Li and Hu Awarded NSF Grant to Study Challenges in Creating Materials that are Both Stronger and Tougher

Li and Hu Awarded NSF Grant to Study Challenges in Creating Materials that are Both Stronger and Tougher

Li and Hu Awarded NSF Grant to Study Challenges in Creating Materials that are Both Stronger and Tougher


The National Science Foundation (NSF) awarded University of Maryland (UMD) Associate Professor Teng Li (Mechanical Engineering) and Assistant Professor Liangbing Hu (Materials Science and Engineering) a new grant to address challenges in developing smaller materials that are both stronger and tougher. Li will serve as principal investigator (PI) on the new grant—The Science Underpinning Anomalous Scaling Laws of Strength and Toughness in Nanocellulose Materials—and Hu will be the co-PI.

The quest for smaller materials that are both strong and tough is ongoing challenge in advanced material design. Unfortunately, these two mechanical properties are often mutually exclusive. For metals and alloys, their toughness is usually inversely proportional to their strength, and as a result, designing strong and tough materials is a compromise.

So far, an effective and efficient approach to addressing the conflict of strength versus toughness still remains elusive. The team's project aims to shed light on a strategy that could resolve the conflict by looking into the fundamental science and properties of cellulose nanopaper. Cellulose nanopaper demonstrates the unique and desirable feature of getting stronger and tougher as the cellulose fiber size decreases. These unique features, combined with cellulose nanopaper's biodegradability, low-cost and scalable manufacturing, can have significant impacts on the bottom-up design of high performance materials with the desired mechanical properties. 

The research team plans to carry out a systematic framework that will integrate multi-scale mechanics modeling and complementary experiments to establish a quantitative understanding of the mechanical properties of cellulose nanopaper that make it both strong and tough. This fundamental understanding will provide a solid foundation to motivate and enable research on generalizing the underpinning mechanism(s) of attaining both strength and toughness to guide the exploration of a class of strong and tough materials with other highly desirable multi-functionalities. 

Related Articles:
Shrestha Receives 2015 NSF Graduate Research Fellowship
Larsson Receives NSF CAREER Award
Jewell Named Presidential Early Career Award Recipient
Shoukry Wins NSF CAREER Award
UMD to Lead Milestone NSF High School Engineering Pilot Course
What Does a Pair of Dice Have to Do With Disaster Recovery?
Davis to Serve as Faculty Mentor for NSF-Funded Global STEWARDS Program
Fischell Department of Bioengineering Launches REU Program
UMD Resilience Experts Awarded NSF Grant to Accelerate Disaster Recovery
Bridging the Gap between Microelectronics, Biological Systems

September 22, 2014


Prev   Next

Current Headlines

Behtash Babadi Wins Clark School's Junior Faculty Teaching Award

Accepting Applications for Student Entrepreneurship Fellowship

Discoveries from NASA's Parker Solar Probe published in Nature

Rama Chellappa Wins 2020 IEEE Jack S. Kilby Signal Processing Medal

New Report Recommends a Path for the Future of Maryland’s Clean Energy Economy

Clark professors Wu, Liu named National Academy of Inventors Fellows

Additive Manufacturing and Ni-Ti Metal Bolster Cooling Technology

Additive Manufacturing and Ni-Ti Metal Bolster Cooling Technology

News Resources

Return to Newsroom

Search News

Archived News

Events Resources

Events Calendar