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  • 8. Jan 2022

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Research and development of new metamaterials

In the last decade, cellular structures are receiving significant attention in the engineering and scientific community due to numerous special properties (energy absorption, effective damping, a high level of deformation, durability, high thermal and sound insulation, etc.) at low weight.

Understanding and improving their composition and behaviour is of paramount importance in the scientific and research as well as commercial sector for increasing their usability in light engineering products of the next generation.

Development of state-of-the-art metamaterials …

Modern engineering (meta)materials are designed with Integrated Computational Materials Engineering (ICME) and consistent experimental testing. At first, special cellular structures are developed, tested and optimized for certain purposes virtually with advanced computational simulations.  Only then, actual samples are produced with modern manufacturing technologies. Their adequate behaviour is confirmed with a limited number of trial tests. ICME is based on advanced computer aided modelling of physical properties and the material deformation process. By conducting research on various forms of cellular structures, we can achieve their very special responses, such as a significant change in volume under load. A special case of such a response is auxeticity, where longitudinal and lateral specific deformations are unique.  

brings society and the environment …

The created basic knowledge enabled continuous development of cellular structures for various application purposes, such as: composite sandwich structures fillings or hollow profiles (adjustment of rigidity, damping, eigenvalues and eigenfrequencies); collision absorbers: collision over a wide area (bigger panels), subsonic influence in the localized area (protection against projectile); textile structures with improved and new useful properties, etc. Cellular structures with controlled and optimized cellular design can also be used in medicine (e.g. various implants, supporting elements) that alleviate problems of the ageing population and contribute to healthier life. Filling hollow structural elements of vehicles with cellular structures significantly improves the controlled impact energy absorption in case of vehicle collision, which contributes to greater safety in traffic. Advanced cellular structures research is therefore of great importance for society.

greater traffic safety …

Results of the research group for advanced engineering simulations and experimenting at the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering enable access to knowledge and modern tools for the development of new products with advanced cellular structures. Characterization of different cellular structures and structural recommendations for their application developed on this basis provide a fast and cost effective way of the targeted design and development of high-quality, innovative products in transport industry, medicine and other engineering sectors.

and advanced medical treatment.

Due to the need for using cellular structures in engineering, medical and other applications, it is very important to recognize and develop their behaviour under different loads for improving performance with a predetermined geometry and mechanical response. The combination of different materials and specially developed geometries of cellular structures leads to a unique and outstanding combination of mechanic and thermal properties achieved with precise planning of the cellular structure. New advanced additive technologies enable the production of a new generation of cellular metamaterials with a complex internal cellular structure adjusted to a particular engineering application by using computational simulations and topological optimization.

For more than 20 years, the ACE-X research group is engaging in the development and characterization of mechanical properties of new cellular metamaterials in cooperation with numerous international research institutions in Europe, USA, Japan, China and Australia. Within internationally distributed research, we have a leading position in Integrated Computational Materials Engineering – ICME. ICME is based on virtual development and testing of materials in their production or application by using methods of demanding mathematical modelling and complex computational simulations of baseline physical processes. We have patented some of the commercially attractive cellular structures that were developed in this way in Japan and Europe. prof. dr. ZORAN REN

Presentation of the research group for advanced engineering simulations and experimenting

The research group primarily deals with the conceptual development of new metamaterials with improved mechanical properties of behaviour, with the emphasis on high loading speeds resulting from shock loads (explosion, collision of objects). It focuses mainly on the development of metamaterials with cellular internal structure which is planned by using state-of-the-art methods of mathematical and numerical modelling, high-performance computing and optimization on supercomputers. Samples of newly designed virtual structures of metamaterials are then produced by using state-of-the-art production techniques with the help of domestic and foreign partner institutions. Mechanical properties of the produced samples of new metamaterials are then characterized by using advanced experimental methods to confirm or deny the suitability of the design concept for a particular purpose. By doing so, the group focuses on the characterization of geometrical properties of the internal structure of complex cellular structures as well as their deformation behaviour based on the correlation of digital recordings made with tomographs and high-speed cameras. It also develops advanced numerical models, tools and processes for computer analyses of stress-strain conditions of mechanic components, collision analyses and shock simulations, destructive analyses of structures and structural joints as well as optimizations of components and assemblies.

The research group operates its own developed Split-Hopkinson-Pressure-Bar and Direct Impact test stand for experimental determination of the mechanical properties of materials at high and very high loading speeds. The professional development work of the research group is aimed at using complex computational simulations for the development and improvements of dedicated machine structures exposed to shock loads, primarily in the field of providing passive road safety by developing new generations of road safety elements.


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  • 8. Jan 2022

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