Nanotechnology Now







Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button


DHgate

Home > Press > How do materials break?

Antonio J. Pons, of the research group on Nonlinear Dynamics, Nonlinear Optics and Lasers of the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya (UPC)-Barcelona Tech.
Antonio J. Pons, of the research group on Nonlinear Dynamics, Nonlinear Optics and Lasers of the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya (UPC)-Barcelona Tech.

Abstract:
For the first time ever, a researcher from the UPC-Barcelona Tech Campus in Terrassa has developed a new mathematical model for predicting and describing the fracture process for materials such as glass, polymers, concrete, ceramics, metals, rocks, and even certain geological fractures. The research has been published in Nature magazine.

How do materials break?

Barcelona | Posted on March 30th, 2010

Antonio J. Pons, of the research group on Nonlinear Dynamics, Nonlinear Optics and Lasers of the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya (UPC)-Barcelona Tech at the Terrassa Campus, has developed a new mathematical model leading to a new law of physics that describes all the stages involved in the way materials crack, making it possible to predict how they will do so before the fracture actually occurs. This is the first time ever that this model has been used to describe objects or materials in 3D, namely all of those that occupy a volume in space and are isotropic, with a homogeneous structure. The study, published in the first week of March in Nature, has been completed in collaboration with researcher Alain Karma, professor at Northeastern University in Boston.

A powerful simulation

From a technological, physical, and geological perspective, everything around us is material, and everything is potentially breakable: the wing of an airplane, the column supporting a building, the hull of a ship, the nozzle of a hose and even the structure of the Earth in a geological fault. Until now, science strove to understand how the simplest things broke: two-dimensional objects such as sheets of paper, for instance; meanwhile, breakage in three-dimensional objects continued to baffle scientists.

It is known that if certain tensions are applied to objects, they crack, but what remains uncertain is what forces describe the crack path and how it occurs. Antonio J. Pons' study puts an end to this uncertainty, creating a simulation model powerful enough to predict and describe crack patterns in structures ranging in size from the microscopic to others as large as certain geological faults. This simulation model actually replicates all the stages in the fracture process from beginning to end, and knowing how certain materials behave can enable us to design new materials that are far more crack-resistant.

How some materials break

A material—or, in other words, any solid object or element in our environment—can break in three different ways: from top to bottom (as in the San Andreas Fault, in California); horizontally, like a cut; or as a tear, for instance when a cable is pulled and twisted at the same time.

To set a few other examples, the fault along the Serranía del Interior mountain range in Venezuela cracks following a mixed pattern, combining the first and the third model; the crankshaft in a car motor breaks from torsion and fatigue; an adjustable wrench also breaks from fatigue; polymer materials crack like rocks; objects made of glass break along the same crack lines as geological fractures.

Disaster prediction

Antonio J. Pons' new method now enables the scientific community to describe the processes involved in the fracture of materials from their initial state, as the break develops, and its final outcome at all scales. In addition, the method allows for describing cracks mathematically in three dimensions. The method also enables us to perform numerical simulations that were impossible until now. With this research, crack front patterns can be predicted before they appear, opening up the possibility of applications for preventing disasters and optimizing materials or new production techniques for microscopic elements. It also enables us to predict and gain a better understanding of the way in which bones break in patients suffering from certain pathologies such as osteoporosis.

Macro and micro technological applications

"Our method offers enormous potential because it enables us to study and understand natural problems that have technological implications", Pons explains. The UPC-Barcelona Tech researcher's study can prove highly useful in the field of materials technology, for instance: if the model is capable of reproducing cracks at the microscopic level, it can also be instrumental in providing an understanding of how to control them, thus opening up the possibility of using the resulting structures as microscopic molds. However, this would occur in a later stage of the research.

Another useful application of this mathematical model involves understanding the behavior of large structures such as buildings in areas with intense seismic activity. The new method makes it possible to modify construction materials to make these buildings safer.

Videos of the new method in the electronic version of the article:

www.nature.com/nature/journal/v464/n7285/suppinfo/nature08862.html

####

About Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya
The UPC-BARCELONA TECH is a university with a consolidated worldwide reputation and an international vision that generates technological innovation and attracts talent. The objectives of the UPC- BARCELONA TECH are based on internationalization, as it is Spain’s technical university with the highest number of international PhD students and Spain’s university with the highest number of international master’s degree students. The UPC- BARCELONA TECH has a vision of innovation and talent in a global and highly competitive world.

For more information, please click here

Contacts:
Media Office
Technical University of Catalonia (UPC)
Tel. 93 401 61 43 - Fax 93 401 56 87

Copyright © Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya

If you have a comment, please Contact us.

