Nanomechanics and Tribology
Understanding the origin of material failure is essential for all applications where materials are exposed to mechanical contact and tribology. This newsletter edition therefore highlights some of our recent research on white etching cracks and fracture, phenomena, which decide about the life or death of such diverse devices as windmills or biomedical implants. Moreover, it presents our new group on thin films and nanostructured materials.
From bearings and railroad tracks, to tooth or hip implants – the number of examples where materials are exposed to mechanical contact loads is as numerous as the number of materials used under such conditions.
Catastrophic fracture is omnipresent in structural and functional materials and material systems. Moreover, fracture is of utmost importance to increase the reliability of devices. Until now, the mechanisms of crack initiation and growth at the microstructure length scale are not thoroughly understood. Today, we therefore develop tools for measuring the fracture properties at the submicron scale in order to pursue the development of damage tolerant materials and material systems.