Damage and fracture mechanics

High-performance metallic, ceramic and concrete materials are needed for aerospace and national security applications. The development of next generation nuclear reactors brings accrued attention to the design and performance of concrete structures under impact or blast loading. Similarly, the drop of a kitchen plate on the floor and the impact of an asteroid on a planet induce complex fragmentation mechanisms that need to be understood to improve our safety or explain the evolution of the Earth.

Our research activities cover several damage mechanisms in both ductile and brittle materials and structures subjected to extreme loading conditions (formation of multiple necks, shear bands, voids, and micro cracks growth and coalescence). In these analytically intractable problems, we resort to large scale computing to have the most explicit and accurate representation of time evolution. The fundamental understanding we gain from our analysis can then be used to design more resistant materials and structures.