Issuers of news releases, not 7th Wave, Inc. or Nanotechnology Now, are solely responsible for the accuracy of the content.

Bookmark:
Delicious Digg Newsvine Google Yahoo Reddit Magnoliacom Furl Facebook

Related News Press

News and information

Princess Margaret scientists convert microbubbles to nanoparticles: Harnessing light to advance tumor imaging, provide platform for targeted treatment March 30th, 2015

Wrapping carbon nanotubes in polymers enhances their performance: Scientists at Japan's Kyushu University say polymer-wrapped carbon nanotubes hold much promise in biotechnology and energy applications March 30th, 2015

Tokyo Institute of Technology research: Catalyst redefines rate limitations in ammonia production March 30th, 2015

Next important step toward quantum computer: Scientists at the University of Bonn have succeeded in linking 2 different quantum systems March 30th, 2015

Academic/Education

LAMDAMAP 2015 hosted by the University March 26th, 2015

SUNY Poly & M+W Make Major Announcement: Major Expansion To Include M+W Owned Gehrlicher Solar America Corporation That Will Create up to 400 Jobs to Develop Solar Power Plants at SUNY Poly Sites Across New York State March 26th, 2015

SUNY POLY CNSE to Host First Ever Northeast Semi Supply Conference (NESCO) Conference Will Connect New and Emerging Innovators in the Northeastern US and Canada with Industry Leaders and Strategic Investors to Discuss Future Growth Opportunities in NYS March 25th, 2015

FEI Joins University of Ulm and CEOS on SALVE Project Research Collaboration: The Sub-Ångström Low Voltage Electron (SALVE) microscope should improve contrast and reduce damage on bio-molecules and two-dimensional nanomaterials, such as graphene March 18th, 2015

Discoveries

Princess Margaret scientists convert microbubbles to nanoparticles: Harnessing light to advance tumor imaging, provide platform for targeted treatment March 30th, 2015

Wrapping carbon nanotubes in polymers enhances their performance: Scientists at Japan's Kyushu University say polymer-wrapped carbon nanotubes hold much promise in biotechnology and energy applications March 30th, 2015

Tokyo Institute of Technology research: Catalyst redefines rate limitations in ammonia production March 30th, 2015

Next important step toward quantum computer: Scientists at the University of Bonn have succeeded in linking 2 different quantum systems March 30th, 2015

Materials/Metamaterials

Wrapping carbon nanotubes in polymers enhances their performance: Scientists at Japan's Kyushu University say polymer-wrapped carbon nanotubes hold much promise in biotechnology and energy applications March 30th, 2015

DFG to Establish One Clinical Research Unit and Five Research Units: New Projects to Investigate Complications in Pregnancy, Particle Physics, Nanoparticles, Implants and Transport Planning / Approximately 13 Million Euros in Funding for an Initial Three-Year Period March 28th, 2015

Chemists make new silicon-based nanomaterials March 27th, 2015

UT Dallas engineers twist nanofibers to create structures tougher than bulletproof vests March 27th, 2015

Announcements

Princess Margaret scientists convert microbubbles to nanoparticles: Harnessing light to advance tumor imaging, provide platform for targeted treatment March 30th, 2015

Wrapping carbon nanotubes in polymers enhances their performance: Scientists at Japan's Kyushu University say polymer-wrapped carbon nanotubes hold much promise in biotechnology and energy applications March 30th, 2015

Tokyo Institute of Technology research: Catalyst redefines rate limitations in ammonia production March 30th, 2015

Next important step toward quantum computer: Scientists at the University of Bonn have succeeded in linking 2 different quantum systems March 30th, 2015

Research partnerships

'Atomic chicken-wire' is key to faster DNA sequencing March 30th, 2015

SUNY Poly & M+W Make Major Announcement: Major Expansion To Include M+W Owned Gehrlicher Solar America Corporation That Will Create up to 400 Jobs to Develop Solar Power Plants at SUNY Poly Sites Across New York State March 26th, 2015

ORNL-led team demonstrates desalination with nanoporous graphene membrane March 25th, 2015

New kind of 'tandem' solar cell developed: Researchers combine 2 types of photovoltaic material to make a cell that harnesses more sunlight March 24th, 2015

NanoNews-Digest
The latest news from around the world, FREE




  Premium Products
NanoNews-Custom
Only the news you want to read!
 Learn More
NanoTech-Transfer
University Technology Transfer & Patents
 Learn More
NanoStrategies
Full-service, expert consulting
 Learn More










ASP
Nanotechnology Now Featured Books




NNN

The Hunger Project







© Copyright 1999-2015 7th Wave, Inc. All Rights Reserved PRIVACY POLICY :: CONTACT US :: STATS :: SITE MAP :: ADVERTISE