Lightweighting vehicles, infrastructure, and products, while maintaining or enhancing performance, promises to positively impact energy sustainability with numerous potential applications in both defense and civilian sectors. Consequently, the design and manufacture of lightweight metals (for example Al and Mg alloys, and advanced high strength steels) with superior combinations of properties in the finished product are of utmost importance.
Georgia Tech faculty have employed an integrated approach that brings together expertise in materials science, manufacturing, product design, and data/information sciences to address this grand challenge (hyperlink to core strength in structural materials).
As fuel costs and and environmental concerns continue to mount, so does the demand for composite materials for aerospace and transportation applications. Polymer composites are inherently of lower density than their metallic counterparts, resulting in significant weight reduction of the aircraft/vehicle which translates into improved fuel efficiency, less air pollution and smaller carbon footprint. In addition, composites facilitate manufacture and assembly of geometrically complex components, do not fail catastrophically, and offer improved resistance to corrosive environments.
Georgia Tech has a rich tradition of excellence in composite materials and structures, and is an internationally recognized leader in developing cost-effective, high-performance composites. Built on a deep understanding of constituent materials and how they interact in fabrication and throughout the entire life cycle, the Georgia Tech Advanced Fibers and Nanocomposites (AFN) Group develops innovative technologies and solutions for its sponsors and customers in such sectors as aerospace, automotive, defense, materials, medical devices and prosthetics.
Georgia Tech has a very active research profile in the nanocomposite films and fibers. All types of carbon nanotubes and a variety of other nanomaterials are being used in these methods and approaches.