Dr Francesco Maresca
who recently started a tenure track position at ENTEG, has been granted a Material Challenges project by NWO. The grant, designing hydrogen-resistant alloys through novel multi-scale modeling and experimentation, is for
a M2i consortium
(lead by Dr. Poulumi Dey of the TU Delft) and supported by the industrial partners Tata Steel, Allseas Engineering, Koninklijke Nedschroef Holding and Daimler. The NWO project grant is €730,000.
The project will tackle the most difficult to understand phenomenon of hydrogen embrittlement (HE) in steels. Hydrogen embrittlement is an outstanding problem in the mechanics of structural metals which results in the loss of mechanical properties, such as strength and deformability, when hydrogen is present in metals or its surrounding environment (water, acids, …). In spite of the numerous scientific efforts, the ambiguity related to fundamental mechanisms behind hydrogen embrittlement still persists. The proposed work will provide deeper insights into underlying mechanisms of hydrogen embrittlement. The project approach consists in multi-scale modelling-experimentation synergy based on Density Functional Theory, Molecular Dynamics, crystal plasticity and advanced HE experimental characterization that will connect atomistic information with microstructural behaviour of multi-phase steels in presence of hydrogen, enabling design of new steels that are resistant to hydrogen embrittlement. The novel methodology developed within the project for steels, will be transferrable to other technologically relevant materials e.g. superalloys and the novel high-entropy alloys. Strong collaborations with the world’s leading universities and research institutes such as University of Cambridge (Prof. Gábor Csányi) and Max-Planck-Institut für Eisenforschung GmbH (Prof. Dierk Raabe) will be established on the fundamental side of the project.
The Maresca group will focus on the investigation of the interplay between H and nano-/microstructural features such as dislocations and grain boundaries in important steel phases such as ferrite and martensite, by the use of Molecular Dynamics modelling based on state-of-the-art Density-Functional-Theory-accurate interatomic potentials, and continuum Crystal Plasticity modelling for microstructural analysis and design.
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