NRL STRATEGIC SERIES

Polymers

Panel on Polymers

Naval Studies Board

Commission on Physical Sciences, Mathematics, and Applications

National Research Council

NATIONAL ACADEMY PRESS
Washington, D.C. 1995



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Polymers NRL STRATEGIC SERIES Polymers Panel on Polymers Naval Studies Board Commission on Physical Sciences, Mathematics, and Applications National Research Council NATIONAL ACADEMY PRESS Washington, D.C. 1995

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Polymers NOTICE: The project that is the subject of this report was approved by the Governing Board of the National Research Council, whose members are drawn from the councils of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. The members of the panel responsible for this report were chosen for their special competences and with regard for appropriate balance. This report has been reviewed by a group other than the authors according to procedures approved by a Report Review Committee consisting of members of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. The National Academy of Sciences is a private, nonprofit, self-perpetuating society of distinguished scholars engaged in scientific and engineering research, dedicated to the furtherance of science and technology and to their use for the general welfare. Upon the authority of the charter granted to it by the Congress in 1863, the Academy has a mandate that requires it to advise the federal government on scientific and technical matters. Dr. Bruce Alberts is president of the National Academy of Sciences. The National Academy of Engineering was established in 1964, under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences, as a parallel organization of outstanding engineers. It is autonomous in its administration and in the selection of its members, sharing with the National Academy of Sciences the responsibility for advising the federal government. The National Academy of Engineering also sponsors engineering programs aimed at meeting national needs, encourages education and research, and recognizes the superior achievements of engineers. Dr. Robert M. White is president of the National Academy of Engineering. The Institute of Medicine was established in 1970 by the National Academy of Sciences to secure the services of eminent members of appropriate professions in the examination of policy matters pertaining to the health of the public. The Institute acts under the responsibility given to the National Academy of Sciences by its congressional charter to be an adviser to the federal government and, upon its own initiative, to identify issues of medical care, research, and education. Dr. Kenneth I. Shine is president of the Institute of Medicine. The National Research Council was organized by the National Academy of Sciences in 1916 to associate the broad community of science and technology with the Academy's purposes of furthering knowledge and advising the federal government. Functioning in accordance with general policies determined by the Academy, the Council has become the principal operating agency of both the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering in providing services to the government, the public, and the scientific and engineering communities. The Council is administered jointly by both Academies and the Institute of Medicine. Dr. Bruce Alberts and Dr. Robert M. White are chairman and vice chairman, respectively, of the National Research Council. This work was performed under Department of Navy Contract N00014-93-C-0089 issued by the Office of Naval Research under contract authority NR 201-124. However, the content does not necessarily reflect the position or the policy of the Department of the Navy or the government, and no official endorsement should be inferred. The United States Government has at least a royalty-free, nonexclusive, and irrevocable license throughout the world for government purposes to publish, translate, reproduce, deliver, perform, and dispose of all or any of this work, and to authorize others so to do. Copyright 1995 by the National Academy of Sciences . All rights reserved. Copies available from: Naval Studies Board National Research Council 2101 Constitution Avenue, N.W. Washington, D.C. 20418 Printed in the United States of America

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Polymers PANEL ON POLYMERS Eli M. Pearce, Polytechnic University, Chair Anna C. Balazs, University of Pittsburgh Georg G. Bohm, Bridgestone/Firestone, Inc. Robert H. Grubbs, California Institute of Technology Edward J. Kramer, Cornell University Sonja Krause, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute James E. Mark, University of Cincinnati David W. McCall, Far Hills, New Jersey David A. Tirrell, University of Massachusetts C. Grant Willson, University of Texas at Austin Navy Liaison Representative Ronald N. Kostoff, Office of Naval Research Consultant Sidney G. Reed, Jr. Staff Ronald D. Taylor, Associate Director

