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ASU Electronic Theses and Dissertations


This collection includes most of the ASU Theses and Dissertations from 2011 to present. ASU Theses and Dissertations are available in downloadable PDF format; however, a small percentage of items are under embargo. Information about the dissertations/theses includes degree information, committee members, an abstract, supporting data or media.

In addition to the electronic theses found in the ASU Digital Repository, ASU Theses and Dissertations can be found in the ASU Library Catalog.

Dissertations and Theses granted by Arizona State University are archived and made available through a joint effort of the ASU Graduate College and the ASU Libraries. For more information or questions about this collection contact or visit the Digital Repository ETD Library Guide or contact the ASU Graduate College at gradformat@asu.edu.


Date Range
2011 2020


Shock loading produces a compressive stress pulse with steep gradients in density, temperature, and pressure that are also often modeled as discontinuities. When a material is subject to these dynamic (shock) loading conditions, fracture and deformation patterns due to spall damage can arise. Spallation is a dynamic material failure that is caused by the nucleation, growth, and coalescence of voids, with possible ejection of the surface of the material. Intrinsic defects, such as grain boundaries are the preferred initiation sites of spall damage in high purity materials. The focus of this research is to study the phenomena that cause void …

Contributors
Fortin, Elizabeth Victoria, Peralta, Pedro, Mignolet, Marc, et al.
Created Date
2020

With the advancements in technology, it is now possible to synthesize new materials with specific microstructures, and enhanced mechanical and physical properties. One of the new class of materials are nanoscale metallic multilayers, often referred to as nanolaminates. Nanolaminates are composed of alternating, nanometer-thick layers of multiple materials (typically metals or ceramics), and exhibit very high strength, wear resistance and radiation tolerance. This thesis is focused on the fabrication and mechanical characterization of nanolaminates composed of Copper and Cobalt, two metals which are nearly immiscible across the entire composition range. The synthesis of these Cu-Co nanolaminates is performed using sputtering, …

Contributors
Rajarajan, Santhosh Kiran, Rajagopalan, Jagannathan, Oswald, Jay, et al.
Created Date
2019

Sn and Al alloys are widely used in various industries. Environmental-induced damage resulting in whiskering in Sn and corrosion in Al account for numerous failures globally every year. Therefore, for designing materials that can better withstand these failures, a comprehensive study on the characterization of the damage is necessary. This research implements advanced characterization techniques to study the above-mentioned environmental-induced damage in Sn and Al alloys. Tin based films are known to be susceptible to whisker growth resulting in numerous failures. While the mechanisms and factors affecting whisker growth have been studied extensively, not much has been reported on the …

Contributors
Vallabhaneni, venkata sathya sai renuka, Chawla, Nikhilesh, Rajagopalan, Jagannathan, et al.
Created Date
2017

The use of solar energy to produce power has increased substantially in the past few decades. In an attempt to provide uninterrupted solar power, production plants may find themselves having to operate the systems at temperatures higher than the operational capacity of the materials used in many of their components, which affects the microstructural and mechanical properties of those materials. Failures in components that have been exposed to these excessive temperatures have been observed during operations in the turbine used by AORA Solar Ltd. A particular component of interest was made of a material similar to the Ni-based superalloy Inconel …

Contributors
Shenoy, Sneha, Peralta, Pedro, Solanki, Kiran, et al.
Created Date
2017

The study of response of various materials to intense dynamic loading events, such as shock loading due to high-velocity impacts, is extremely important in a wide variety of military and industrial applications. Shock loading triggers extreme states, leading to high pressures and strain rates, and neglecting strength is a typical approximation under such conditions. However, recent results have shown that strength effects are larger than expected, so they must be taken into account. Recently, hydrodynamic instabilities, the most common being the Rayleigh-Taylor (RTI) and Richtmyer-Meshkov (RMI) instabilities, have been used to infer the dynamic strength of materials at high pressure …

Contributors
Gopalakrishnan, Ashish, Peralta, Pedro, Rajagopalan, Jagannathan, et al.
Created Date
2017

Nanocrystalline (NC) and Ultrafine-grained (UFG) metal films exhibit a wide range of enhanced mechanical properties compared to their coarse-grained counterparts. These properties, such as very high strength, primarily arise from the change in the underlying deformation mechanisms. Experimental and simulation studies have shown that because of the small grain size, conventional dislocation plasticity is curtailed in these materials and grain boundary mediated mechanisms become more important. Although the deformation behavior and the underlying mechanisms in these materials have been investigated in depth, relatively little attention has been focused on the inhomogeneous nature of their microstructure (particularly originating from the texture …

