Designing in situ and ex situ bulk metallic glass composites via spark plasma sintering in the super cooled liquid state
The objective of the CaliBaja Center for Resilient Materials and Systems (Centro CaliBaja de Materiales y Sistemas Resilientes) is to support and promote research activities and technology development in the CaliBaja region, with emphasis in three strong technology sectors of the region, aerospace, biomedical devices, and manufacturing, as well as to connect the humanities, environmental sciences, and social sciences to promote bi-national student mobility and scientific collaborations.
The Center brings together a multidisciplinary team of researchers and scholars that are highly responsive to:
- The challenge of designing materials and systems for extreme environments such as those found in a variety of engineering applications (i.e., ultra-high temperatures, extreme pressures and deformations, radiation, acidic conditions, etc.).
- The challenge of exploring the extreme social and economic contrasts found along the Tijuana-San Diego border, the busiest border in the world, a place where social extremes collide and converge to form a unique social fabric and an emerging bi-national identity.
Both challenges require human capital highly versed in the newest technologies and with a cultural understanding that can promote effective links between the two sides of the border. Thus, our Center is built around the concept of designing new materials and systems for extreme environments, as well as educating a technology-focused workforce for a thriving 21st century bi-national region.
In the area of technology development, improvement and continued innovation of advanced technologies for aerospace, energy, nuclear, biomedical, and national security applications, is critically dependent on the design and performance enhancement of new materials and devices. In particular, unique materials are required that can withstand extremes in stress, strain, temperature, pressure, chemical reactivity, photon or radiation flux, and electric or magnetic fields. For example, boosting the efficiency of fossil fuel power plants from the current level of 35% to 60% requires raising operating temperatures by nearly 50% and essentially doubling the operating pressures. These operating conditions require new materials that can reliably withstand the extreme heat, pressure, and highly corrosive environments of a power plant for long periods of time. For fission nuclear reactors the effect of irradiation damage must be added to the extreme conditions. In addition, innovative composite biomaterials are needed for the development of new biomedical devices, systems in which the biomolecules will be placed out of their normal physiological environment and connected with specific inorganic materials to create new sensors, actuators, or energy sources.
Understanding how these extreme environments affect the physical and chemical processes that occur in materials can open the door to the design of entirely new classes of materials and devices with greatly enhanced performance. At the same time, advances in characterization and computational tools can provide an unprecedented opportunity to elucidate these key mechanisms. This knowledge would ultimately allow atomic and molecular structures to be manipulated in a predictable manner to create new technologies that have extraordinary tolerance and can function within an extreme environment without degradation. Further, it would provide revolutionary capabilities for manufacturing materials and devices with novel structures.
The intent is to foster cutting-edge research, commercial development, educational opportunities and student mobility, and industry/community outreach that is highly aligned with the research themes of “Understanding and Protecting the Planet” and “Enriching Human Life and Society” as described in UC San Diego’s Strategic Plan, as well as regional interests and strengths in aerospace (http://www.bajaaerospace.org), manufacturing (http://calibaja.com), and medical device development through the Baja Medical Device Cluster.