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Enhancing mechanical strength of materials by materials design

Our team is involved in theoretical studies about point or extended defects of metals or ceramics with high-performance mechanical properties : titanium, alumina, and boron carbide, of interest for aeronautics  (Ti) or building and people shielding (Al2O3, B4C).

Our activity involves:

  • The identification of structural defects: extended defects, point defects
  • The ab initio study of the effect of (H,O) impurities on titanium creep
  • The ab initio design of materials with enhanced mechanical strength

Theoretical study of boron carbide

Boron carbide is a hard material, which is used instead of diamond in cutting tools or in abrasives. Nonetheless its use in the shielding to protect people is limited. Our aim is to understand the loss of mechanical strength of boron carbide during a shock, and to cure this weakness. To this end we have studied the evolution of structural defects under a high pressure in boron carbide.