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 A new tool for discovering nanoporous materials
23.05.2017 | Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne

nachricht Did you know that packaging is becoming intelligent through flash systems?
23.05.2017 | Heraeus Noblelight GmbH

All articles from Materials Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: A quantum walk of photons

Physicists from the University of Würzburg are capable of generating identical looking single light particles at the push of a button. Two new studies now demonstrate the potential this method holds.

The quantum computer has fuelled the imagination of scientists for decades: It is based on fundamentally different phenomena than a conventional computer....

Im Focus: Turmoil in sluggish electrons’ existence

An international team of physicists has monitored the scattering behaviour of electrons in a non-conducting material in real-time. Their insights could be beneficial for radiotherapy.

We can refer to electrons in non-conducting materials as ‘sluggish’. Typically, they remain fixed in a location, deep inside an atomic composite. It is hence...

Im Focus: Wafer-thin Magnetic Materials Developed for Future Quantum Technologies

Two-dimensional magnetic structures are regarded as a promising material for new types of data storage, since the magnetic properties of individual molecular building blocks can be investigated and modified. For the first time, researchers have now produced a wafer-thin ferrimagnet, in which molecules with different magnetic centers arrange themselves on a gold surface to form a checkerboard pattern. Scientists at the Swiss Nanoscience Institute at the University of Basel and the Paul Scherrer Institute published their findings in the journal Nature Communications.

Ferrimagnets are composed of two centers which are magnetized at different strengths and point in opposing directions. Two-dimensional, quasi-flat ferrimagnets...

Im Focus: World's thinnest hologram paves path to new 3-D world

Nano-hologram paves way for integration of 3-D holography into everyday electronics

An Australian-Chinese research team has created the world's thinnest hologram, paving the way towards the integration of 3D holography into everyday...

Im Focus: Using graphene to create quantum bits

In the race to produce a quantum computer, a number of projects are seeking a way to create quantum bits -- or qubits -- that are stable, meaning they are not much affected by changes in their environment. This normally needs highly nonlinear non-dissipative elements capable of functioning at very low temperatures.

In pursuit of this goal, researchers at EPFL's Laboratory of Photonics and Quantum Measurements LPQM (STI/SB), have investigated a nonlinear graphene-based...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Marine Conservation: IASS Contributes to UN Ocean Conference in New York on 5-9 June

24.05.2017 | Event News

AWK Aachen Machine Tool Colloquium 2017: Internet of Production for Agile Enterprises

23.05.2017 | Event News

Dortmund MST Conference presents Individualized Healthcare Solutions with micro and nanotechnology

22.05.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Physicists discover mechanism behind granular capillary effect

24.05.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Measured for the first time: Direction of light waves changed by quantum effect

24.05.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Marine Conservation: IASS Contributes to UN Ocean Conference in New York on 5-9 June

24.05.2017 | Event News

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>