The Agnew Research Group Materials Science and Engineering School of Engineering and Applied Science University of Virginia
The Agnew Research Group
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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.

Current Research Projects:

Chris Amaro

Low symmetry metal deformation: We are currently working to understand and quantitatively describe the mechanical behavior of a polycrystalline metal that exhibits strong elastic, thermal, and plastic anisotropy through the use of in-situ neutron diffraction and an elasto-plastic self-consistent (EPSC) model. The work includes analyzing thermal residual stresses which result from processing and the potential effects of H and hydrides on deformation mechanisms of dislocation slip and twinning. (Sponsor: Babcock & Wilcox Technical Services Y-12, LLC)

Magnesium alloy processing-structure-property relationships: We are presently working to develop processing strategies for high performance Mg alloys which contain rare earth additions, as well as approaches which could eliminate the need for such expensive alloying ingredients. (Sponsors: Magnesium Elektron North America and Oak Ridge National Laboratory)

Plasticity of austenitic alloys which suffer from stress corrosion cracking (SCC): We have been developing techniques designed to determine linkages between plastic behavior and SCC. (Sponsor: Virginia Space Grant Consortium)

Chris Amaro

Surface characterization: The objective of this project is to identify characterization methods and tools for the identification and measurement of desirable attributes pertaining to component surface roughness and/or cleanliness. Each method should be quantifiable, repeatable, non-destructive, cost effective, and deployable in a field and/or assembly line environment. (Sponsor: Commonwealth Center for Advanced Manufacture)

Laser Surface Modification: Can eliminate detrimental consequences of bulk modification. However, there are concerns regarding the impact of even near-surface damage on overall component performance. We are characterizing the microstructure, phase composition, residual stresses, and mechanical properties of material subjected to LSM. (Sponsor: Commonwealth Center for Advanced Manufacture)

Pending: There are a number of pending research projects related to structural materials in nuclear reactors, modeling of lightweight armor materials, nanocomposite material process development for high voltage transmission lines, non-destructive testing (NDT) technique development for aerospace and naval applications, and more.