People/Web Search Calendar Emergency Info A-Z Index UVA Email University of Virginia


Sean R. Agnew

Sean R. Agnew

Professor of Materials Science and Engineering

Ph.D. Northwestern University, 1998
B.S. Cornell University, 1994

Department of Materials Science & Engineering
University of Virginia
PO Box 400745
395 McCormick Road
Charlottesville, VA 22904-4745
HP: 434-924-0605
f: 434-982-5660

Website: Agnew Research Group
Current upcoming workshops: DMREF

Research Interests

We are working to develop more quantitative connections between the microstructure and properties (primarily mechanical) of advanced crystalline materials through experimentation and modeling. The properties of most crystalline materials exhibit anisotropies characteristic of their crystal symmetry and "orientation related effects" ultimately impact materials performance in every modern industry.

For example, elastic deformation behavior is affected by the presence of textures or other complex microstructures and we have a project which focuses on the interaction between elastic (ultrasonic) waves and microstructure. Presently, these interactions are viewed as deleterious for the nondestructive evaluation (NDE) of components (e.g. weldments or forgings.) We are investigating the possibility that quantitative assessments of the microstructure might be made in a nondestructive fashion.

Plastic deformation is particularly interesting in the context of textures since it is often responsible for the observed textures in the first place, and because it is subsequently affected by the presence of texture. Polycrystal plasticity modeling has been successfully employed to predict texture evolution and resultant anisotropy. Further, these models may be used to solve the inverse problem of identifying deformation mechanisms involving dislocation slip and/or mechanical twinning. Finally, thin films and coatings often exhibit strong textures due to preferred growth kinetics, or high internal/residual stresses.

Experimentally, we use a variety of diffraction-based tools to measure the orientation and stress-state of invdividual grains and polycrystals ranging from electron diffraction in an SEM (EBSD) or TEM, to x-ray diffraction in our home laboratory or at a synchrotron, to neutron diffraction at a reactor or pulsed neutron source. These structural measurements are linked to measurements of the mechanical properties measured using universal testing machines, formability tests, or ultrasonic testing. A favorite approach is to link mechanical behavior and characterization techniques through the use of in-situ testing where the material is characterized during deformation.

Professonal Experience and Memberships

1999-2001 Wigner Fellow, Research and Development Staff Scientist, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oak Ridge, Tennessee

Selected Publications

S.R. Agnew and O. Duygulu, "Plastic Anistotropy and the Role of Non-Basal Slip in Magnesium Alloy AZ31B," Int. J. Plasticity, accepted

S.R. Agnew, J.A. Horton, T.M. Lillo and D.W. Brown, “Enhanced Ductility in Strongly Textured Magnesium Produced by Equal Channel Angular (ECA) Processing”, Scripta Mater, 50 (2004) 377-381.

S.R. Agnew, F. Zeng, and G.R. Myneni, “Ultrasonic Velocity and Texture of High RRR Niobium” Materiaux et Techniques, No. 7-8-9 (2003) 38-44.

S.R. Agnew, C.N. Tomé, D.W. Brown, T.M. Holden, and S.C. Vogel, “Study of Slip Mechanisms in a Magnesium Alloy by Neutron Diffraction and Modeling”, Scripta Mater, 48 (2003) 1003-1008.

S. R. Agnew, J. A. Horton, and M. H. Yoo, “TEM Invesitgation of <c+a> Dislocation Structures in Mg and Mg-Li α -Solid Solution Alloys”, Metall. Mater. Trans. A, 23A, 813-822 (2002).

S. R. Agnew, A. Y. Vinogradov, S. Hashimoto, and J. R. Weertman, “Overview of fatigue performance of Cu processed by severe plastic deformation,” J. Electron. Mater., 28, 1038-1044 (1999).

S. R. Agnew and J. R. Weertman, “Low-Cycle Fatigue Behavior of Ultrafine Grain Copper”, Mat. Sci. Eng.,A244, 145 (1998).

S. R. Agnew and J. R. Weertman, “The Influence of Texture on the Elastic Properties of Ultrafine-Grain Copper,” Mat. Sci. Eng., A242, 174 (1998)