Damage resistance via anisotropy-graded microstructure design

PI: Cemal Cem Tasan, Department of Materials Science and Engineering, MIT

Damage micro-mechanisms determine the lifetime of almost all structural components in engineering applications, from microelectromechanical systems to large constructions. While these micro-mechanisms are strongly dependent on microstructural parameters (e.g. grain size, defect and inclusion contents), they are also strongly dependent on deformation boundary conditions (e.g. stress state, temperature and strain rate) which are determined by the applications. In this proposal, we investigate the potential of microstructure grading to control the externally-imposed boundary conditions so that the damage susceptibility can be reduced. More specifically, this project aims to investigate the fundamental mechanical effects of an anisotropy gradient on the deformation and damage behaviors of alloys. This understanding will create several benefits and potential applications for metal production and forming industries, since (i) the anisotropy gradient can be introduced during conventional metal forming operations (e.g. rolling), and (ii) aimed property improvements can enable significant energy savings through leaner alloying and component down-gauging.

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