymers. Her research aims to determine if these materials can be used in the making of silicon carbide ceramics, which is used to make electric resistors and engine parts.

More specifically, Green is synthesizing and characterizing monomer and polymeric species, which contain silicon, carbon and boron. Potential applications of these materials are found in automotive and aerospace technologies.

Green will present her research, titled “Synthesis and Characterization of Polyborosiloxanes,” August 17-22 at the national meeting of the American Chemical Society in Boston, Mass.

The research, funded through a grant from the Office of the Provost at Hobart and William Smith Colleges, is based on research begun by Professor Puerta. The focus of Puerta’s research is in the development of polymeric precursors to advanced ceramic materials that allow the controlled production of these technologically important materials in forms unattainable using traditional powder processing methods.

“Ceramic fibers and fiber-reinforced materials have become crucial in aerospace technologies. They are used to make a variety of advanced engine parts,” Puerta said. “This research seeks to design, synthesize and characterize new polymeric precursors suitable for fiber and matrix production that would enhance the materials' thermal, oxidative, and chemical properties.”

Puerta, an assistant professor of chemistry at Hobart and William Smith Colleges since 2001, holds a B.S. from College of St. Benedict and a Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania.

Green is a chemistry major. She is the daughter of George and Sharyn Green of Ballston Spa. She currently resides on E. North Street in Geneva.

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