Computational Nanomechanics Current Research Topics:
The research performed in the Computational Nanomechanics Laboratory has two principal thrusts. The first major goal is to understand the correlation between structure and mechanical properties at the nanoscale level. The second goal is to determine the expression of nanoscale phenomena in the material's behavior at larger scales.
Polymer dynamics - Stress production and relaxation in polymeric fluids.
In this project researchers develop a unified description of stress production and relaxation in polymeric systems, which attempts to scale-link the atomic and molecular levels. The project also provides a framework in which the constitutive laws defined at larger scales are based on atomic-scale processes. The National Science Foundation (NSF) funds the project.
Metamaterials - Mechanical behavior of polymer-based nanocomposites.
Polymers filled with nanoparticles have mechanical, optical, dielectric, and transport properties which are significantly different from those of the equivalent system filled with micron-sized particles at the same volume fraction. The goal of this project is to investigate the physical origins of these improved properties, and to provide guidelines for material processing optimization. The project combines experimental, theoretical, and simulation approaches. The Office of National Research funds the project.
Metallic alloys - Unsteady deformation of Al-Mg alloys.
The objective of this research project is to develop a model to predict phenomena leading to poor formability in Al-Mg alloys based on the underlying deformation mechanisms. Magnesium is added to aluminum to improve strength properties but is found to also have a detrimental effect on formability. This phenomenon is rooted in the interaction of solute atoms with dislocations, interaction that leads to unsteady, collective motion of dislocations, within grains and across grain boundaries, which in turn results in unstable material flow. The work investigates the details of this interaction and aims at identifying means for reducing the sensitivity of material formability to the presence of alloying elements. The NSF and Alcoa sponsor the work.
Computational techniques - Coupled atomistic-continuum models.
A new coupled discrete-continuum computational method is being developed. This technique is based on the multigrid idea and integrates discrete models within the standard framework of multiscale multigrid continuum techniques. Rensselaer funds the project.
For further details on the goals, methods used and results to date, please visit the web page of our Laboratory.
Group coordinator: Catalin R. Picu, Professor, Department of Mechanical, Aerospace and Nuclear Engineering.