Materials Theory has launched

Our exciting new journal, Materials Theory, has now started publishing

Materials science research is booming, driven by the discovery and engineering of new materials that hold exciting potential. Key to such a burgeoning field is good quality theoretical research. With this in mind, we are delighted to announce the launch of Materials Theory, a new open access journal from SpringerOpen. The first articles are available to read now at the journal homepage.

In his inaugural editorial for the journal, Editor-in-Chief Anter El-Azab addresses the need within the materials community for a venue to publish theory-oriented research. He writes:

“The theory of materials will … play a major role in advancing materials science, not only at the level of developing mathematical models describing the ever increasing complexity of materials, but also in enabling predictive data driven materials research”

You can read his full editorial, entitled “Why Materials Theory?” here.

The inaugural editorial is accompanied by three papers from eminent authors in the field of materials theory. In their own words, the authors introduce their papers below.

Fracture as a material sink

Konstantin Volokh

A novel approach to modeling brittle fracture, with emphasis on brittle fracture of soft materials, is proposed. The original qualitative idea is that fracture is accompanied by a tiny loss of material in the vicinity of the crack. Such loss of material motivates coupling between the momenta and mass balance. The coupling, in turn, provides regularization of numerical simulations due to mass diffusion. Thus, the work presents a thermodynamically consistent finite strain theoretical framework for analysis of highly localized material failure — cracks.

A novel model of third phase inclusions on two phase boundaries

Michael Welland and Andrew Prudil

A novel mesoscopic model is developed for simulating a phase located on the interface of two other phases, by projecting the included phase onto the interface. The 3D behaviour of the system is captured by a 2D model, which drastically reduces the computational expense in a manner analogous to shell elements in mechanics simulations. The evolution of the system is driven primarily by interfacial energy and shows formation, growth, coarsening, coalescence, and migration of the included phase, leading to reduction of the system’s total energy. The model may be used to study phenomena from surface wetting to the formation of precipitates at grain boundaries and may have applications on length scales from water droplets on the surface of a car to grain boundary bubble networks in nuclear fuels.

Formulation of strongly non-local, non-isothermal dynamics for heterogeneous solids based on the GENERIC with application to phase-field modeling

Markus Hütter and Bob Svendsen

The majority of material models to date is spatially local or weakly non-local, the latter implying interactions between volume elements that are in immediate proximity of each other. However, recently, there is increased interest in material models that are strongly non-local, e.g. phase-field crystal models, or in general systems with long-range interactions. In this paper, nonequilibrium thermodynamics is used to formulate non-isothermal models for strongly non-local conservative and non-conservative dynamics in solid systems. Finally, it is shown how, from this general class of models, (i) weakly non-local models can be recovered as special cases, and (ii) a strongly non-local phase-field crystal model can be generalized to the non-isothermal setting.

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