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 Epoxy compound gets a graphene bump
14.11.2018 | Rice University

nachricht Automated adhesive film placement and stringer integration for aircraft manufacture
15.11.2018 | Fraunhofer IFAM

All articles from Materials Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: UNH scientists help provide first-ever views of elusive energy explosion

Researchers at the University of New Hampshire have captured a difficult-to-view singular event involving "magnetic reconnection"--the process by which sparse particles and energy around Earth collide producing a quick but mighty explosion--in the Earth's magnetotail, the magnetic environment that trails behind the planet.

Magnetic reconnection has remained a bit of a mystery to scientists. They know it exists and have documented the effects that the energy explosions can...

Im Focus: A Chip with Blood Vessels

Biochips have been developed at TU Wien (Vienna), on which tissue can be produced and examined. This allows supplying the tissue with different substances in a very controlled way.

Cultivating human cells in the Petri dish is not a big challenge today. Producing artificial tissue, however, permeated by fine blood vessels, is a much more...

Im Focus: A Leap Into Quantum Technology

Faster and secure data communication: This is the goal of a new joint project involving physicists from the University of Würzburg. The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research funds the project with 14.8 million euro.

In our digital world data security and secure communication are becoming more and more important. Quantum communication is a promising approach to achieve...

Im Focus: Research icebreaker Polarstern begins the Antarctic season

What does it look like below the ice shelf of the calved massive iceberg A68?

On Saturday, 10 November 2018, the research icebreaker Polarstern will leave its homeport of Bremerhaven, bound for Cape Town, South Africa.

Im Focus: Penn engineers develop ultrathin, ultralight 'nanocardboard'

When choosing materials to make something, trade-offs need to be made between a host of properties, such as thickness, stiffness and weight. Depending on the application in question, finding just the right balance is the difference between success and failure

Now, a team of Penn Engineers has demonstrated a new material they call "nanocardboard," an ultrathin equivalent of corrugated paper cardboard. A square...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

“3rd Conference on Laser Polishing – LaP 2018” Attracts International Experts and Users

09.11.2018 | Event News

On the brain’s ability to find the right direction

06.11.2018 | Event News

European Space Talks: Weltraumschrott – eine Gefahr für die Gesellschaft?

23.10.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Purdue cancer identity technology makes it easier to find a tumor's 'address'

16.11.2018 | Health and Medicine

Good preparation is half the digestion

16.11.2018 | Life Sciences

Microscope measures muscle weakness

16.11.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>