Adaptive Control of Microstructure from the Microscale to the Macroscale
This research will develop the understanding and methods necessary to generate and interpret experimental and simulated descriptions of microstructural transformation during thermo-mechanical processing, and then to apply the necessary control of processing conditions to generate a prescribed microstructure in the alloy Ti-6%Al-4%. Real-time scanning electron microscope observations and mechanical property measurements during thermo-mechanical deformation will be coupled to predictive simulations of microstructural evolution. Real-time adjustment of the evolving microstructure will then be enabled through adaptive control of the temperature and strain history using model-based feed-forward control and measurement-based feedback control. Furthermore, through working with an established set of industrial collaborators, this new knowledge will be translated into macro scale applications. The overall intellectual significance of this work is thus the synthesis of experimental characterization, process control, and microstructure simulation to predict, monitor and control microstructural evolution during thermo-mechanical processing, and the scaling of laboratory tests to macro-scale applications. The major broader focus will be on training the next-generation workforce to be skilled in the integrated experiment-simulation-data approach epitomized by the Materials Genome Initiative.