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Research Interests

Materials are the common element (or, one might say, the fundamental building block) of all engineered products. Central to our ability to synthesise/design a product (in all length scales and, in some cases, time scales) is our ability to predict the behaviour and properties of these fundamental building blocks.

My research interests lie in materials and design. Within this area I am particularly interested in exploring four general issues: (1) modelling and simulation of (nano)composites and multifunctional materials, (2) cost modelling of advanced materials, (3) materials design, optimisation and knowledge management, and (4) fibrous and textile materials engineering.

Central to my interests are the (1) understanding of the science underpinning the issues named previously, (2) the development of analytical and numerical tools and methodologies which will transform scientific knowledge into engineering solutions/applications and (3) integrating these knowledge and methodologies into a unified design and analysis framework for advanced materials.

Computer-aided materials engineering

Over the past few years I have worked on the development of a novel micro and mesomechanical model for polymer matrix composites. The aims of this work were the following:

  1. Prediction of the elastic properties (in- and out-of-plane, on- and off-axis) of polymer matrix composites reinforced with 1D – 3D architectures.
  2. Material failure prediction
  3. Low computational cost
  4. High predictive accuracy
  5. Ease of use

To achieve (and demonstrate) the aims enumerated above a complementary variational principle based micro/mesomechanics model (a cell model) was developed and implemented in the TC3D software package. The model revolves around the prediction of the “true” stress state of the Representative Volume Element (RVE) through minimisation of the complementary energy. Contrary to most other models in use today it does not assume a stress or strain state in the material system but actually aims to predict it. The main advantage of such an approach is that no a priori knowledge/assumptions of the behaviour of the material system are needed.

Considering more recent developments in the field of materials, structures and devices, work has been initiated to transform this model into a hybrid continuum and non-continuum modelling and simulation framework for computer-aided materials engineering. Material systems to be covered include nano and micro reinforced composites as well as active material systems such as active composites and functional thin films.

Current projects

1. Design and analysis of polymer nanocomposites.
The main aim of this project is the development of the theoretical foundations and methods for the computationally assisted analysis and design of polymer nanocomposites. An additional aim is the synthesis and characterisation of new polymers optimised for use in nanocomposite materials.

Download the first issue of the project newsletter (in Greek, PDF format).

2. Process modelling of the production of magnetic nanoparticle reinforced polymer composites utilising ultrasonic welding.
More information will be available soon.

Economics and materials design and optimisation

The costs associated with the development of a material system for use in a particular design are almost always overlooked until one has reached the structural analysis stage of product development. The limited body of work in this area (primarily of a qualitative nature) is focused on trying to analyse structure production costs avoiding the implications associated with material selection. Work needs to be undertaken to allow for the (a) evaluation of a given material selection/development for manufacturing cost effectiveness and (b) for the analysis of alternatives.