Patricia Verleysen
Department of Electromechanical Systems and Materials
Ghent University, Tech Lane Ghent Science Park Technologiepark 46, B-9052 Zwijnaarde

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The physical properties of metals are strongly affected by the microstructure. Microstructural features such as the size and shape of the grains, the presence and distribution of different phases, or texture determine to a large extent the strength, ductility and toughness of metals. The mechanical response, together with other microstructurally sensitive properties, such as electric, magnetic and thermal characteristics, determine the applications for which a metal can be used.


The microstructure of a metal is the result of its chemical composition and processing route. Therefore, the main manufacturing challenge is to develop processes that result in metals with desired microstructures. Only through appropriate processing can the required properties be obtained. As composition, manufacturing process, microstructure and properties are intricately connected, changes in one of these are inseparably linked to changes in the others. Understanding these relationships is of crucial importance to produce metals with improved functionalities.


The high strain rate response of metals is also affected by the microstructure. Indeed, the intrinsic strain rate dependence of the individual grains and the highly strain rate sensitive grain boundary deformation mechanisms result in a strong link between microstructure and dynamic properties. For multiphase materials, differences in the strain rate response of the phases, the associated modified interaction between the phases, possible strain rate dependent phase-transformations, etc. further contribute to strain rate effects. The evolution of the microstructure during dynamic deformation is also affected by the strain rate. Consequently, not only the forces and stresses involved in a dynamic deformation process are different, but also the properties of a dynamically deformed metal differ.


Tremendous improvements in microscopy over the last decades and the availability of advanced observation techniques allow the microstructural mechanisms that govern mechanical material response to be revealed. They also allow microstructures to be identified that are more suitable for dynamic applications and, consequently, to set goals for metal manufacturers. The enhanced understanding of the microstructural response to dynamic deformation allows the full potential of metals in dynamic forming processes to be further exploited. These new insights can contribute to the development of new microstructures. Additionally, the improved knowledge of the microstructure and how it evolves during dynamic loading enables the development and validation of microstructurally based models, which in turn can foster tools for the design of innovative microstructures.

The workshop aims at bringing together senior and junior researchers who are studying the relationships between the microstructure and dynamic properties of metals. Contributions are welcome that deal with (i) the microstructural mechanisms that underly the phenomena associated with deformation, damage and failure produced by dynamic loading, (ii) how microstructural changes affect dynamic properties, and (iii) microstructurally-based modelling approaches to dynamic deformation of metals.




Microstructure - Dynamic Properties Relations in metals