Materials modelling and simulation are cross-cutting technologies with potential benefits for defence capabilities. 35 experts from national ministries, European institutions, industry and academia participated in an EDA workshop to discuss current and future areas of application in defence on 27 January 2015.
Materials modelling is becoming well-established in the civil and military domains. As conducting experiments is costly and often difficult owing to environmental constraints (high strain rate, high temperature, hazardous environments), integrating materials modelling with experimental programmes yields benefits.
The main objective of the workshop on Materials & Structures Modelling & Simulation (M&S2) was to identify the potential impact of these technologies on defence. The workshop concentrated on discussing active and future directions on materials modelling around four key topics: new materials, new structures, new processes and defence specific phenomena.
Generally speaking, two main topics related to polymer composites and ceramic materials came out of the discussions:
- There is a need to provide diagnostic and prognostic methods for structures and also relevant characterisation of defence and dual-use specific phenomena, such as ageing, fatigue stress, impact damage, etc.; and
- In order to improve the materials performance under extreme conditions, a better understanding of their behaviour at atomic and molecular level is needed. Therefore, there is a need to further develop modelling at nanoscale level which could be integrated in mesoscale models, described in the microscale until reaching current macroscale.
These ideas will be used by the EDA Materials & Structures expert groups in order to provide inputs for different initiatives, and also for building a roadmap for the achievement of the identified research & technology goals, and future update of the Strategic Research Agenda on materials & structures.