Prof. Gao Huajian at School of MAE, in collaboration with researchers at Tsinghua University and Institute of Metals Research of Chinese Academy of Sciences, highlights the latest scientific advances on mechanical properties and deformation mechanisms of gradient nanostructured metals and alloys, an emerging class of crystalline materials with unprecedent properties, in a recent review study.
In contrast to conventional metallic materials, gradient nanostructured metals and alloys are characterized with one or more microstructural feature sizes (e.g. grain size, twin size, lamellar thickness) that exhibit spatial gradients. Such structural gradients can be designed to overcome property trade-offs in conventional material systems, alleviate stress concentrations or achieve specific functionalities. In this review, Gao and collaborators highlighted the relationships between structural gradients and various mechanical properties such as strength, ductility and work hardening, as well as some open issues and challenges that need to be addressed for the design and fabrication of high-performance gradient materials.