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What. We. Do.
mechanics of materials
dynamic fracture
impact physics
damage evolution

MAX Phases:  

From Ripplocations to Failure

M. Barsoum, Drexel University
G. Tucker, Colorado School of Mines
Our group examines deformation behavior of highly oriented MAX phases (a layered metal-ceramic) across strain rates and stress states.  This includes compression, fracture, impact & impact fatigue, as well as complementary buckling analysis to understand the fundamentals of ripplocation to nonlinear kink band formation on bulk response under complex loading.

Dynamic Electromechanical Fracture of Ferroelectric Ceramics

Here we investigate the anisotropic electromechanical fracture response of ferroelectric ceramics under transient loading conditions with both conductive & insulate crack boundary conditions.  We compare our experimental findings to theoretical electromechanical crack tip field work in order to corroborate with or challenge the physical basis of the underlying assumptions.

Dynamic Investigations of Polymer Matrix Composites with Environmental Effects 

Our group examines the combined environmental-mechanical loading of fiberglass and carbon fiber polymer matrix composites.  We have explored the role of the matrix material on the dynamic damage response in compression, considering the effects of long and short term exposure to sea water, and are moving into fundamental investigations of repetitive loading to explore laboratory scale launch and landing cycles for composite airframe structures.


Development of a Predictive Multiscale Traumatic Brain Injury Model

LEAD:  C. Franck, U-Wisconsin
D. Hoffman-Kim, Brown University
C. Hovey, Sandia National Labs
H. Kesari, Brown University
R. Szalkowski, Team Wendy
SPONSOR:  ONR (Tim Bentley)
Our group is the protective materials characterization lead.
Please see for more.

Thermoset Design for Agile Manufacturing 

PPG Industries (K. Olson, C. Kutchko, I. Schwendeman, D. Fenn)
Drexel University (G. Palmese, C. Abrams, N. Alvarez, K. Lau)
Rowan University (J. Stanzione, W. Riddell, V. Beachley)
ARL (J. LaScala, T. Walter, P. Moy)
Oak Ridge National Laboratories (O. Rios)
SPONSOR:  Army Materiel Command
Typically the toughness of epoxies (used in advanced composites) has been improved through the use of additives, but here we explore leveraging next-generation 3D printing techniques to improve dynamic fracture behavior with considerations of glass transition temperature, chain link densities and interface structure.

The Next Phase of Multi-Piece Fracture Reduction for Hard Maple

J. Considine, US. Forestry Service
High strain rate mechanical properties of hard maple are investigated.  These results will be used to determine or develop an appropriate failure theory needed to predict a high-speed failure event.

Mechanism and Stability of Deformation Twinning

LEAD:  M. Taheri, Johns Hopkins University
G. Tucker, Colorado School of Mines
C. Weinberger, Colorado State University 
I. Beyerlein, UCSB
T. Pollock, UCSB
The primary goal of this research is to identify the transition between slip and twinning at high strain rates in BCC metals.
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