Microstructural materials modeling: From scientific discoveries to materials innovation

Multi-scale, Microstructural Materials Modeling 

Materials aging and degradation affect the performance of materials in extreme conditions. This is particularly true for materials used in nuclear reactors, where the harsh environments combine high temperature, high stress, intensive irradiation and corrosive media. In such environments, materials are subject to significant microstructure evolution and property degradation induced by a variety of mechanisms (as shown in the figure below), which limit their performance. Taking a multiscale, microstructure-based modeling approach, we will i) uncover the fundamental mechanisms that are responsible for materials degradation, ii) develop materials models to predict the in-service degradation rates of materials in harsh environment, and iii) aid in development of advanced materials with improved performance in harsh environment. The approach focuses on the microstructure of materials by establishing the processing-structure-property-performance paradigm, for the purpose of designing advanced materials for applications involving extreme conditions. The research involves a variety of modeling methods spanning multiple time and length scales, closely coupled with experiments via collaborations. The areas of interest include:

  • Thermodynamic and kinetic properties of defects and long-term irradiation behavior of nuclear fuels and materials,
  • Mechanical deformation,
  • Environmental attach such as molten salt corrosion.

More details of the research can be reached here Group research