June 1, 1998-May 31, 2002
Level of Access
The primary theme of this career development plan is to promote, advance, and apply innovative experimental analysis techniques to heterogeneous construction materials. This theme applies to both the research and the educational components of the plan. Concrete and portland cement-based materials are the focus here, but many of the concepts and techniques developed will be applicable to wood, rock, composites, and other materials with a heterogeneous microstructure. The objective of the research is to quantify specific microstructural damage and failure mechanisms in cement-based materials through advanced experimentation and data analysis. In order for there to be significant advances in our ability to model and predict failure mechanisms, we must have a quantitative understanding of the physical microstructural processes involved. The research addresses this need for quantitative microstructural property versus performance data. The overall objective of the educational work is to update experimental mechanics and data analysis treatment in the undergraduate and graduate civil engineering curriculum, and to highlight the role of mechanics and materials in the different civil engineering subdisciplines. This objective will be realized through the integration of new classroom and laboratory modules into existing undergraduate and graduate courses. The cornerstone of the education program will be an innovative freshman level construction materials course in which the common themes of problem analysis and design are introduced to new engineering students using materials as the vehicle. The laboratory component of this course will be designed to reveal relationships between the material's microstructure and performance properties. The link between the research and education components is the innovative use of the laboratory. The ease of numerical simulations has in varying degrees altered the use of experimental analysis in both education and research. The goal of this workplan is therefore to emphasize the importance to mechanics and materials of working in "real" rather than "virtual" laboratories. As this work is multidisciplinary, collaborations with experts in digital image processing, cement microstructure and x-ray physics and planned.
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Landis, Eric N., "CAREER: Innovative Experimental Mechanics for Heterogeneous Construction Materials" (2002). University of Maine Office of Research Administration: Grant Reports. 238.