Advanced Materials & Impact Dynamics
Research work in the field of Advanced Materials is carried out in the following areas:
- advanced composite materials and structures including development of new structural design and analysis methods,
- experimental characterisation of new materials and manufacturing; metamaterials,
- novel materials for photonics, materials for nano-antennas; and
- exotic materials exhibiting macroscopic quantum coherence (superfluids and superconductors).
The research infrastructure in the area of Advanced Materials includes mechanical testing facilities, structures manufacturing laboratory (Composites Laboratory), the Advanced Composite Research unit (10 academic staff members) and the additive manufacture processes laboratory (3D printing).
In addition, UNSW Canberra has excellent support facilities in the appropriate allied areas, including IT, particularly commercial FEM software, and microstructural/microscopy/spectroscopy equipment and staff.
Collisions occur all the time and frequently cause injury or damage. Whether it be from somebody falling off their bicycle to an asteroid striking a planetary body there is a need to understand how materials and structures respond to dynamic loading conditions.
UNSW Canberra is home to a facility that can do exactly that with a range of experimental apparatus that can probe how materials respond to high loading rates.
The centrepiece, located in the Impact Dynamic Laboratory, is a two-stage gas gun that can launch projectiles to 4.5 km/s – making it the fastest gun in the southern hemisphere. With this, we can probe how materials respond to pressures seen at the centre of planetary bodies.
Some examples of current projects are:
- Dynamic response of micro-lattice materials (the lightest metallic materials in the world);
- Examination of the shock response of additive manufactured materials;
- Probing how new materials, such as bulk metallic glasses, respond to dynamic loading; and
- Development of new models that describe material behaviour under dynamic loading conditions.