From sheet metal to the atom, or the value of multi-scale approaches to metallurgy

Friday, February 16, 2023, 11am, CEMES (coffee served by 10.30) + Zoom

by Jean-Sebastien Lecomte IR at LEM3, Metz

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Metals such as titanium and magnesium have the potential to become the materials of the future in many applications (aerospace, automotive, bicycles, electric scooters) where their mechanical strength and light weight are two major advantages.
The downside is that these metals cannot be shaped easily, as is the case with aluminium or steel, for example. This fragility stems from their hexagonal crystalline structure, which gives dislocations (a source of malleability) a limited number of atomic planes in which they can move easily.
There are several possible approaches to deforming a sheet of titanium to create a museum of modern art in Bilbao (Guggenheim museum, see photo), for example. At the atomic level, we can modify the chemical environment using alloying elements to make the dislocations more mobile. But we can also intervene on larger scales: at the level of the grains that make up the sheet and the way they are arranged, which constitutes an even larger scale.
Using this example, I will show how we need to combine so-called ‘multi-scale’ approaches to understand ….. and thus come up with practical solutions, based on physical metallurgy (characterisation at different scales using electron microscopy and X-rays) to overcome the problems of brittleness in titanium, but also in other hexagonal metals…

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