Contributors
Izadi, Ehsan, Rajagopalan, Jagannathan, Peralta, Pedro, et al.
Created Date
2017

Hydrodynamic phenomena such as the Rayleigh-Taylor (RT) and Richtmyer-Meshkov (RM) instabilities can be described by exponential/linear growth of surface perturbations at a bimaterial interface when subjected to constant/impulsive acceleration. A challenge in designing systems to mitigate or exploit these effects is the lack of accurate material models at large dynamic strain rates and pressures. In particular, little stress-strain constitutive information at large strain rates and pressures is available for transient material phases formed at high pressures, and the continuum effect the phase transformation process has on the instability evolution. In this work, a phase-aware isotropic strength model is developed and …

Contributors
Opie, Saul, Peralta, Pedro, Loomis, Eric, et al.
Created Date
2017

The exceptional mechanical properties of polymers with heterogeneous structure, such as the high toughness of polyethylene and the excellent blast-protection capability of polyurea, are strongly related to their morphology and nanoscale structure. Different polymer microstructures, such as semicrystalline morphology and segregated nanophases, lead to coordinated molecular motions during deformation in order to preserve compatibility between the different material phases. To study molecular relaxation in polyethylene, a coarse-grained model of polyethylene was calibrated to match the local structural variable distributions sampled from supercooled atomistic melts. The coarse-grained model accurately reproduces structural properties, e.g., the local structure of both the amorphous and …

Contributors
Li, Yiyang, Oswald, Jay, Rajan, Subramaniam, et al.
Created Date
2017

Aluminum alloys are ubiquitously used in almost all structural applications due to their high strength-to-weight ratio. Their superior mechanical performance can be attributed to complex dispersions of nanoscale intermetallic particles that precipitate out from the alloy’s solid solution and offer resistance to deformation. Although they have been extensively investigated in the last century, the traditional approaches employed in the past haven’t rendered an authoritative microstructural understanding in such materials. The effect of the precipitates’ inherent complex morphology and their three-dimensional (3D) spatial distribution on evolution and deformation behavior have often been precluded. In this study, for the first time, synchrotron-based …

Contributors
Kaira, Chandrashekara Shashank, Chawla, Nikhilesh, Solanki, Kiran, et al.
Created Date
2017

Characterization and modeling of deformation and failure in metallic materials under extreme conditions, such as the high loads and strain rates found under shock loading due to explosive detonation and high velocity-impacts, are extremely important for a wide variety of military and industrial applications. When a shock wave causes stress in a material that exceeds the elastic limit, plasticity and eventually spallation occur in the material. The process of spall fracture, which in ductile materials stems from strain localization, void nucleation, growth and coalescence, can be caused by microstructural heterogeneity. The analysis of void nucleation performed from a microstructurally explicit …

Contributors
Gautam, Sudrishti, Peralta, Pedro, Oswald, Jay, et al.
Created Date
2016

Polymer matrix composites (PMCs) are attractive structural materials due to their high stiffness to low weight ratio. However, unidirectional PMCs have low shear strength and failure can occur along kink bands that develop on compression due to plastic microbuckling that carry strains large enough to induce nonlinear matrix deformation. Reviewing the literature, a large fraction of the existing work is for uniaxial compression, and the effects of stress gradients, such as those present during bending, have not been as well explored, and these effects are bound to make difference in terms of kink band nucleation and growth. Furthermore, reports on …

Contributors
Patel, Jay K., Peralta, Pedro D, Oswald, Jay, et al.
Created Date
2016

Space systems such as communication satellites, earth observation satellites and telescope require accurate pointing to observe fixed targets over prolonged time. These systems typically use reaction wheels to slew the spacecraft and gimballing systems containing motors to achieve precise pointing. Motor based actuators have limited life as they contain moving parts that require lubrication in space. Alternate methods have utilized piezoelectric actuators. This paper presents Shape memory alloys (SMA) actuators for control of a deployable antenna placed on a satellite. The SMAs are operated as a series of distributed linear actuators. These distributed linear actuators are not prone to single …

Contributors
Sonawane, Nikhil, Thangavelautham, Jekanthan, Huang, Huei-Ping, et al.
Created Date
2016

Structural stability and performance of structural materials is important for energy production, whether renewable or non renewable, to have uninterrupted energy supply, that is economically feasible and safe. High temperature metallic materials used in the turbines of AORA, an Israel-based clean energy producer, often experience high temperature, high stress and foreign object damage (FOD). In this study, efforts were made to study the effects of FOD on the fatigue life of these materials and to understand their failure mechanisms. The foreign objects/debris recovered by AORA were characterized using Powder X-ray Diffraction (XRD) and Energy Dispersive Spectroscopy (EDS) to identify composition …

