Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Smart Alloys - new research group at the Max-Planck-Institut Düsseldorf

18.07.2012
A new research group named "Adaptive Structural Materials" has been established at the Max-Planck-Institut für Eisenforschung GmbH (MPIE) in Düsseldorf.

The group is funded by a European Research Council Advanced Grant, awarded in January 2012 to Prof. Dierk Raabe and Prof. Jörg Neugebauer, both directors at the MPIE.


Logo of the group showing the intimate coupling between experiment and theory: The red fields show EBSD images of a material before and after phase transformation. The black/grey surface shows the energy dependence of a stable and unstable phase.

The new research group is introducing an innovative concept into the world of alloy design combining theory and experiment. The aim is the development of new superior materials with smart microstructures capable of adapting to external environmental changes.

The group is run by two scientists: Dr. Blazej Grabowski, theoretical physicist, and Dr. Cem Tasan, materials scientist. This rather unconventional formation is attributed to the high complexity of the enterprise and to the employed alloy design ideas. One of the design strategies is to introduce nanosized metastable particles into the microstructure of the new alloys.

The meta-stability is a challenging but crucial requirement allowing the nanoparticles to transform quickly under applied stress. This phase transformation can strengthen the material, or create a self-healing effect. "Imagine a crack which has just nucleated in the material", says Grabowski. "As soon as the crack tip reaches one of the metastable particles, the stress induced by the crack tip forces the phase of the particle to transform. The accompanying volume change or the resulting stress field from such a transformation may stop the nanocrack from further expanding." Such mechanisms can function efficiently only for very delicately tuned microstructures and only in narrow concentration ranges. Achieving optimal conditions is an enormous challenge and requires a close collaboration of the two scientists and their team of researchers.

Metastable phases are difficult to analyse experimentally, but with DFT methods (density functional theory) which are based on quantum-mechanical principles, the parameters can be set to a point where the system is metastable. Thus the properties can be calculated under any given conditions. Parameters such as temperature, stress or volume can be changed in small steps until the phase transforms. Theory can predefine not only conditions but also compositions and thus reduce time and material needed for finding the optimum alloy.

On the other hand experimentalists have to validate the calculations. Thorough analysis of phases and phase changes is a crucial point. A unique combination of microscopic and mechanical characterization equipment at the MPIE enables the scientists to carry out in-situ investigations of such stress-induced microstructural transformations. Tasan further cooperates with the metallurgical and processing group, who will eventually produce the smart alloys. "Nowhere else than here at the MPIE would the realisation of this project be feasible", states Tasan, "the close cooperation of physicists, materials scientists, and metallurgists and the availability of metallurgical production sites and sophisticated analysis methods are a precious advantage."

The two group leaders are getting their research up to full speeds. Four doctoral students and three post-docs will soon support them.

Yasmin Ahmed Salem | Max-Planck-Institut
Further information:
http://www.mpie.de
http://www.mpie.de/index.php?id=3738

More articles from Materials Sciences:

nachricht New concept for structural colors
18.05.2018 | Technische Universität Hamburg-Harburg

nachricht Saarbrücken mathematicians study the cooling of heavy plate from Dillingen
17.05.2018 | Universität des Saarlandes

All articles from Materials Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Explanation for puzzling quantum oscillations has been found

So-called quantum many-body scars allow quantum systems to stay out of equilibrium much longer, explaining experiment | Study published in Nature Physics

Recently, researchers from Harvard and MIT succeeded in trapping a record 53 atoms and individually controlling their quantum state, realizing what is called a...

Im Focus: Dozens of binaries from Milky Way's globular clusters could be detectable by LISA

Next-generation gravitational wave detector in space will complement LIGO on Earth

The historic first detection of gravitational waves from colliding black holes far outside our galaxy opened a new window to understanding the universe. A...

Im Focus: Entangled atoms shine in unison

A team led by Austrian experimental physicist Rainer Blatt has succeeded in characterizing the quantum entanglement of two spatially separated atoms by observing their light emission. This fundamental demonstration could lead to the development of highly sensitive optical gradiometers for the precise measurement of the gravitational field or the earth's magnetic field.

The age of quantum technology has long been heralded. Decades of research into the quantum world have led to the development of methods that make it possible...

Im Focus: Computer-Designed Customized Regenerative Heart Valves

Cardiovascular tissue engineering aims to treat heart disease with prostheses that grow and regenerate. Now, researchers from the University of Zurich, the Technical University Eindhoven and the Charité Berlin have successfully implanted regenerative heart valves, designed with the aid of computer simulations, into sheep for the first time.

Producing living tissue or organs based on human cells is one of the main research fields in regenerative medicine. Tissue engineering, which involves growing...

Im Focus: Light-induced superconductivity under high pressure

A team of scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg investigated optically-induced superconductivity in the alkali-doped fulleride K3C60under high external pressures. This study allowed, on one hand, to uniquely assess the nature of the transient state as a superconducting phase. In addition, it unveiled the possibility to induce superconductivity in K3C60 at temperatures far above the -170 degrees Celsius hypothesized previously, and rather all the way to room temperature. The paper by Cantaluppi et al has been published in Nature Physics.

Unlike ordinary metals, superconductors have the unique capability of transporting electrical currents without any loss. Nowadays, their technological...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Save the date: Forum European Neuroscience – 07-11 July 2018 in Berlin, Germany

02.05.2018 | Event News

Invitation to the upcoming "Current Topics in Bioinformatics: Big Data in Genomics and Medicine"

13.04.2018 | Event News

Unique scope of UV LED technologies and applications presented in Berlin: ICULTA-2018

12.04.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Supersonic waves may help electronics beat the heat

18.05.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Keeping a Close Eye on Ice Loss

18.05.2018 | Information Technology

CrowdWater: An App for Flood Research

18.05.2018 | Information Technology

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>