SMA Advanced Modeling

Shape-memory-alloy advanced modeling for civil, industrial and biomedical engineering applications.

Research Team divided in 4 operative Units

  • Principal Investigator and Unit 1 leader: Prof. F. Auricchio, University of Pavia
  • Unit 2 leader: Prof. S. Marfia, University of Cassino
  • Unit 3 leader: Prof. W. Lacarbonara, University of Roma, “La Sapienza”
  • Unit 4 leader: Prof. M. Fremond, University of Roma, “Tor Vergata”

Project abstract

The research project is devoted to a specific class of innovative materials, the so-called “shape memory alloys” (SMAs), and it finds profound justification from the following observations:

  • SMAs are materials with always larger application fields, ranging from biomedical engineering to automotive, civil and aeronautics
  • SMAs are attracting more and more extensive and diffused attention from the scientific community (both form the point of view of modeling and experiments)
  • The largest SMA producer in the world is nowadays an Italian company – SAES Getters, Lainate (MI) – which implies a high interest on SMAs at the national level

Moving from such considerations and given the wide experience on SMAs developed by the whole proponent team, and in particular by the project coordinator, we aim at focusing our research on the topic of SMA advanced modeling with emphasis on the analysis and design of structural applications. In particular, we plan to pursue our goals at both a material and a structural level and in the following we report the main issues that we plan to treat at such two levels:

  1. Material level:
    • Definition of a consistent thermo-dynamic modeling framework and development of suitable mathematical analysis tools
    • Study and modeling of material cyclic response, training, fatigue, thermo-mechanical treatment effects
    • Study and modeling of SMA-based composite materials
    • Model extension to finite strains
    • Model interfacing with commercial finite element codes
  1. Structural level:
    • Development of structural finite elements such as beam, plates, shells, 3D solids
    • Structural analysis of devices (for civil, industrial and biomedical engineering)
    • Analysis of composite structures

We wish to emphasize here that all the points reported above contain several aspects of novelty with respect to the most updated scientific literature. Moreover, we highlight that the capabilities of the proposing team in pursuing the above research goals are guaranteed not only by the strong background of its members, but also by the high level of its collaborations. Without detailing all of them we wish to point out the consolidated collaboration with worldwide well-known mathematicians in Pavia to be used to obtain thermo-dynamically consistent models able to give rise to robust solution algorithms. This aspect is very important when a model has to be interfaced with commercial finite element codes, i.e., when real-life device simulations need to be carried out. Even more important is the link with SMA producers, in order to have access to the material itself and to a large and reliable database of experimental tests. This allows constructing good parameter identification procedures as well as reliable experimental validation plans of the model. Also in this case, the required links are already existent in our team, thanks to the collaboration with SAES Getters, as well as with other well-known European materialscientists, with deep experience in SMA characterization.