Canada Research Chair in Manufacturing Nano-Materials
Tier 2 - 2006-01-03
Natural Sciences and Engineering
Coming to Canada from
Sandia National Laboratories, Albuquerque, NM (USA)
Fabricating bulk nano-metallic, nano-ceramic and nano-composites materials from nano-size and nano-structured precursors and welding of these nano-materials.
The research is aimed at developing processes for manufacturing and joining fully-dense and large-scale nano-structured materials for structural applications.
Strength in small numbers
There's a revolution going on in the world of materials, and Canada Research Chair Mathieu Brochu is at its centre. By reducing the composition of a material's internal structure to the nano-scale-one billionth of a metre-he is creating substances with higher mechanical strength, enhanced reactivity and higher electrical resistivity than is possible with conventional methods.
But before these materials can realize their full commercial potential, Brochu must work out problems related to their fabrication and welding. His research is delving into the practical questions raised by working with materials that are extremely small. And already he is finding answers.
Conventional welding at high temperatures often causes changes to the materials' properties and structures. Brochu has found a way to weld nano-materials into assemblies that avoids this typical degradation.
He is also working on a method that uses controlled shockwaves to pack nano-structured powders closely together into bulk materials. This process imposes pressure levels that are unattainable by traditional equipment.
By developing new structures and better materials-for example, aluminum that is stronger than steel-Brochu's research will help create stronger, safer and more effective materials for high-end structures, such as jet engines and space shuttles.