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October 26th, 2004
Supercomputing specialists Priya Vashishta, Aiichiro Nakano and Rajiv K. Kalia, who all hold joint appointments in USC College and the USC Viterbi School of Engineering, will model the behavior of large numbers of individual atoms to gain greater understanding of how and why alloys of titanium and other metals suffer "stress-corrosion cracking." Cracking from mechanical strain in chemically unfriendly environments can lead to catastrophic failures.
Nanoscientific analysis can supply such guidance, Vashishsta says. The idea is to go down to the basic atomic structure of the material and simulate the behavior of individual atoms at the point where cracks appear in the surface.
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