materials and systems are represented at the microscale
by mathematical models which explicitly incorporate features of the
microstructure such as second phase or reinforcing particles, voids, defects, microcracks, grain boundaries and crystal structure.
Modelling at this level gives great insight into the real physical processes
that occur in materials which dictate overall mechanical performance of
engineering and industrial components. Micromechanics also
provides the Micro-Macro link for the overall performance
to be understood and predicted. Micromechanics set in the
context of computer based numerical solution methods generates a new
field, namely, Computational Micromechanics. At MICRU, use
is made of advanced constitutive theories, such as Crystal Plasticity
theory, in microstructural modelling.
Example: Automotive and Aerospace Applications
Figure 1: Finite Element microstructural model of an Al-SiC Metal Matrix Composite;
contour plot of crystallographic plastic strain.
Example: Medical Device Applications – Cardiovascular Stent
Figure 2: SEM image of a 316L stainless steel cardiovascular stent strut.
Figure 3: (top) grain geometry for microstructural model of the stainless steel cardiovascular stent strut in Figure 2,
and (bottom) a contour plot of crystallographic plastic strain in the stretched strut.
Previous research projects have focused on the following topics (funded by EU and Industrial sources).
Metal Matrix Composites (MMCs):
Current micromechanics based research activities, focused on biomechanics and medical device applications, are being performed within the Biomechanics Research Cluster at the National Centre for Biomedical Engineering Science (NCBES) www.nuigalway.ie/ncbes/research/biomechanics.htm