This project has been funded by DOE/BES and ARO and focuses on fundamental issues relating to the stability and behavior of cracks near bimaterial interfaces and within residual stress or compositional gradients. Model materials that can be fabricated with compositional and microstructural gradients, such as Al2O3/Ni, ZrO2/Ni and Cu/W have been prepared so that systematic studies on crack driving forces may be made. The project has also involved extensive finite element simulation to predict crack paths. The fundamental work has broad applicability to any engineering systems that contain interfaces and layers, such as in fuel cells, joints and separation membrane systems.

Colorado School of Mines: Profs. Ivar Reimanis and John Berger

The Behavior of Cracks Near Interfaces and in Gradients