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Researchers Develop Method to Stimulate Molecular Aging Process

Researchers developed a numerical method to stimulate molecular aging process, according to a study conducted on May 4, 2018.

This study was conducted by the researchers at the University of California. The newly developed numerical method can simulate the molecular aging process in amorphous materials such as concrete and glass. Using this technique, researchers will be able to understand how materials weaken with age and will be beneficial in developing materials that maintain their strength indefinitely.

According to the researchers, origin of aging is at the atomic and molecular levels, owing to which tracking microscopic changes over long periods becomes difficult. Mohammad Javad Abdolhosseini Qomi, assistant professor of civil and environmental engineering said, “In computer simulation of materials, you would have to simulate a quadrillion time steps to capture only one second of behavior. That would not even get us close to the time scales relevant for aging phenomena, which are in the order of years and decades.”

In the incremental stress-marching technique, researchers subject the material’s molecular structure to cyclic stress fluctuations and then, the material’s response to such perturbations was followed. Qomi and his research team are planning to use this newly developed technique to find the relationship between the composition and texture of structural materials and their time-dependent behavior.

Qomi said that over US$ 80 billion is spend by the Federal Highway Administration every year to fix bridges that degrade as a result of aging phenomena. Reduced aging materials can be designed by understanding how structural materials age.