Properties of Microscale Constituents & Interfaces in Hierarchically Structured Composite Materials

A major impediment to the development of physics-based multi-scale homogenization (composite) theories is the lack of appropriate methods to characterize the local anisotropic elastic-plastic properties of microscale constituents and interfaces at various hierarchical length scales in composite material systems. This work aims to address this gap by combining the information obtained from spherical nanoindentation with different indenter sizes, structure characterization methods (e.g., Orientation Image Mapping in Scanning Electron Microscope, X-ray micro-tomography), and sophisticated finite element models to arrive at reliable estimates of the elusive local properties. This research will identify the main rules to be followed in the design of advanced composite materials with superior performance characteristics that are far superior to the properties exhibited by any of the constituents.

This project is funded by the Army Research Office and performed in partnership with Professor Surya Kalidindi, Georgia Institute of Technology.

Faculty contact: Ulrike G.K. Wegst