Structure property relations are the basis for understanding material properties under loading conditions. This broad topic at the MCL can be exemplified with a recent project. Together with researchers from North Carolina State University and from University of Leoben, the MCL is working on structure-property-relations of piezo-ceramics. These ceramics intrinsically are capable to transfer mechanical stimuli to electric signals and vice versa, a property which enables a very broad range of applications in acting (e.g. nano-positioning) and sensing (e.g. vibration sensors). The material behaviour is investigated using high energy ex-ray diffraction while coupled mechanical and electrical load is applied. XRD allows for simultaneous characterization of stress, texture and phase while external load is applied and therefore a nearly full image of the influence of microstructure on function is gained.

This allowed to study the influence of applied load on the texture, which is known to have a large influence on the properties inside of the material. It was found that a one-time overload chances permanently the possibility of reorientation. With the same data it was possible to quantify the influence of texture on stress strain hysteresis. Using this information, new materials can be developed and the application scenarios can be improved.

Contact: Marco Deluca