Contributors
Dobaria, Nirmal, Peralta, Pedro, Sieradzki, Karl, et al.
Created Date
2016

Improved knowledge connecting the chemistry, structure, and properties of polymers is necessary to develop advanced materials in a materials-by-design approach. Molecular dynamics (MD) simulations can provide tremendous insight into how the fine details of chemistry, molecular architecture, and microstructure affect many physical properties; however, they face well-known restrictions in their applicable temporal and spatial scales. These limitations have motivated the development of computationally-efficient, coarse-grained methods to investigate how microstructural details affect thermophysical properties. In this dissertation, I summarize my research work in structure-based coarse-graining methods to establish the link between molecular-scale structure and macroscopic properties of two different polymers. Systematically …

Contributors
Agrawal, Vipin, Oswald, Jay, Peralta, Pedro, et al.
Created Date
2016

Uranium Dioxide (UO2) is a significant nuclear fission fuel, which is widely used in nuclear reactors. Understanding the influence of microstructure on thermo-mechanical behavior of UO2 is extremely important to predict its performance. In particular, evaluating mechanical properties, such as elasticity, plasticity and creep at sub-grain length scales is key to developing this understanding as well as building multi-scale models of fuel behavior with predicting capabilities. In this work, modeling techniques were developed to study effects of microstructure on Young’s modulus, which was selected as a key representative property that affects overall mechanical behavior, using experimental data obtained from micro-cantilever …

Contributors
Gong, Bowen, Peralta, Pedro, Rajagopalan, Jagannathan, et al.
Created Date
2015

The objective of this research is to develop robust, accurate, and adaptive algorithms in the framework of the extended finite element method (XFEM) for fracture analysis of highly heterogeneous materials with complex internal geometries. A key contribution of this work is the creation of novel methods designed to automate the incorporation of high-resolution data, e.g. from X-ray tomography, that can be used to better interpret the enormous volume of data generated in modern in-situ experimental testing. Thus new algorithms were developed for automating analysis of complex microstructures characterized by segmented tomographic images. A centrality-based geometry segmentation algorithm was developed to …

Contributors
Yuan, Rui, Oswald, Jay, Chawla, Nikhilesh, et al.
Created Date
2015

Al 7075 alloys are used in a variety of structural applications, such as aircraft wings, automotive components, fuselage, spacecraft, missiles, etc. The mechanical and corrosion behavior of these alloys are dependent on their microstructure and the environment. Therefore, a comprehensive study on microstructural characterization and stress-environment interaction is necessary. Traditionally, 2D techniques have been used to characterize microstructure, which are inaccurate and inadequate since the research has shown that the results obtained in the bulk are different from those obtained on the surface. There now exist several techniques in 3D, which can be used to characterize the microstructure. Al 7075 …

Contributors
Singh, Sudhanshu Shekhar, Chawla, Nikhilesh, Alford, Terry, et al.
Created Date
2015

Hydrogen embrittlement (HE) is a phenomenon that affects both the physical and chemical properties of several intrinsically ductile metals. Consequently, understanding the mechanisms behind HE has been of particular interest in both experimental and modeling research. Discrepancies between experimental observations and modeling results have led to various proposals for HE mechanisms. Therefore, to gain insights into HE mechanisms in iron, this dissertation aims to investigate several key issues involving HE such as: a) the incipient crack tip events; b) the cohesive strength of grain boundaries (GBs); c) the dislocation-GB interactions and d) the dislocation mobility. The crack tip, which presents …

Contributors
Adlakha, Ilaksh, Solanki, Kiran, Mignolet, Marc, et al.
Created Date
2015

Shock loading is a complex phenomenon that can lead to failure mechanisms such as strain localization, void nucleation and growth, and eventually spall fracture. The length scale of damage with respect to that of the surrounding microstructure has proven to be a key aspect in determining sites of failure initiation. Studying incipient stages of spall damage is of paramount importance to accurately determine initiation sites in the material microstructure where damage will nucleate and grow and to formulate continuum models that account for the variability of the damage process due to microstructural heterogeneity, which is the focus of this research. …

Contributors
Brown, Andrew David, Peralta, Pedro, Peralta, Pedro, et al.
Created Date
2015

