By Amanda Campanaro
Materials Science and Engineering researchers Dr. Avinash Dongare, Assistant Professor, and Ph.D. student Garvit Agarwal’s publication, “Shock wave propagation and spall failure in single crystal Mg at atomic scales,” was recently featured on the cover of the Journal of Applied Physics.
Their research focuses on developing a fundamental understanding of dynamic failure behavior of lightweight metallic material systems such as Mg under extreme environments at the atomic scales. To do this, they used a molecular dynamics technique to gain a better understanding of the response of single crystal Mg to different conditions of impact loading. The shock wave structure, the wave propagation behavior and the failure behavior of Mg is studied at different impact velocities and in two different loading orientations.
“There is a limited understanding of the shock wave structure and the wave propagation behavior of HCP material system due to their complex anisotropic crystal structure,” Garvit said. “Thus, the current research is an attempt to improve this understanding and provide novel insights in this direction.”
The result of Garvit and Dr. Dongare’s research is a step toward the future of impact-resistant materials. Since HCP metals like Mg and Mg alloys are promising candidates for next generation lightweight armor materials, a fundamental understanding of the failure behavior under shock loading conditions would enable them to design better impact-resistant material.
“The most interesting thing about modeling techniques like MD simulations is that it gives us the capability to design experiments virtually on a computer screen and study the effects of different operating environments on the material system in a systematic way,” Garvit said. It also allows for greater flexibility and the ability to study phenomena at the atomic resolution which are difficult to study using experiments.
While conducting this research, Garvit explored the concept of using modeling techniques to understand and solve material science problems, which helped him develop a unique and different perspective towards problem solving.
“There are still a lot of things that I learn each day and I am really grateful to my advisor, Dr. Dongare, who had been extremely patient with me and taught me everything from the basics,” he said.
Dr. Dongare’s research team has had two JAP features this year. The prior publication, titled “Dislocation evolution and peak spall strengths in single crystal and nanocrystalline Cu,” co-authored by Dr. Dongare and alumnus Karoon Mackenchary, was published in the journal earlier this year.