APS tip sheet: Ultimate strength of metals

A new model is able to accurately determine the peak strength of polycrystalline metals

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Credit: Credit: Chandross and Agribay. Physical Review Letters (2020)


To build safe and robust automobiles, spacecrafts, and other technology, scientists attempt to know as much as possible about various metals’ properties. However, these properties can be tricky to estimate without extensive testing. Now, researchers have created a theoretical model able to estimate various pure and alloyed metals’ ultimate strength–a measurement defined as the amount of force necessary before a metal will deform. The framework, created by Chandross and Argibay of Sandia National Laboratories, does not require fit parameters. It relies on the connection between ultimate strength and thermodynamics and was able to accurately predict the ultimate strengths of nearly 20 different metals.” The new model could improve research and development in many industries by allowing scientists to better understand the potential maximum achievable strengths of alloys and explore new design alternatives.

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The Ultimate Strength of Metals

Michael Chandross and Nicolas Argibay

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