Fracture phenomena have been extensively studied in the last several decades. Continuum mechanics-based approaches, such as finite element methods and extended finite element methods, are widely used for fracture simulation. One well-known issue of these approaches is the stress singularity resulted from the spatial discontinuity at the crack tip/front. The requirement of guiding criteria for various cracking behaviors, such as initiation, propagation, and branching, also poses some challenges. Comparing to the continuum based formulation, the discrete approaches, such as lattice spring method, discrete element method, and peridynamics, have certain advantages when modeling various fracture problems due to their intrinsic characteristics …

Contributors
Chen, Hailong, Liu, Yongming, Jiao, Yang, et al.
Created Date
2015

The United States Department of Energy (DOE) has always held the safety and reliability of the nation's nuclear reactor fleet as a top priority. Continual improvements and advancements in nuclear fuels have been instrumental in maximizing energy generation from nuclear power plants and minimizing waste. One aspect of the DOE Fuel Cycle Research and Development Advanced Fuels Campaign is to improve the mechanical properties of uranium dioxide (UO2) for nuclear fuel applications. In an effort to improve the performance of UO2, by increasing the fracture toughness and ductility, small quantities of oxide materials have been added to samples to act …

Contributors
McDonald, Robert Edward, Peralta, Pedro, Rajagopalan, Jagannathan, et al.
Created Date
2014

Fission products in nuclear fuel pellets can affect fuel performance as they change the fuel chemistry and structure. The behavior of the fission products and their release mechanisms are important to the operation of a power reactor. Research has shown that fission product release can occur through grain boundary (GB) at low burnups. Early fission gas release models, which assumed spherical grains with no effect of GB diffusion, did not capture the early stage of the release behavior well. In order to understand the phenomenon at low burnup and how it leads to the later release mechanism, a microstructurally explicit …

Contributors
Lim, Harn Chyi, Peralta, Pedro, Jiang, Hanqing, et al.
Created Date
2014

Aluminum alloys and their composites are attractive materials for applications requiring high strength-to-weight ratios and reasonable cost. Many of these applications, such as those in the aerospace industry, undergo fatigue loading. An understanding of the microstructural damage that occurs in these materials is critical in assessing their fatigue resistance. Two distinct experimental studies were performed to further the understanding of fatigue damage mechanisms in aluminum alloys and their composites, specifically fracture and plasticity. Fatigue resistance of metal matrix composites (MMCs) depends on many aspects of composite microstructure. Fatigue crack growth behavior is particularly dependent on the reinforcement characteristics and matrix …

Contributors
Hruby, Peter, Chawla, Nikhilesh, Solanki, Kiran, et al.
Created Date
2014

Recently, the use of zinc oxide (ZnO) nanowires as an interphase in composite materials has been demonstrated to increase the interfacial shear strength between carbon fiber and an epoxy matrix. In this research work, the strong adhesion between ZnO and carbon fiber is investigated to elucidate the interactions at the interface that result in high interfacial strength. First, molecular dynamics (MD) simulations are performed to calculate the adhesive energy between bare carbon and ZnO. Since the carbon fiber surface has oxygen functional groups, these were modeled and MD simulations showed the preference of ketones to strongly interact with ZnO, however, …

Contributors
Galan Vera, Magdian Ulises, Sodano, Henry A, Jiang, Hanqing, et al.
Created Date
2013

With increasing concerns of the intrinsic toxicity of lead (Pb) in electronics, a series of tin (Sn) based alloys involving silver (Ag) and copper (Cu) have been proposed as replacements for Pb-Sn solder and widely accepted by industry. However, they have a higher melting point and often exhibit poorer damage tolerance than Pb-Sn alloys. Recently, a new class of alloys with trace amount of rare-earth (RE) elements has been discovered and investigated. In previous work from Prof. Chawla's group, it has been shown that cerium (Ce)-based Pb-free solder are less prone to oxidation and Sn whiskering, and exhibit desirable attributes …

Contributors
Xie, Huxiao, Chawla, Nikhilesh, Krause, Stephen, et al.
Created Date
2012

Pb-free solders are used as interconnects in various levels of micro-electronic packaging. Reliability of these interconnects is very critical for the performance of the package. One of the main factors affecting the reliability of solder joints is the presence of porosity which is introduced during processing of the joints. In this thesis, the effect of such porosity on the deformation behavior and eventual failure of the joints is studied using Finite Element (FE) modeling technique. A 3D model obtained by reconstruction of x-ray tomographic image data is used as input for FE analysis to simulate shear deformation and eventual failure …

Contributors
Jakkali, Vaidehi, Chawla, Nikhilesh K, Jiang, Hanqing, et al.
Created Date
2011