According to conventional understanding regarding the strength of materials, a small and a large beam of the same material will fail under the same stress. However, in reality the small beam is stronger and this ‘size effect’ can change the strength of a material by up to an order of magnitude. Industry has found that this size effect mechanism can be exploited through the addition of different atom sizes, particles and grain boundaries. Current state-of-the-art understanding of the interaction between these size effects is limited, and industry has had to make do with empirical relationships relating to individual length-scales. A validated, joined-up understanding of the mechanisms behind ‘smaller being stronger’ is needed to realise the material and component performance benefits that length-scale engineering offers. This project generates design rules and new measurement techniques which will enable industry to exploit length-scale engineered materials and create components that are lighter, stronger, and fatigue and wear resistant.
International Journal of Plasticity
Measurement Science and Technology
Journal of Physics D: Applied Physics
Journal of Nanomaterials