Project: Data-Science Driven Design of Architected Materials and Composites

Figure: Finite element simulations on stress/strain rela-tionships of Bowtie, Exaggerated Wavy, Super Wavy, Wavy, and Brick-and-Mortar Nacre sam-ples.
Recent growth in additive manufacturing processes has established architected materials as an emerging class of materials and composites with the promise of extreme performance and multifunctional properties. These materials are characterized by structural features that are larger than what is a typical microstructural scale but smaller than the final component made of architected material. The key distinguishing architected materials from other materials is their high morphological control. Morphological characteristics can be controlled to introduce specific mechanisms of local stress transfer, elastic/plastic buckling, gliding of building blocks or propagation of cracks along desirable paths. Well-designed architected materials can generate new attractive combinations of properties that can be programmed in the material. The combination of hard/soft materials along with geometry in the architected materials can be exploited to overcome theoretical bounds that apply to monolithic materials and composites.

Our research will focus on data-science techniques for the design and fabrication of architected materials including but not limited to lattice materials, metamaterials and
topologically interlocked composites. Nacre is a natural organic-inorganic composite material in the inner layer of abalone seashells, well known for its combination of stiffness, strength, and toughness. The phenomenon is related to the waviness and layering pattern of the structure of ceramic (hard) and protein (soft) layers that allow nacre to dissipate energy over a large volume. Figure D.3 shows stress-strain relationships for different wave patterns in Nacre, and studying such relationships from a data modeling perspective promises to substantially improve properties of these materials. Machine learning can be used along with finite element modeling to optimize toughening mechanisms of the proposed architecture materials better than either could do individually by, for example allowing a much larger parameter space than just tablet waviness. These results will be used as a guide to design super-tough composites as light structural composites that can be fully recycled in a truly circular economy.

Researchers:   Dr. Rahbar, Civil Eng. and a data science faculty TBD.