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
Decoding cement's shape promises greener concrete
08.12.2016 | Rice University
Scientists track chemical and structural evolution of catalytic nanoparticles in 3-D
08.12.2016 | DOE/Brookhaven National Laboratory
Physicists of the University of Würzburg have made an astonishing discovery in a specific type of topological insulators. The effect is due to the structure of the materials used. The researchers have now published their work in the journal Science.
Topological insulators are currently the hot topic in physics according to the newspaper Neue Zürcher Zeitung. Only a few weeks ago, their importance was...
In recent years, lasers with ultrashort pulses (USP) down to the femtosecond range have become established on an industrial scale. They could advance some applications with the much-lauded “cold ablation” – if that meant they would then achieve more throughput. A new generation of process engineering that will address this issue in particular will be discussed at the “4th UKP Workshop – Ultrafast Laser Technology” in April 2017.
Even back in the 1990s, scientists were comparing materials processing with nanosecond, picosecond and femtosesecond pulses. The result was surprising:...
Have you ever wondered how you see the world? Vision is about photons of light, which are packets of energy, interacting with the atoms or molecules in what...
A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.
Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...
In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.
“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...
16.11.2016 | Event News
01.11.2016 | Event News
14.10.2016 | Event News
09.12.2016 | Life Sciences
09.12.2016 | Ecology, The Environment and Conservation
09.12.2016 | Health and Medicine