In-situ shock performance investigation of lightweight ceramic nanocomposites

Lead Research Organisation: University of Nottingham
Department Name: Research and Graduate Services


High performance ceramics with high strength or hardness can withstand extremely severe shock loading, having been used in many critical protective applications. The rapid development of nanomaterials offers great potential for further improving the performance of protective materials to the next level. It has been confirmed both experimentally and theoretically that nanomaterials can exhibit much higher strength and/or hardness than their bulk parental counterparts, not only under general ambient conditions but also under high rate shock loadings. A recent Science paper has reported that ultra-high strength can be achieved for nanocrystalline materials under shock loading. Furthermore, composites allow for the combination of multiple advanced properties to produce a customisable behaviour. The increased utilization of such advanced ceramic composites under dynamic loading conditions requires an improved understanding of the relationship between high-rate/shockwave response as a function of micro-structure and even nano-structure. The corresponding relationship for single-phase materials is very different. In this context, three key Themes characterize the research: (1) design and synthesis of advanced nanocomposite materials; (2) elucidation and full (or fundamental) understanding of the nanostructure - shock response relationship; (3) prediction of the nanocomposites performance.


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Related Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Award Value
EP/G039879/1 16/07/2009 30/07/2010 £482,615
EP/G039879/2 Transfer EP/G039879/1 31/07/2010 30/07/2014 £397,138
Description We used the first in-situ experiment to confirm the shock absorbing effect of the nanocomposites.
Exploitation Route New materials manufacturing sectors.
Sectors Aerospace, Defence and Marine

Description National Institute for Materials Science 
Organisation National Institute for Materials Sciences
Country Japan 
Sector Academic/University 
Start Year 2004