Exploring Material Behavior in High-Speed Environments
At the forefront of materials science research at York University, we delve into understanding the response of materials under conditions of rapid stretching, squeezing, or twisting – envision pulling, pressing, or turning them really fast. These extreme situations occur during events like car crashes, collisions with space debris, airborne object impacts, or bird strikes on airplanes.
Our laboratory employs advanced equipment, including the Direct Impact Hopkinson pressure bar and specialized bars for pulling and twisting, which can also control temperature. Notably, our lab is the only one in Canada capable of conducting tension, impact, and torsion tests on materials at both high speeds and high temperatures.
We examine various materials such as magnesium, copper, aluminum alloys, high entropy alloys, and armor steel. This research is crucial for industries involved in manufacturing airplanes, cars, and military equipment, as it provides insights into why materials might break or fail under extreme conditions.
We investigate complex phenomena, such as how materials shear or split when subjected to rapid and intense stress. The impact of our research is substantial, as evidenced by the recognition and support we’ve received through a significant 5-year, $3.2 million grant from the NSERC Alliance. This collaborative project, led by the University of Alberta, involves key industry players like General Dynamics Land Systems, NP Aerospace Ltd, and Defence Research and Development Canada. The focus is on advancing our knowledge of materials science in critical situations, with a keen eye on protecting people and property.
Our ongoing projects include:
- Enhancing Vehicle Safety While Reducing Carbon Emissions: We are working on incorporating lighter metals in cars to improve environmental friendliness and safety.
- Making Armor Steel Stronger for Military Vehicles: We’re researching how durable high-strength steels, such as armor steel, behave under different types of stress and temperatures.
- Improving the Performance of Lightweight Materials: Our investigation into how lightweight materials like magnesium and aluminum respond to rapid stretching, twisting, or impact aims to develop materials that are not only lighter but also safer and more durable for use in cars and airplanes.