Engineering Mechanics and High-rate Testing

high-rate mechanical test

Testing the engineering mechanics of how structures perform is important for everything from armor and anti-armor military designs to the crash-worthiness of vehicles and transportation systems, to the collision between two bodies. Our research capabilities include assessing the deformation and fracture of materials at very high strain rates in order to assess the strength of materials, and their failure—how they break and fracture. We also look at phase transformations to study the entire deformation process.

We’ve also layered on the replication of extreme conditions such as ultra-high temperatures—close to the material’s melting point—to see how this affects deformation and failure.

Our facilities in high-rate testing include a single-stage light gas gun that can shoot projectiles up to 800 m/s and can apply multiaxial stress at different temperatures. We also utilize high-speed cameras to capture events, and laser-based diagnostics to take continuous measurements of deformation events. 

In additional to experimental mechanics such as fatigue testing and micromechanical testing, we can add spectroscopic analysis of failure mechanisms in complex materials to study the chemistry of failure. We also conduct research in high-performance computer modeling to study deformation from a simulations perspective. This combination of high-strain rate test and modeling allows us to better understand the mechanics of failure.

Faculty who conduct research in Engineering Mechanics and High-rate Testing

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Ozan Akkus

Kent H. Smith Professor
Professor, Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
Director, Center for Applied Raman Spectroscopy

Creates biologically active and mechanically functional tissue repair systems, and develops chemical imaging instrumentation for noninvasive biomedical and hazard diagnostics

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Changyong (Chase) Cao

Assistant Professor, Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

Study the mechanics, designs, and manufacturing of smart multifunctional materials, soft robotics, soft electronics, and self-powered sensing systems.

Laboratory for Soft Machines & Electronics (SME Lab)