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Di Xie

Di Xie.What is your thesis topic?
My thesis title is “In-situ Diffraction Studies of the Fatigue Behavior in Magnesium Alloys,” and my efforts are focused on investigating the roles of the surrounding plasticity and fracture-process zone in fatigue experiments of magnesium (Mg) alloys through combining fatigue crack growth studies with in-situ, nondestructive measurements and micromechanical modeling studies. My research is aimed at allowing us to bridge the gap between microscopic failure processes and macroscopic fatigue crack growth properties.

How is materials processing involved in your research?
Processing and applications of magnesium alloys are mostly focused on the improvement of their mechanical properties through heat treatment or alloy design. However, there is a huge knowledge gap between this emphasis on property enhancements and the feasibility and integrity of processing and applying Mg alloys. The fundamental understanding of the failure mechanism is essential for preventing the occurrence of the failure in processing Mg alloys. We seek to establish the relationship between macroscopic properties and microstructural failure mechanisms through a synergistic study of experiments using in situ diffraction techniques and micromechanical modeling of the fatigue behavior of advanced Mg alloys.

Provide an example of where the material, process, or properties you are studying might find an application.
Mg alloys are low-density alloys of interest to the automotive and aerospace industries due to the ever-increasing demand for weight reduction and, consequently, fuel savings. The limited knowledge of materials failure mechanisms, however, places the ultimate restrictions on the technological viability of Mg alloys. Our theoretical/experimental synergistic efforts will help achieve a fundamental mechanistic understanding of relevant materials failure issues, enabling us to address some key technical hurdles and improve the practical application of lightweight alloys.