Steven Yang and Davin Bahk presented some of their latest work at the Undergraduate Research Symposium on Thursday, April 27. They are working on developing the cavitation rheology technique to determine the failure behavior of ultra-soft materials, materials that are difficult or otherwise impossible to characterize using traditional failure testing techniques.
As part of the Mechanical and Industrial Engineering department’s departmental seminar series, Prof. Hutchens gave a talk on injection-initiated fracture, also known as the cavitation rheology technique. She presented on how to obtain fracture energy for ultrasoft materials, having < kPa moduli, as detailed in her recent Soft Matter article with postdoc advisor Al Crosby. She then showed recent results on quantifying and predicting crack morphologies obtained by undergraduate researcher Steven Yang.
Prof. Hutchens received funding for work entitled “Experimental Measurement of Tearing and Cutting in Highly Deformable Solids Relating to the Mechanical Origin of Crack Blunting-Mediated Toughness.” This work aims to elucidate crack-tip mediated mechanisms governing fracture in rubbery materials by controlling the geometry of the crack-tip using experimental cutting techniques. Work will be extended to needle-mediated cutting and puncture. These experiments will provide undergraduate students the opportunity to learn cutting-edge mechanical testing techniques.