Advanced Study Group Continuum Mechanics
The ASG Continuum Mechanics serves as scientific platform for collaborative research of the chairs of mechanics at Ruhr-Universität Bochum and ICAMS. It combines the expertise of the groups in the fields of continuum mechanical modeling of materials, development of numerical methods for their simulation, and scale-bridging approaches for thermodynamic simulations. The goal is to foster synergies with view to the development of constitutive laws with numerical investigations on the kinetic evolution of microstructures for a huge variety of materials. The institutes within the ASG make use of various theoretical approaches to material modeling, such as variational methods, energy-based descriptions, and stochastic approaches. The ASG includes experts in the fields of theoretical and applied mechanics, numerical and simulation-based physics and material sciences. It provides an excellent complement to the research conducted at ICAMS.
Collaborations with this ASG are in the context of combining geometrically nonlinear mechanical models and algorithms with numerical simulations of non-mechanical, physical fields to enable chemo-mechanical simulations of materials undergoing large strains. A specific example for potential cooperative work are damage processes in batteries. Here, Lithium ion batteries operate by diffusion of ions in and out of nano-sized spherical particles consisting of ceramic materials. This diffusion is accompanied by a change of specific volume exceeding 100%. The eigen-stresses generated by this process cause nano-cracking of the particles. These inhibit diffusion which in turn compromises the capacity of the batteries. Modeling these phenomena requires the coupling of electrochemistry, diffusion, elasticity and fracture mechanics. Numerical simulations based on such models may lead to the design of better batteries with increased capacity and lifetime. Both, for improving the understanding of the underlying processes as well as for the development of tailored material combinations and/or treatments during processing, the knowledge and expertise concentrated within the ASG provides a unique basis for successful research.