Current Research Focuses:

  • Advanced Composite Materials
  • Fiber Optic Based-Structural Health Monitoring (SHM)
  • Crystal Growth, and Solidification
  • Meshless Computational Fluid Dynamics (in particular, Smoothed Particle Hydrodynamics, SPH)
  • Transport Phenomena in materials processing

Advanced Composite Materials

My current research in relation to the composite materials focus on (i) the design and manufacturing of advanced polymer based-composite structures using the Resin Transfer Molding (RTM) technique for applications in aircraft structures, (ii) monitor the RTM manufacturing process (i.e., resin flow and curing) using optical sensor arrays to ensure the high quality of manufactured components, and (iii) to use the same fiber-optic sensor arrays to manage the health of the structural component (damage detection, fatigue) during the service.

Due to their tailorable specific properties such as high strength-to-weight ratios, and inherent corrosion resistance, advanced composite materials are used in a variety of load bearing structures such as helicopter rotor blades, aircraft fuselage and wing structures. One of the manufacturing processes particularly suitable for manufacturing of composite components for applications in aircraft structures is Resin Transfer Molding method.

Composite materials used in aircraft structures are generally operating under harsh service conditions for long hours. The safety and reliability of aircraft structural components, known as structural integrity, depend on the prompt detection and repair of the damage or deterioration before these attain critical dimensions that lead to catastrophic failure. Therefore, structural health monitoring of these components is as important as the quality of manufacturing process. Structural Health Monitoring (SHM) is an emerging technology, dealing with the development of techniques and systems for the continuous monitoring, inspection and damage detection of structures, with minimum labor involvement. One of the biggest challenges is to find appropriate SHM technologies that can be used to manage the manufacturing process, and monitor the components for damage and fatigue conditions while in service.

Smoothed Particle Hydrodynamics

The objective of the research program is to develop a meshless computational tool for studying complex engineering problems such as multiphase flow, flow in porous media, solidification, etc.

SPH is an adaptive, mesh-free, Lagrangian numerical approximation technique used for modeling physical problems. Unlike Eulerian (mesh-dependent) computational techniques such as the finite difference, finite volume and finite element methods, SPH does not require a grid, as derivatives are approximated using a kernel (weighting) function. The continuum is represented by an ensemble of particles each carrying mass, momentum, and other relevant hydrodynamic properties. Although originally proposed to handle cosmological simulations, SPH has become increasingly generalized to handle many types of fluid and solid mechanics problems. Mesh dependent techniques suffers to a certain extent when tackling with problems that involve complex free surface, splashing, wake formation, and fluid-solid interactions. Modeling these types of flow problems is an exciting field of research and presents significant challenges to computational fluid dynamic (CFD). Owing to being a Lagrangian-based meshless particle technique, the SPH technique offers noticeable advantages for modeling such flows and also facilitates the simulation of highly distorted fluids/bodies. SPH advantages also include relatively easy modeling of complex material surface behavior, as well as relatively simple implementation of more complicated physics, such as solidification, free-surface flow, and multiphase flow.