The primary research goal of the Laboratory for the Mechanics of Advanced Materials is to understand interesting and exciting phenomena in solid mechanics, particularly multiphysics material behavior. Multiphysics behavior occurs when multiple physical phenomena are present in a material’s response, beyond deformation. For example, temperature can have a profound impact on the stiffness of materials and some oils degrade the strength of a material over time. Research includes experimental, theoretical and computational solid mechanics. The laboratory works on continuum-level descriptions of polymeric behavior of materials, including polymer gels, dielectric elastomers and shape-memory polymers, among others. The lab’s general procedure is to conduct experiments to obtain a material’s behavior over a wide range of environmental conditions; to develop constitutive models to capture that behavior; to design and implement numerical procedures for use in finite element simulations; and lastly, to validate the constitutive model and its numerical implementation in exciting representative applications.
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