Pioneering multiscale models of metals will forge a new path forward for applications
Over the last 50 years, polymers and composites have gradually been replacing metals in a variety of applications, in large part due to their light weight relative to their strength. However, they can also display failures rarely seen in metals. The design of lighter and stronger metals that take advantage of polymers' unique combination of strength and deformability (plasticity) requires detailed characterisation of structural dynamics. Engineers must be able to understand and predict metal behaviour as it relates to all scales of structure, from the defects (dislocations) responsible for plasticity within the small crystal grains that compose the solid metal, up to the final component. The EU-funded PMP project is exploiting its pioneering hard X-ray microscope for high-resolution 3D studies that will lead, for the first time, to complex multiscale physics models of metal plasticity under stresses. The models will fill an important gap and open the door to new applications.
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