AS&M performs analytical and experimental research to model the mechanisms of fatigue, fracture, and environmental durability in advanced metallic alloys and polymer and metal-matrix composites. We develop computer models that correlate microstructure and properties. Our metallographic practices include sectioning, mechanical and electropolishing, thin foil preparation, and microscopy (atomic force and optical, scanning, and transmission electron). We develop thermomechanical static and fatigue testing methodology and perform tests to characterize materials and validate analytical models.
Recent and ongoing AS&M research in composites includes characterization of delamination and damage progression in laminates under thermomechanical fatigue, fracture-mechanics-based life-prediction models for curved composite laminates, and design/verification of new interlaminar tension specimens.
AS&M research in metals includes: (a) fracture-toughness and crack-growth-rate determination for aluminum and aluminum-lithium alloys to verify plasticity-based crack-closure models and the fundamental relationships among process controls, microstructure, and engineering properties; (b) fatigue and fracture characterization of materials for high-temperature applications in high-speed civil transports. AS&M research efforts have supported NASA and DoD Aging Aircraft, High-Speed Civil Transport, and National Aerospace Plane programs.
AS&M provides the following services:
Prediction and verification of crack initiation/propagation and fatigue life of metals and composites
Failure analysis of metallic and composite materials
Fatigue and fracture test method development for structural materials and adhesives
Advanced metallographic analysis of metals and chemical analysis of polymers
Innovative nano-composite coatings for protection against sand and rain erosion, sliding and fretting wear, and oxidation and corrosion