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Microfracture in metals

An animation of the microfracture simulation
An animation of the micro-fracture simulation

This research was carried out by Dr Berk Hess at the Zernike Institute for Advanced Materials in Prof. van der Giessen's research group. Forces were applied to a piece of metal in a simulation (Molecular Dynamics calculations using Gromacs software) and, as a result, microfracture occurred. The output of the simulation was converted into a 3D visualization, in which the atoms under stress are displayed. Observing the fracture process in this way allows researchers to better understand the physical processes at hand, and helps them design better materials.

Microfracture visualisation in the Reality Cube
Microfracture visualization in the Reality Cube

To better visualize the fracture process, only the atoms that were displaced are drawn. For each atom, colour represents the deviation from the 'ideal' position. Based on VRML, this visualization can be studied on a desktop PC, in the Reality Theatre or, even better, in the Reality Cube.

Last modified:21 January 2017 09.08 a.m.