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Progress in materials science is at the heart of most exciting advances in modern engineering. Materials science consists in exploring the relationships between structure, properties and processing operations that define a material. The engineering materials group develops novel processing techniques to prepare advanced materials. We use cutting edge microscopy to determine material structure at the nano-scale. Then, we employ mathematical tools to characterize the structure and properties of the material, and we design even better ones.

Composite Materials

Materials Composite

Computational methods are used to analyze and design composite materials and polycrystals. Current areas of focus include nano-composites, light-weight metals and the resolution of material structure at the nano-scale.

ME Faculty with Interest in this Subject:
David T. Fullwood

Friction Stir Welding and Processing (FSW&P)

FSW&P Diagram

Brigham Young University is an international leader in research and development in Friction Stir Welding and Processing (FSW&P). As a materials joining process, FSW has enabled joining of high strength materials previously considered un-weldable. BYU is a leader in microstructural characterization, microsrtucture and mechanical property relationships, tool material and process control development in FSW.

In additional to its many advantages as a materials joining process, friction stir processing (FSP) is capable of producing microstructures and properties unobtainable by traditionally processing techniques. Ultra fine grain sizes and non-equilibrium chemistry as a result of FSP has resuted in thick section superpalasticity and ultrahard metals.

ME Faculty with Interest in this Subject:
Carl D. Sorensen

High Resolution Scanning Electron Microscopy

Materials Electron

Brigham Young University has been at the forefront of research and development for Orientation Imaging Microscopy for 15 years. OIM was developed at BYU, and has been adopted at ~500 laboratories in some 50 countries. Applications of OIM led to many new developments in metal and ceramic alloys, semiconductors, super-conductors and other applications, as evidenced by more than 4,000 citations in the published literature. Current research is focused on high resolution, cross-correlation-based methods for recovery of local lattice orientation and elastic strain.

ME Faculty with Interest in this Subject:
David T. Fullwood, Eric R. Homer

Microstructure Design for Performance Optimization

Micro Materials Diagram

In collaboration with Drexel University (Philadelphia, PA), a spectral method for design of material microstructures has been developed over the past decade. Two distinctive elements of the method emerge: (1) a mathematical description for the microstructure hull, which comprises the set of all physically-realizable microstructures associated with a chosen set of homogenization relationships; and (2) the properties closure, representing the theoretical set of all possible properties combinations among all possible microstructures. Current research includes introducing barriers to reverse engineering in the microstructure, design tools for titanium armor applications, and extension of the spectral theories to fracture, fatigue and formability.

ME Faculty with Interest in this Subject:
David T. Fullwood, Eric R. Homer