UNT researchers confirm long-held assumption in materials science field

Thursday, March 26, 2015 - 13:43

DENTON (UNT), Texas -- Until now, researchers and professionals in the materials science field have only assumed that as a material becomes more brittle, it also becomes less tough. University of North Texas researchers have confirmed that assumption and will present their work at the 23rd annual World Forum on Advanced Materials in Lincoln, Nebraska, in May.

UNT Regents Professor of Materials Science and Engineering Witold Brostow, working with Texas Academy of Mathematics and Science student Sameer Khoja, compared stress values and brittleness values of various materials and plotted that data to determine that as a material becomes more brittle, it also becomes less tough.

"Whenever companies or researchers are trying to select the best material for a certain task -- for example, materials for airplanes or building structures -- they look at the values of different materials, which can include brittleness, toughness, flexibility, strain and many others," Khoja said. "Decisions are made based on those properties. If decisions are based on assumed information, or information that isn't correct or validated, there can be problems in the long run."

The World Forum on Advanced Materials is an international forum for presentation and discussion of research on polymer characterization, properties, synthesis, processing and manufacturing. Participants from 44 countries will attend this year's event.

"Making experiments is the basis of progress, and without data we could not test theories," Brostow said. "Sameer's work is precisely testing a theory. In 2007 a team of researchers and I defined brittleness of materials by an equation. Sameer's work is a natural continuation of that."

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