What is it about?

Disordered solids made of particulates ranging from atoms, molecules or nanoparticles to bubbles or grains are ubiquitous in items ranging from plastic to concrete. Despite their prevalence, applications can be limited because they are often brittle. In contrast, ductile materials can be deformed smoothly and significantly without fracturing. Strategies for tuning the ductility of disordered solids are empirical and system-specific, neither based on--nor explained by--existing theories. This work shows how the interplay of local structure, elasticity and plasticity controls ductility.

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Why is it important?

The approach provides a general framework for understanding how disordered solids respond to large deformations, identifying the fundamental microscopic factors that control ductility in disordered materials. This work could lead to quantitative approaches to designing disordered materials that are more resistant to fracture.


I particularly enjoyed this collaboration because it brought together physicists, chemical engineers, a mechanical engineer and a chemist using theory, simulation, and experiments to understand ductility in three very different disordered solids using a common framework

Andrea Liu
University of Pennsylvania

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Identifying microscopic factors that influence ductility in disordered solids, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, October 2023, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences,
DOI: 10.1073/pnas.2307552120.
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