While prototypes of materials that self-seal cracks in buildings, roadways, airplanes, spacecraft and other devices are now under development, engineers still face the challenge of turning the multiple physical and mechanical processes of these materials into mathematical models for use by developers.
Two University of Illinois at Chicago engineers -- Eduard Karpov, assistant professor of civil and materials engineering and Elisa Budyn, UIC assistant professor of mechanical and bioengineering -- are up to the task. They have just received a three-year, $400,000 grant from the National Science Foundation to develop novel methods involving description of the relevant multi-physics phenomena that can be used for computer-based design and property predictions of self-healing materials and bone tissue.
"To model different kinds of physical processes together within a single numerical framework is a big challenge," said Karpov. The goal is to develop a theoretical and computational framework to write modeling software used by engineers and developers.
"The main questions include how to couple chemical reactions and the mechanics of materials," Karpov said. "For example, crack propagation inside a material and capillary transport of the healing agent along the crack."
"Another question is how biological tissue, such as bone, heals when stimulated mechanically," said Budyn. "For example, it has been observed that bone can grow inside the pores of an implant."
Karpov is a specialist in a field called multiphysics modeling, which examines multiple concurrent physical phenomena within a single numerical framework. Because of the intrinsic multi-physics nature of the behavior and performance of these new self-healing materials, the usual theories for material mechanics are not applicable.
Budyn is a specialist in biomechanics and fracture mechanics, which models the mechanics of biological tissues and their failure.
Karpov and Budyn's research will help in writing new rules of the game.
Self-healing materials are inspired by such biological processes as bone ingrowths, skin wounds and muscle tears that heal by themselves. "We have a lot to learn from nature," Budyn said.
Understanding biological tissues is key to the ability to engineer materials such as metals, concrete and polymer composites with self-healing properties that promise to minimize the possibility of catastrophic failure in devices such as airplanes and spacecraft, or in hard-to-repair areas such as electronic circuit boards or human medical implants.
"There are so many practical applications," Karpov said. "It's very exciting."
Paul Francuch | Newswise Science News
How nanoscience will improve our health and lives in the coming years
27.10.2016 | University of California - Los Angeles
3-D-printed structures shrink when heated
26.10.2016 | Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Physicists from the University of Würzburg have designed a light source that emits photon pairs. Two-photon sources are particularly well suited for tap-proof data encryption. The experiment's key ingredients: a semiconductor crystal and some sticky tape.
So-called monolayers are at the heart of the research activities. These "super materials" (as the prestigious science magazine "Nature" puts it) have been...
Ultrafast lasers have introduced new possibilities in engraving ultrafine structures, and scientists are now also investigating how to use them to etch microstructures into thin glass. There are possible applications in analytics (lab on a chip) and especially in electronics and the consumer sector, where great interest has been shown.
This new method was born of a surprising phenomenon: irradiating glass in a particular way with an ultrafast laser has the effect of making the glass up to a...
Terahertz excitation of selected crystal vibrations leads to an effective magnetic field that drives coherent spin motion
Controlling functional properties by light is one of the grand goals in modern condensed matter physics and materials science. A new study now demonstrates how...
Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.
"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...
In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.
A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...
14.10.2016 | Event News
14.10.2016 | Event News
12.10.2016 | Event News
28.10.2016 | Power and Electrical Engineering
28.10.2016 | Life Sciences
28.10.2016 | Life Sciences