Aim and background

In this research project we develop material models that describe metals on the micron scale. On this small scale many materials exhibit a surprising size-effect - SMALLER IS STRONGER. As examples of this are the surprisingly large torsional stiffness of micron size cobber wires, and large stiffness of thin metallic plates. These size-effects are due to the micro-mechanics of the deformation mechanisms, and new so-called higher order theories have been developed to capture them. Unfortunately, these models are not well suited to model the large complexity in the micro-structure that recent experiments have shown develops during deformation. This research project aims at finding material models that describe strength and fracture properties on the micron scale well, while modeling the development of the material micro-structure. The models that we work with are calibrated against a number of micron-scale experiments, where the micro-structure is characterized using newly developed high resolution crystallographic methods.