The effect of morphology on ductile failure in multi-phase materials

Multi phase materials are being applied because of their unique combination of strength and ductility. The origin of these properties resides in the microstructure, in which hard but brittle grains are embedded in a soft but ductile matrix. The hardening of such a material can be predicted by applying a rule of mixtures to the phases present at the microstructural level. However, the fracture properties of such materials are not well understood.

PhD researcher: Tom de Geus
Supervisor: Ron Peerlings, Marc Geers
Financing: Materials inovation institute (M2i) and TATA steel

In this PhD project the fracture properties are studied using models formulated at the microstructural level. In particular, the influence of the distribution of the hard phase in the soft matrix is studied. By considering many different distributions its influence on the fracture properties of the material is identified. Similarly, the influence of different microstructural parameters is identified.

The knowledge gained can be used by the industry to design more fracture resistant materials. In term, the application of these materials may, for instance, lead to lighter cars without sacrificing crash safety.