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Polymers NAVAL STUDIES BOARD David R. Heebner, Science Applications International Corporation (retired), Chair George M. Whitesides, Harvard University, Vice Chair Albert J. Baciocco, Jr., The Baciocco Group, Inc. Alan Berman, Center for Naval Analyses Ruth M. Davis, Pymatuning Group, Inc. Seymour J. Deitchman, Institute for Defense Analyses John F. Egan, Lockheed Martin Corporation Ralph R. Goodman, Applied Research Laboratory, Pennsylvania State University Sherra E. Kerns, Vanderbilt University David W. McCall, Far Hills, New Jersey Irwin Mendelson, Singer Island, Florida George A. Paulikas, The Aerospace Corporation Alan Powell, University of Houston Herbert Rabin, University of Maryland Robert L. Silverstein, Northrop Grumman Corporation Keith A. Smith, Vienna, Virginia Robert C. Spindel, Applied Physics Laboratory, University of Washington H. Gregory Tornatore, Applied Physics Laboratory, Johns Hopkins University Richard H. Truly, Georgia Tech Research University, Georgia Institute of Technology J. Pace VanDevender, Sandia National Laboratories Vincent Vitto, Lincoln Laboratory, Massachusetts Institute of Technology Navy Liaison Representatives Paul Blatch, Office of the Chief of Naval Operations Ronald N. Kostoff, Office of Naval Research Lee M. Hunt, Director Ronald D. Taylor, Associate Director Susan G. Campbell, Administrative Assistant Mary (Dixie) Gordon, Information Officer

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Polymers COMMISSION ON PHYSICAL SCIENCES, MATHEMATICS, AND APPLICATIONS Richard N. Zare, Stanford University, Chair Richard S. Nicholson, American Association for the Advancement of Science, Vice Chair Stephen L. Adler, Institute for Advanced Study Sylvia T. Ceyer, Massachusetts Institute of Technology Susan L. Graham, University of California at Berkeley Robert J. Hermann, United Technologies Corporation Rhonda J. Hughes, Bryn Mawr College Shirley A. Jackson, Rutgers University Kenneth I. Kellermann, National Radio Astronomy Observatory Hans Mark, University of Texas at Austin Thomas A. Prince, California Institute of Technology Jerome Sacks, National Institute of Statistical Sciences L.E. Scriven, University of Minnesota Leon T. Silver, California Institute of Technology Charles P. Slichter, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Alvin W. Trivelpiece, Oak Ridge National Laboratory Shmuel Winograd, IBM T.J. Watson Research Center Charles A. Zraket, Mitre Corporation (retired) Norman Metzger, Executive Director

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Polymers Preface To assist with its long-term strategic planning, the Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) requested that the Naval Studies Board (NSB) of the National Research Council (NRC) form a panel on polymer science. NRL's request for independent advice acknowledged that polymers are a highly important commodity for many applications. The great utility in these materials is due to the excellent properties that are introduced with polymer design and processing. This field clearly remains an important route for new materials. The subject of polymer science, including discussion of key science and technology questions and applications, has been addressed in the recent NRC report Polymer Science and Engineering: The Shifting Research Frontiers (National Academy Press, Washington, D.C., 1994). That report presents a comprehensive assessment of the field of polymer science and engineering and identifies the field's contributions to important national issues, such as international competitiveness, education, environment, energy, national defense, and so on. In response to NRL's request, the Panel on Polymers was formed and directed to identify, based on both NRL's strengths and opportunities in the field, how NRL could better focus its research program in polymer science. Accordingly, the panel was requested to identify selected research opportunities in the field as a whole and meet with NRL researchers working in the areas related to polymer science and receive briefings on existing and planned research efforts. NRL's efforts in polymers encompass a variety of approaches to polymer synthesis and characterization, including both traditional approaches and those based on biotechnology. NRL's research thrusts focus on specific polymeric materials such as elastomers, composites, and coatings. Owing to anticipation that modifications to the current program would draw on NRL's extensive experience and expertise in these areas, the panel also was requested to consider NRL's current capabilities in the areas overlapping those identified in the study. In this context, specific questions posed for the panel's consideration were the following: What emerging approaches to advanced polymers are likely to present opportunities for NRL research within the next few years? What areas are being overlooked at NRL and should be incorporated into the ongoing programs? What selection of polymers appears to represent the greatest opportunity for NRL given (a) the problems to which they may be best adapted within the Navy, and (b) the capabilities and strengths existing within NRL? What selection of facilities is most appropriate at NRL, given the size and contributions of the effort, for the options identified in response to the above? During the course of the study, the panel met four times—September 21-22, 1993, at NRL and November 4, 1993, January 27-28, 1994, and September 27, 1994, in Washington, D.C.

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