UT Arlington engineers are assembling a computer-based "genome" that will aid in the design and development of advanced new materials that are super hard, can resist extreme heat, are highly durable and are less expensive through a new, $640,000 National Science Foundation grant.
The work is funded through a 2011 White House "Materials Genome Initiative" intended to cut in half the time it takes to develop novel materials that can fuel advanced manufacturing. The effort has been compared with the national Human Genome Project launched in the 1980s.
Stathis Meletis, chair and professor of the Department of Materials Science & Engineering, is leading the interdisciplinary team, which includes Peter Kroll, an associate professor of chemistry and biochemistry, and Jiechao Jiang, a research associate professor in the Materials Science and Engineering Department.
The UT Arlington team will focus on the areas of extremely hard and high-temperature resistant coatings for advanced materials using current and new methods at the atomic and nanoscale level to achieve the project's objectives.
"We will combine methods for designing and attaining this extremely hard and high-temperature resistant materials on computers at first. Eventually, we'll synthesize these materials in the lab and test them," Meletis said. "This could revolutionize future engineering."
The new materials genome could be used in a number of advanced applications including turbine blades, reusable launch vehicles, hypersonic vehicles and thermal barrier materials designed to withstand temperature and radiation extremes in space, researchers said.
"The University is very enthusiastic about being part of this exciting and ground-breaking research," said Khosrow Behbehani, dean of the College of Engineering. "This project not only benefits existing businesses that work with advanced materials but also will help boost emerging industries."
Meletis' work is an example of research excellence at The University of Texas at Arlington, a comprehensive institution of almost 33,800 students and more than 2,200 faculty members in the heart of North Texas. It is the second largest institution in The University of Texas System. Visit http://www.uta.edu to learn more.
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