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Challenges in computational fracture mechanics: crack branching and fragmentation, and fracture in active materials

Challenges in computational fracture mechanics: crack branching and fragmentation, and fracture in active materials

Objective

Despite fracture in solids is a ubiquitous phenomenon with tremendous implications in the reliability and safety of mechanical systems, as well as technological and natural processes, its predictive modelling and simulation in complex situations is far from being accomplished. Fracture mechanics is a mature discipline, which nevertheless fails to address in a quantitative manner important phenomena. Amongst these, dynamic fracture, branching and fragmentation in brittle solids (governing the dynamics of structures subject to impact and explosions), and the fracture and fatigue processes in smart materials (hindering the performance of ferroelectrics in devices) stand out.

The present project will address the modelling and numerical simulation of these two complex phenomena. The expected contributions will be methodological, developing new effective algorithms, scientific, since the simulations will shed light on the poorly understood physics, and technological, providing validated predictive tools for engineering analysis and design. The project requires a multidisciplinary effort in the fields of mechanics and engineering, materials science, scientific computing (in particular parallel computing), applied mathematics and applied physics.

The researcher's five- year experience as a doctoral student at Northwestern University and as a post-doctoral scholar at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) suits the objectives of the project. Her participation in large multidisciplinary initiatives at Caltech dealing with the proposed topics and the scientific collaborations initiated will be instrumental for the success of the project. She intends to accept an offer for a tenure-track assistant professorship at the Polytechnic University of Catalunya. I f the project is funded, it will contribute to the researcher being able to capitalize in Europe on her experience, and further develop the scientific collaborations with the US.

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Coordinator

UNIVERSITAT POLITECNICA DE CATALUNYA

Address

Jordi Girona 1-3
Barcelona

Spain

Administrative Contact

Antonio HUERTA (Prof.)

Project information

Grant agreement ID: 29158

  • Start date

    1 September 2006

  • End date

    31 August 2008

Funded under:

FP6-MOBILITY

Coordinated by:

UNIVERSITAT POLITECNICA DE CATALUNYA

Spain