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Complex mechanical response of silica-based amorphous materials: from the atomic to the mesoscopic scale

Complex mechanical response of silica-based amorphous materials: from the atomic to the mesoscopic scale


"This project focuses on the study of the mechanical behaviour of silica-based amorphous materials, which have attracted the interest of the scientific community both for their intrinsic physical properties and for the possibility to use them in technological applications, for example in micro- and nano-electronic devices, coatings and glasses. The mechanical response of amorphous materials, such as silica and silicate glasses, is still under investigation and it has not been fully understood yet because of the difficulty to visualize the microscopic rearrangements at the atomic scale. For example, the plastic response cannot be described in terms of dislocations as in crystals. Moreover, the small-scale response can be responsible for the macroscopic mechanical properties, like e.g. plastification, rupture and densification, but a clear link between the atomic-scale behaviour and the macroscopic phenomenology has not been established yet.
Therefore, the aim of the project is to obtain an accurate and realistic theoretical description of the elastic and plastic response of silica-based amorphous materials by using complementary numerical techniques, trying to identify the relevant physical mechanisms of the response from the atomic to the mesoscopic length scale. We will propose a multi-scale modelling of the mechanical behaviour of these materials by performing Molecular Dynamics calculations at the nanoscale and finite-element calculations at the micrometer scale. The obtained results will be compared to experimental results found for different glasses and for several mechanical deformations. In this way we will provide a unifying description of these systems at different length scales and we will analyze the microscopic foundation of their phenomenological behaviour, thus advancing the state of knowledge in the field of amorphous materials."
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Activity type

Higher or Secondary Education Establishments

EU Contribution

€ 194 064

Administrative Contact

Javier Olaiz (Dr.)

Project information

Grant agreement ID: 275392


Closed project

  • Start date

    1 December 2011

  • End date

    30 November 2013

Funded under:


  • Overall budget:

    € 194 064

  • EU contribution

    € 194 064

Coordinated by: