Advanced Computational Materials and Experimental Evaluation Laboratory
This laboratory is three computer-controlled electro-hydraulic test machines (1,000; 5,500; 11,000; and 22,000 lb. capacity), a creep-test rig, and associated equipment are used to measure failure loads and to study fatigue crack formation and propagation in test specimens subjected to simulated aircraft load/temperature/time histories. Facilities are also available for high temperature testing through induction heating, strain field mapping with digital image correlation equipment, and analysis of the microstructure response to external stimuli through a small load frame placed within a scanning electron microscope chamber with electron back-scattering diffraction capabilities. Hence, our facilities are well equipped to study the fatigue response of a material by controlling forces with high resolution.
The ACME group has dedicated access to nodes on the Hansen computing cluster at Purdue. Hansen is operated by the Rosen Center for Advanced Computing and is the newest supercomputing cluster at Purdue. It consists of Dell compute nodes with four 12-core AMD Opteron 6176 processors, 96 GB of memory, and 250 GB of local disk storage. The supercomputer uses a batch system for resource management, which allows our group dedicated use of the hundreds of processors and the ability to burst onto unused nodes for large computing jobs.
Purdue’s School of Materials Engineering has an extensive array of tools available for materials preparation and characterization. The facility contains full capabilities for microstructure analysis and optical microscopes including EBSD, SEM, TEM, and XRD equipment. The FEI XL40 FESEM contains EBSD capabilities and is our primary instrument for microstructure characterization and heterogeneous deformation.
The cleanroom within the Birck Nanotechnology center contains a complete suite of lithography and deposition equipment. This equipment is used to imprint a high-resolution patterns on the material’s surface. Additionally, Birck contains a Titan 80-300 keV Field-Emission Environmental Transmission Electron Microscope / Scanning Transmission Electron Microscope from the FEI Corporation with Angstrom level resolution.
HUBzero is a platform for building powerful Web sites that support scientific discovery, learning, and collaboration. Originally created by researchers at Purdue University in conjunction with the NSF-sponsored Network for Computational Nanotechnology to support nanoHUB.org, it now supports a wide variety of other hubs. A HUBzero-powered site presents a polished, organized collection of tools and resources. Under the hood, powerful middleware serves up interactive simulation sessions that display results from the HUBzero rendering farm and Cloud/Grid computing resources. The mission of the Hub Technology Group at Purdue University is to revolutionize the development of cyberinfrastructure for scientific collaboration by:
- Making it easy for hundreds of researchers to upload, install, test, and publish their tools.
- Reducing the time it takes to develop new tools by providing supporting infrastructure, such as the Rappture toolkit.
- Providing fingertip access to hundreds of tools via an ordinary web browser—without having to download, compile, or install the tools.
- Connecting researchers with vast amounts of computing power available on Grid resources.
- Helping researchers exchange information and help one another.
Combination of Modeling and Experiments
The development of emerging materials and their incorporation into component design can be accelerated while simultaneously improving the material performance by establishing computational materials models, which connect processing, microstructure, and properties/performance. These efforts need detailed material characterization activities combined with validation and verification of their test readiness in order to implement the models into a design methodology. Previous model validation efforts were completed based on large-scale testing programs, which may look at an ensemble of test data at the specimen or component scale. These traditional testing strategies jeopardize the implementation of new advanced materials or design methodologies due to large time and financial investments. With the aforementioned experimental tools, we exercise the most advanced characterization and interrogation methods at each scale to verify and validate predictions of the simulations, including four dimensional mapping of ‘defect’ features, strain fields, and complex stress states within the material.