Date of Award

Spring 5-2019

Author's Department

Mechanical Engineering & Materials Science

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Degree Type



Carbon fiber reinforced thermoplastic (CFRTP) composites are becoming increasingly attractive materials in manufacturing due to their lightweight nature, mechanical strength, and corrosion resistance. Surface activation of these materials is usually required during processing to increase the bond strength of assemblies (aerospace and automotive industries) or improve adhesion with implants (biomedical industry). Industrially-relevant, nondestructive quality control methods for assessing the activation state of these materials do not currently exist, however. Applying principles discovered through the use of scanning probe microscopy, a multiple-probe Kelvin scanning (MPKS) device has been developed that can assess the uniformity of the activation state of plasma-treated CFRTP surfaces. The device can distinguish between control and plasma-treated samples and its measurements have been correlated with shear bond strength of epoxy-bonded assemblies. With the multiple probes increasing measurement speed, the automated device can be scaled for use in manufacturing-relevant environments and improve upon current quality control practices.


English (en)


Dr. Elijah Thimsen

Committee Members

Dr. Guy Genin, Dr. Patricia Weisensee


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