Specimen and Equipment Fabrication Facilities

CEAM has a range of facilities dedicated to creating materials and closely collaborates with other groups to produce samples and fixtures.



Polymer Synthesis

Two fume hoods and a wide variety of glassware are utilized for organic polymer synthesis reactions.  We have a number of vacuum pumps, inert gases, and environmental chambers on hand that allow us to prepare and store polymer samples under controlled conditions.  We can cast polymers in an assortment of shapes and sizes/thicknesses using metal, PTFE, and/or non-stick glass molds.  Our polymer synthesis equipment includes:


  • Buchi Rotovapor R-200
  • Bransonic 2510-DTH ultrasonic bath
  • Fisher Scientific FB-120 sonic dismembrator
  • Lindberg Blue M V0914A vacuum oven
  • Various ovens, incubators, refrigerators, freezers, and desiccators







Composite Fabrication

Composite fabrication by prepreg layup, wet layup, and vacuum impregnation techniques are available, in addition to cryogenic facilities for storage of prepreg and uncured resins. Thermoset and thermoplastic resins are processed with a variety of reinforcing fibers, including aramid, glass, carbon, and UHMWPE fibers. Two hot presses are utilized for curing composite panels at elevated temperature and pressure:


Wabash 125 Ton Laminating Press

  • Electrically heated
  • Water cooled
  • 2' x 2' platens


PHI 30 Ton Laboratory Press

  • Electrically headed
  • Water cooled
  • 1' x 1' platens


30-ton and 125-ton laminating presses

CEAM also has equipment for braiding and weaving engineering fibers. A 12-carrier tubular braiding machine provides flexibility in braiding elements with variable pitch, diameter, and inner core elements. These braided elements may be woven into composite fabric with an 8-harness table loom.

  • Twelve-carrier tubular braiding machine
  • Eight-harness braiding loom

Braiding machine




CEAM works closely with the UCSD Campus Research Machine Shop to:

  • Machine specimens from a wide variety of materials, including exotic metals and polymers
  • Fabricate molds for polymer and composite preparation
  • Create unique fixtures, tools, and other facilities for experiments



Specimen Preparation

  • Struers Rotopol Automated Polishing System
  • Struers Accutom Cutting System

  • Various other manual polishers and diamond saws

Automatic polishing machine




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