Small-scale fracturing of amorphous and crystalline materials assessed with nanoindentation and focused ion beam

The project aims to investigate and quantify small-scale fracture mechanisms of cementitious composites and alkali-activated aluminosilicates that are of central importance for civil structures and plastic deformation and fracture mechanisms of submicro- to nanocrystalline hexagonal metals, namely Mg, Ti and their alloys strengthened by equal-channel angular pressing with applied back pressure representing progressive lightweight materials by means of high-resolution scanning electron microscopy, focused ion beam and in-situ nanoindentation. The findings will be used in up-to-date physical models for fracture and strength predictions. Experimental measurements proposed in this project will provide input data for these models and will serve for validation of their capability to realistically predict essential engineering properties like fracture toughness or strength based on real microscale mechanisms. Observations of the dissimilar materials character ranging from quasi-brittle to elasto-plastic behavior will help to draw more general conclusions and to assess the models.