Advanced Materials & Processes

NOV-DEC 2013

Covers developments in engineering materials selection, processing, fabrication, testing/characterization, materials engineering trends, and emerging technologies, industrial and consumer applications, as well as business and management trends

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as well as advanced energy storage devices. MSE will be more pivotal and important in addressing these grand challenges than ever before. Julie Christodoulou: This is a tremendous time to be materials scientists and engineers. As we embrace quantitative descriptions of materials and their behaviors, the products of our research are more readily accessible to other engineering and scientific disciplines. The rate at which new materials and understanding can be implemented is also increasing. This is profound. It is at the interfaces with previously disparate disciplines that the most promising work will be done. One area is the application of our understanding of materials' mechanical behaviors to understanding biological structures at various length scales, modifying our approaches to sustain a rich ecology or influencing medical research into disease and treatment options. Other areas of intersection will point us toward more efficient and compact systems for clean energy storage and power distribution. Jeff Wadsworth: Continued investment in the development of new materials is vital for progress. Over millennia, those communities who advance an understanding of materials are those that prosper. This is true from Cro-Magnon man's rivalry with Neanderthal man; to inventions leading to the Bronze Age and the transition to the Iron Age; to the competition to develop superior steels in the Middle Ages; to advances in the Industrial Revolution; to the race to de- velop nuclear weapons; to the sophisticated Cold War era of refractory metal alloys and advanced turbine materials; and finally to the advances in Si-based technologies. There is every reason to believe that the advantages created by leadership in materials will persist in the future. For example, replacement of rare earths in magnets or advanced alloys, or precious metals in catalysts, will have transformative technological and economic impacts. The convergence of materials classes will continue into new hybrid materials, such as organic-inorganic and biotic-abiotic combinations. Countries that invest in R&D, excel in educating their workforce, and create attractive business environments will be the winners. This is the topic that needs to be addressed, especially given that U.S. investment in R&D is being overtaken by the collective investment in R&D in Asia, U.S. educational standards are falling behind those of our competitors, and our taxes and other policies encourage overseas investment. 26 ADVANCED MATERIALS & PROCESSES • NOVEMBER-DECEMBER 2013 The Materials Genome Initiative (MGI) and Integrated Computational Materials Engineering (ICME) are generating a lot of buzz. How do you see these concepts developing? Greg Olson: The new opportunity of science-based computational materials engineering may well be the greatest materials innovation since the iron sword of the Hittites. Capabilities in predictive control of strength and toughness are now well established, and recent research has opened a new frontier in control of fatigue properties. A substantial opportunity for this decade is to bring science-based corrosion models to the same level as mechanical properties. An important enabling role of the MGI will be the broadening of our phaselevel fundamental database infrastructure. Diran: It is more than excitement; it is transformational. Having databases and models that allow us to navigate places where we could only imagine and hypothesize and then verify experimentally is the "old" way. ICME is the way to go and we are on our way, yet much more needs to be done. We will need resources and funds to develop the models and to measure and obtain the input parameters to populate the models. Jeff: It is clear that we are generating massive amounts of data and that our modeling of materials across length scales is improving. In the next 10 years, we will see significant improvements in our ability to predict materials behavior, and the amount of data underpinning these predictions will be enormous. I am a great supporter of the MGI and ICME, though I would add that successful materials science is a three-legged stool. In addition to computation, we also need theory and the ability to generate equivalent experimental data to test our models and provide fundamental measurements upon which to build models. I was a researcher who relied on others for such fundamental measurements as diffusion data—and those data sources were generated using broad-based funding that no longer seems to be available. Al: These initiatives are significant, but not the biggest deal. We've been on this journey for a long time. "Materials by design" was the buzzword for the past 20 years or so, and these same ideas are now being unified under the mantra of nanotechnology, exploring materials properties at the atomistic level. Computer modeling has made significant advances over the last few decades, but there is now a need to couple microstructure modeling with mechanical behavior modeling of how materials actually behave in service conditions. For example, consider hypersonic flight with speeds greater than 4000 mph. We need a coupled model that will explore how material microstructures evolve at high temperatures and when subjected to hypersonic fluid flow. Today, these two groups of modelers are working separately. Over the next five years, they will begin working together to develop such a coupled model, but it will probably take the next 20 years to get it right.

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