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Fracture across Scales

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Fracture across Scales

Integrating Mechanics, Materials Science, Mathematics, Chemistry, and Physics

The present RTG (Research Training Group) aims to improve understanding of fracture behaviour in brittle heterogeneous materials by developing simulation methods that are able to capture the multiscale nature of failure. With (i) its rooting in different scientific disciplines, (ii) its focus on the influence of heterogeneity on fracture behaviour at different length and time scales as well as (iii) its integration of highly specialised approaches into a “holistic” concept, the RTG addresses a truly challenging interdisciplinary topic in mechanics of materials.

Although various simulation approaches describing fracture behaviour exist for particular types of materials and specific time and length scales, an integrated and all-encompassing approach that is able to capture fracture processes in different – and in particular heterogeneous – materials at various length and time resolutions is still lacking. Thus, the objective of this interdisciplinary RTG consisting of experts from mechanics, materials science, mathematics, chemistry, and physics is to develop the necessary methodology to investigate the mechanisms underlying brittle fracture and how they are influenced by heterogeneity in various materials.

The insights obtained together with the methodological framework will allow tailoring and optimising materials with regard to fracture behaviour. The RTG covers a representative spectrum of brittle materials and their composites, together with granular and porous materials. We study these at length and time scales relevant to science and engineering, ranging from sub-atomic via atomic and molecular over mesoscale to macroscopic dimensions. Our modelling approaches and simulation tools are based on concepts from quantum mechanics, molecular mechanics, mesoscopic approaches, and continuum mechanics. These are integrated into an overall framework, which represents an important step towards a virtual laboratory eventually complementing and minimising extensive and expensive experimental testing of materials and components.

Within the RTG, young researchers under the supervision of experienced PAs perform cutting-edge research on challenging scientific aspects of fracture. The RTG fosters synergies in research and advanced education and is intended to become a key element in FAU‘s interdisciplinary research areas “New Materials and Processes” and “Modelling–Simulation–Optimisation”

On 19 October 2019 from 6 pm to 1 am numerous institutes in the Erlangen, Fuerth and Nuremberg region participated in the Long Night of Sciences (Lange Nacht der Wissenschaften, LNdW). The Research Training Group GRK 2423 FRASCAL also presented the interested public its research topics in a vivid way.

"The fourth International Symposium on Atomistic and Multiscale Modeling of Mechanics and Multiphysics” ISAM4 2019 which was co-organized by the co-spokesperson of FRASCAL, Prof. Erik Bitzek, took place from 5th to 8th of August at Friedrich-Alexander Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg.

On July 19, 2019, the Soft Skill Training "Gender Equality in Research" which is mandatory to all doctoral researchers of the Research Training Group GRK 2423 FRASCAL took place at the Zentralinstitut for Scientific Computing (ZISC). It was guided by Dr. Silke Schnurbusch from the Graduate Centre of the FAU. Common gender-related topics occurring in research were pointed out and vividly discussed.

On June 27, 2019, the first RTG Seminar of the Research Training Group GRK 2423 FRASCAL took place in the Seminar Room of the Regional Computer Centre in Erlangen (RRZE) (the programme can be found here).

On April 2, 2019, the first official joint meeting of doctoral researchers and principal advisors of the Research Training Group GRK 2423 FRASCAL took place in the Hans-Georg-Waeber-Saal of the Fraunhofer Institute (IISB) and the foyer in front of the hall (the programme can be found here).