Award Date


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Mechanical Engineering

First Committee Member

Brendan O'Toole

Number of Pages



2Phase Technologies, Inc. has developed a reconfigurable tooling system (RTS) to meet the increasing need for quick and inexpensive fabrication of composite parts as well as molding of liquid polymers and cast resins. A change of state tooling material is used in the RTS. The tooling material can be changed from liquid to solid and back to liquid for reutilization. The tooling material consists of hollow silica micro-spheres that flow in a water-silicate based solution. The material can be hardened to a solid by removing the solution with the use of vacuum and by the application of heat. The silica hollow spheres are bonded together by remains of the silica binder forming a close pack structure. The aerospace industry has a great interest in this tooling system for the fabrication of composite materials. Previous studies determined the characteristics of this material at room temperature. The focus of this study is to analyze and characterize the physical and mechanical properties of the tooling material at elevated temperatures. In addition microscopy imaging is performed to analyze the microscopic effect of temperature on the spheres and their arrangement.


Analysis; Behaviors; Characterization; Elevated; Material; Temperatures; Tooling

Controlled Subject

Mechanical engineering

File Format


File Size

13066.24 KB

Degree Grantor

University of Nevada, Las Vegas




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