SMG has its principal research activities and interests focused in the following areas:
Biomechanics and Multi-Scale Mechanics
Emerging technologies in medical fields and applications are being researched to improve the quality of health. Much of this research needs to be carried out between the nano scale and the macroscopic scale (millimetres or larger); the SMG actively researches in these areas.
All engineering materials inexorable degrade over time. Research within the group concentrates in slowing down this degradation in the areas of materials performance in the field, estimation of remaining operational lifetime and crack growth and interaction. Particular interest is the area of pipeline corrosion and Stress Corrosion Cracking (SCC).
Fracture Mechanics and Failure Analysis
The SMG has access to dedicated and specialized equipment and facilities for evaluation of the properties and engineering performance of various materials and their behaviour leading to failure. The available techniques are also used for carrying out failure analysis studies for industry as well as for research.
Research activities are concentrated on improving, developing, and characterising conventional and advanced materials with particular emphasis on metals, ceramics and advanced composite materials based on metals and intermetallic compounds - through systematic analysis and modification of microstructure-property relationships by employing fundamentals of materials science and engineering including solidification principles in terms of wear, fatigue, creep and corrosion. Other research areas include advanced casting techniques of semi-solid casting, (rheo- and thixo-casting), squeeze casting, and die casting and powder metallurgy together with more conventional routes of rolling and forging.
The Group has expertise on mathematical modelling of various materials processes to predict yielding and failure under different loading conditions and microstructural evolution during solid and liquid phase transformation in complex alloys. The latter can be extended to predict solidification defects during casting and foundry processes. Finite element and finite difference analyses are employed, through application of computer packages, to predict and calculate stress/strain distribution, solidification and mechanical behaviour of materials.
Structural Health Monitoring
Research activities concentrating on structural health monitoring, developing materials and structure behaviour models in order to be able to produce improved performance of structures and to better assess the damage of a structure. These structures are wide ranging, including transport infrastructure (railways) and resource recovery (mining).