Alejandro Toro, Ph.D. | Medellin, Columbia
Loewy Visiting Professor
Alejandro has been exploring the science of friction and surfaces in relative motion, or tribology, using high resolution electron microscopes to study the structure of snake skin. Snakes manage friction and wear quite efficiently while sliding over many different surfaces, and Alejandro works to understand the mechanisms for their success. Modeling the morphology, or form and structure, of snake skin’s regular, periodic patterns of geometrical features offers interesting possibilities for friction control in industrial systems. Mimicking those mechanics in the surface texture of industrial components may help distribute stress, release heat, minimize wear, and make industry and biomedical systems more efficient and environmentally friendly. Some of the same factors may have application in biomedical systems as well, especially orthopedic implants, where a reduction in friction may improve biocompatibility.
Alejandro greatly enjoyed his visit to IMF. The high standards and daily excitement of the research group have motivated him to start a new lab at his school, focused on additive manufacturing for tribology applications.
Timotius Pasang, Ph.D. | Auckland, New Zealand
Loewy Visiting Professor
In his most recent segment of time at Lehigh, early in 2015, Tim continued his work on welding titanium alloys and dissimilar metals, machining titanium alloys and biomaterials, and exploring superalloys for aerospace applications. The work on titanium welding has resulted in journal publications, drawing on great IMF work to understand why beta titanium alloys have lower hardness (strength) in the weld zone. The dissimilar alloys studies have opened new research directions, particularly grain orientations and phase identifications. Tim looks forward to performing more similar and/or dissimilar joining – fusion welding and solid state welding – on some new and more exotic materials, such as niobium, tantalum, and nitinol, materials that are increasingly important in biomedical, superconductor, and nuclear magnetic resonance imaging areas.
Tim’s work at Lehigh with Professor Misiolek and the IMF team, supported by the Loewy Family Foundation, have had a direct impact on his career in research. His own university has been very pleased with these collaborations, and will strongly support future engagement with the IMF.
Henry Sigvart Valberg, Ph.D. | Trondheim, Norway
Henry is writing his second textbook. His first served teaching at the graduate level, but this one is geared for researchers in academia and industry exploring analysis and optimization of metal forming operations. This book will show how experimental work can improve modern finite element method analysis used to characterize the mechanics of the deformation process. Henry is also running a short course on how to model deformation processes by finite element analysis for five graduate students as well as researching aluminum and magnesium alloy behavior in conventional and continuous hot extrusion.
Henry’s early publications have been influential in international materials science, to the point that researchers are starting to call some metal deformation processes “Valberg’s technique,” even as his own scientific horizons continue to grow. IMF’s friendly atmosphere and its members’ eagerness and interest inspire Henry’s new research with plastic deformation of magnesium. He would like to write a third technical book, dealing mainly with the technology of aluminum extrusion.
André Luiz de Moraes Costa, Ph.D. | Aracaju, Brazil
André came to Lehigh on sabbatical, drawn by his admiration for IMF work over the years. He has been working with numerical simulation, describing the metal flow of aluminum alloys hot extruded to less than a millimeter in diameter, and identifying the main parameters influencing the soundness of the products. He hopes that his work will provide data for new theoretical approaches to help select parameters in microextrusion, a process he expects to increase in importance in small mechanical component manufacture.
André draws inspiration from IMF presentations and discussions, when team members share their findings and progress in different areas of materials science, and hopes to consolidate a high level research group at his university back home in Brazil.