Kevin Hart, P.E., Ph.D.

Assistant Professor

  • Milwaukee WI UNITED STATES
  • Allen Bradley Hall of Science: S229
  • Mechanical Engineering

Dr. Kevin Hart's research interests lie in additive manufacturing of polymeric materials, as well as advanced, multi-functional materials.


Education, Licensure and Certification


Aerospace Engineering

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign



Aerospace Engineering

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign



Engineering Mechanics and Astronautics

University of Wisconsin-Madison


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Dr. Kevin Hart is an assistant professor in MSOE's Mechanical Engineering Department. He teaches Applications in Computer Engineering, Mechanics, Mechanics of Materials, and Composite Materials. His research interests lie in additive manufacturing of polymeric materials, as well as advanced, multi-functional materials. He earned his bachelor's degree in engineering mechanics and astronautics from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He earned his master's and doctorate degrees in aerospace engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Areas of Expertise

Vascular Fiber-Reinforced Composites
Polymeric Materials
Mechanical Engineering
Additive Manufacturing
Multi-Functional Materials


Aerospace Engineering Alumni Advisory Board Fellowship


American Society of Composite PhD Research Scholarship Grant




Self-Healing Composite Materials and Micro-Vascular Composites For Forming The Materials


JF Patrick, KR Hart, BP Krull, NR Sottos, JS Moore, SR White

Method of Making a Self-Healing Composite System


JF Patrick, KR Hart, BP Krull, NR Sottos, JS Moore, SR White

Integral printed shell for high strength 3D-printed polymer parts

Provisional patents US 62/885,554 and US 62/885,877

RM Dunn, KR Hart, ED Wetzel

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Research Grants

Composite and Hybrid Materials Branch Seedling Grant

US Army Research Laboratory. Aberdeen Proving Ground, MD.


Scale-up of Dual Material Filament for Field-Use Printed Parts

DoD Harnessing Emerging Research Opportunities to Empower Soldiers (HEROES) Commercialization Development Grant


Selected Publications

Evaluation of a Vascularized, Self-Healing Structure Fabricated via Material Extrusion

Journal of Smart materials and Structures

Turicek, J.; Kowal, E.; Holland, K.; Kalchik, D.; Stowe, J.; Hart, K

Material extrusion is a versatile 3D-printing platform for building complex one-off designs. However, the mechanical properties of parts printed using material extrusion are limited by the weak bonding between successive layers of the print, causing premature failure at these critical locations. In this work, an additively manufactured component is crafted which incorporates internal vascular channels capable of autonomously delivering a one-part healing agent to the site of interlaminar damage, when and where it occurs thereby restoring the base structure. The effectiveness of fracture toughness restoration was investigated for various healing times and healing agents. Healing efficiencies of greater than 100% are reported for experimental-type samples using acetone as the healing agent while control specimens using a non-solvent agent demonstrated no recovery. Fractography of damaged surfaces via optical imaging and scanning electron microscopy revealed multiple healing mechanisms that are discussed herein. Lastly, biological analogies and the viability of our design in application are discussed.

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Tough, Additively Manufactured Structures Fabricated with Dual-Thermoplastic Filaments

Advanced Engineering Materials

Hart, K.R.; Dunn, R.M.; Wetzel, E.D

Fused filament fabrication (FFF) is the most common additive manufacturing technology, but parts fabricated using FFF lack sufficient mechanical integrity for most engineering applications. Herein, a dual material (DM) filament comprising acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) with a star-shaped polycarbonate (PC) core is fabricated using a novel thermal draw process. This DM filament is then used as feedstock in a conventional FFF printer to create 3D solid bodies with a composite ABS/PC meso-structure. Subjecting these parts to annealing temperatures intermediate between the glass-transition temperatures of ABS and PC produces a solid body with ductility comparable to injection-molded ABS and fracture toughness values 15x higher than comparable as-printed ABS structures. The PC skeleton of specimens fabricated using the DM filament resists creep and polymer relaxation to maintain accurate part geometry during annealing. This novel DM filament can revolutionize additive manufacturing allowing low-cost printers to produce parts with mechanical properties competitive with injection-molded plastics.

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Increased Fracture Toughness of Additively Manufactured Semi-Crystalline Thermoplastics via Thermal Annealing


Hart, K.R.; Dunn, R.M.; Wetzel, E.D.

Polymeric components manufactured via freeform fabrication (FFF) typically have poor inter-laminar toughness resulting from incomplete bonding across layers during production. Here we study the effect of printing and post-processing on the inter-laminar toughness of additively manufactured semi-crystalline (poly-lactide (PLA)) structures. Specimens were subject to post-print thermal annealing to promote inter-laminar bonding, while post-annealing quenching rates were chosen to vary the induced degree of crystallinity in the final structure, as characterized via dynamic scanning calorimetry (DSC). Critical elastic-plastic strain energy release rates (JIc) of annealed samples were evaluated using the single edge notched bend (SENB) geometry and post-testing fractography. The results show that as-printed PLA adopts an amorphous character with good inter-laminar toughness and ductility. Post-print annealing can double the toughness via increased interfacial wetting, but only if the material is quenched rapidly to preserve the amorphous character. In contrast, post-print annealing followed by slow cooling results in a semi-crystalline state (≈25% crystallinity) with low fracture toughness and brittle fracture behavior.

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