Precipitate strengthening of pyramidal slip in Mg-Zn alloys.read more..
The activities of the Prof. Javier LLorca’s Mechanics of Materials group at IMDEA Materials Institute are focused in the design of new materials through the combination of advanced simulations and processing. To this end, the processing-structure-properties relationships are established by the application of different computational tools (ab initio, cluster expansion, molecular mechanics, dislocation dynamics, phase field, computational thermodynamics, computational mechanics, etc.) and multiscale modeling strategies (transition state theory, homogenization, etc.). A key feature of this strategy is the use of novel in situ nanoscale characterization techniques to determine the properties of the phases and interfaces in the material at the nm and µm scale. So, simulations are fed with experimental values independently obtained and free of “adjusting” parameters. This information is used to design materials with novel properties that are manufactured by means of advanced processing techniques (including 3D printing of metallic alloys and composites, magnetron sputtering, etc.).
This combination of modeling and experiments was initially applied to composite materials and some of the group contributions in this area are classics within the scientific community. They have been expanded over the years to a wide range of engineering materials (including metallic alloys, ceramics, amorphous and crystalline polymers, high performance fibers and biological materials) and have become the foundation of the modern techniques of virtual testing, which are starting to be used by the aerospace industry to minimize the number of costly mechanical tests to characterize and certify composite materials.
The current interests of the research group – within the framework of Integrated Computational Materials Engineering – are aimed at the design of advanced materials for engineering applications in transport, health care (implants) as well as energy (catalysis), so new materials can be designed, tested and optimized in silico before they are actually manufactured in the laboratory.