Research

The mission of the group Mechanics of Materials is to develop and innovate the scientific tools to understand, describe, predict and optimise the mechanical response of industrially relevant materials and products as a function of their underlying microstructure, processing and evolution, through focused and co-ordinated experimental, theoretical and computational efforts at a wide range of length scales and at the highest scientific level.

The scientific research activities in the Mechanics of Materials group concentrate on the experimental analysis, theoretical understanding and predictive modelling of a range of problems in materials engineering at different length scales, which emerge from the physics and the mechanics of the underlying multi-material microstructure. The programme aims for a substantial increase of the predictive power, thereby optimizing critical, state-of-the-art products and manufacturing processes in direct relation to the complex path-dependent loading history of different materials and their joining interfaces. A systematic and integrated numerical-experimental approach is adopted for this purpose.

Within the group’s research scope, the research programme entails

  • Novel theoretical & fundamental insights in the structure-property relations of materials: metals, composites, hybrid materials, ceramics, paper, textiles, …
  • Novel computational methods: multi-scale methods; computational damage & fracture mechanics; improved and enriched constitutive models 
  • Novel materials/microstructures: materials in miniaturization; interface mechanics for complex 3D structures; microsystem mechanics; microstructure evolution (substructuring, patterning, self-organization)
  • Novel experimental methods: full field measurements across the scales (DIC, GDIC, IDIC); various in-situ mechanical tests (integrated with different microscopic visualization methods); small-scale testing for characterizing the fine scales

Funding is obtained in a structural manner from STW, NWO, FOM, Agentschap NL, EC, industry and the Materials Innovation Institute (M2i).