Structural Materials

Projects

  • This DoE and U.S. Army project seeks to create and optimize novel reactive foils that are capable of joining dissimilar metals and alloys. Emphasis is placed on creating brazes that are mechanically and chemically robust for a variety of material combinations.

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  • Over the last two decades we have studied the mechanical properties of teeth: the hard outer covering of enamel and to a lesser degree the softer mid-layer of dentin. We have found significant variations in the hardness and stiffness of human molar enamel, and we have correlated these changes with trends in the local chemistry and organic content. In addition, we have identified similar trends in monkey teeth and human incisors.

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  • This DARPA project studies architectural and microstructural optimization of 3D Woven structural materials. To develop novel structural materials in a far more rapid and efficient manner, we use topological optimization methods to predict ideal material architectures and novel textile processing to fabricate those architectures. The designed and manufactured 3D Woven materials possess superior permeability, stiffness, and heat transfer properties.

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  • This DoD project investigates and characterizes the microstructural evolution of magnesium and magnesium alloys under high temperatures and severe plastic deformation. Electron backscatter detection, X-ray diffraction, and conventional microscopy are being used together with serial sectioning to study the microstructure of magnesium following thermo-mechanical processing.

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  • This DoD project studies very high strain rate mechanical testing of Mg alloys with concurrent electron microscopy. The current approach aims to utilize high-performance piezoelectric actuators to load a thinned sample at strain rates from 102 – 104 s-1.

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  • This NSF project aims to build on our previous work and established capability using nanocalorimeters to study intermetallic reactions. The theory developed in the project will be a notable improvement on our existing understanding of how nucleation occurs in sharp concentration gradients, with the experiments representing the first rigorous and systematic verification of such a model.

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  • Our research involves using laser ultrasonics to detect changes in the material’s microstructure due to fatigue damage well before microcrack formation.

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  • The purpose of this project is to characterize the optical properties of the materials under consideration in conditions that are similar to those found near the sun.

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  • Our group develops techniques to watch the structure of materials as they evolve during dynamic loading.

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  • Research in our group has covered a wide range of topics in metallic glasses, ranging from alloy design (including the development of novel metallic-glass-matrix composite materials) and studies of the atomic-scale structure to very practical studies of mechanical behavior, including both deformation and fracture.

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