Advanced Hierarchical Materials by Design Lab

Mesoscale Research

Scale Effects

Properties of the materials depend on their atomic structure as well as the arrangement of their atoms. While the former determines the energy of the material, the latter determines the energy distribution. The energy distribution becomes more important as we move to nanoscale where the change in energy distribution affects larger portion of the atoms. This is even more challenging for the mesoscale problems where the energy distribution needs to be resolved across multiple two different scales, such as in microstructures and alloys with fine grains. Here, we have used phase field method to resolve the energy distribution along different scales when we are dealing with complex problems that involve multiple physics.

Chart showing the scale effects using a phase field model.

Materials at Extreme Environements

A sustainable growth requires better use of our energy resources, and designing systems with higher efficiency is one of the potential solutions. In most cases a higher design requires shifting to operation under extreme environments such as in get engines in which higher performance can be achieved by increasing the temperature inside the engine. However, we are limited by the materials that can tolerate such extreme conditions. Here, we are using theoretical and computational tools to understand the physical mechanisms that will be active in such environments and use our knowledge to design new materials that can withstand harsh environments, such as extreme temperatures and shock loadings, with no or limited degradation. As part of this study we revealed a new mechanism for melting and amorphization that activates under high strain rates and is derived by relaxation of elastic stresses.