University of Cambridge > > Engineering - Mechanics and Materials Seminar Series > The mechanics of nature-inspired heterogeneous architected materials (HAMs)

The mechanics of nature-inspired heterogeneous architected materials (HAMs)

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In light of today’s increasing focus on sustainability, there is a strong demand for the development of lightweight materials, both to reduce fuel consumption and raw materials usage. Architected cellular materials have great potential in this regard. They are hybrid materials consisting of a solid combined with pockets of air (voids), making them lightweight and more easily recyclable. They also have tailorable material properties (i.e. by carefully designing their internal architecture, one can control their material properties). Thus, with a thorough understanding of their structure-property relationships, it is possible to design architected materials to meet the unique requirements of a large variety of engineering applications (e.g. automotive, aerospace, sport, and biomedical) and thus contribute to solving many global sustainable development goals. In the past, traditional manufacturing processes were limited to producing two main types of macrostructures: highly stochastic foams or uniform periodic structures. Between these two extremes of stochasticity, there is a large untapped design space of architectures that have not yet been fabricated nor explored, resulting in a gap in the knowledge base around architected materials. With the recent emergence of additive manufacturing (and rapid prototyping) techniques, researchers can now fabricate a much larger spectrum of cellular materials with a diversity of internal architectures. Dr. Yu’s research is focused on the design and mechanics of architected materials with intermediate-level stochasticity, referred to as heterogeneous architected materials (HAMs). Thus far, his research group (“Hybrid 3D”) has shown that there is great potential to improve strength or toughness through the development of HAMs with mesoscopic geometries that mimic natural geometries observed in polycrystalline solids (e.g. graphene) as well as other bio-structures (e.g. insect eyes, beehives). This geometrical strengthening effect may serve as a less costly and potentially more sustainable alternative to traditional alloying techniques. In this seminar, Dr. Yu will provide a summary of his research program on HAMs and will discuss their future potential applications.

This talk is part of the Engineering - Mechanics and Materials Seminar Series series.

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