In our laboratories for Composite Materials Research, students work on developing and understanding enhanced properties in novel, nanostructured materials. For example, corrosion-resistant metals, ductile ceramics, and electrically-conducting polymers could be made through the compaction and densification of nanoscale powders of appropriate materials. The small particle sizes lead to very high surface areas, and create materials in which interfacial properties, and not the inherent properties of the powder materials, can determine bulk properties such as mechanical strength, electrical conductivity and diffusivity. Current research projects include the production and evaluation of aluminum/mullite composites for chemical process industry applications, polymer/ceramic composites for fuel cell applications, and ceramic/ceramic composites for high temperature turbine applications. In conjunction with this activity, there is research on advanced fiber technology, materials processing, thermal analysis, nucleation and growth phenomena, and high-temperature characterization and processing of ceramics.