MS&E researchers have been awarded an NSF grant within the Metals and Metallic Nanostructures Division to develop models for serrated flow in body-centered cubic alloys. Serrated flow, also known as the Portevin-Le Chatelier effect, is a detrimental process that can lead to loss of ductility and failure in metals in a specific range of temperatures and strain rates.

The MS&E team, led by Prof Jaime Marian, will use advanced algorithms to study interactions between dislocations and solute atoms to investigate the fundamental mechanisms behind the appearance of serrations in the flow stress of these alloys. The computational approach will be complemented by an experimental effort led by Dr. Marta Pozuelo and Prof. Kanji Ono, who will perform in situ nano mechanical testing and acoustic deformation experiments to investigate the microscopic mechanisms behind this phenomenon and provide experimental validation for the computer models.