Research

Current Research

We developing experimental techniques to improve the toughness of secondary bonding of carbon/epoxy composites. The techniques include the use of laser for surface treatment, and insertion of additively-manufactured thermoplastic films in adhesive bondline in attempt to trigger mechanical interlocking.​ The role of extrinsic toughening, i.e. ligament, is elucidated. Finite element framework for simulating ligament formation due to surface heterogeneity or thermoplastic film is developed. This project is part of a collaboration between KAUST and University of Calabria-Italy. ​​​​​
Imaging technology and numerical techniques allow us for tracking the deformation fields of a heterogeneous material under mechanical loading based on stage-by-stage images. Full-field measurement based on image correlation technology provides a greater insight into detailed, local material properties (in a certain observation area or volume, utilizing selected inverse techniques) as well as failure mechanism. We develop simple and easy-to-use optical techniques and robust identification techniques that can efficiently process 3-D full-field data. 
We develop finite element framework of different length-scales (micro- and mesoscale) in order to study damage mechanism of continuous fiber-reinforced thermoplastic composites. At micro-scale, the size of unit cell (RVE) is determined rigorously by two-point probability function and Hill-Mandell kinematics. Transverse and shear failure in glass/polypropylene at microscale are simulated. Mesoscale models under in-plane tension and out-of-plane (quasi-static indentation) loads is also developed. Strain-rate dependent damage models are proposed in this work. ​​​​​​
The conductive polymer fibers produced by wet-spinning and solvent doping/dedoping exhibit high electrical conductivity, high current density, high tensile strength and Young’s modulus, good flexibility and stretchability, excellent electrical and mechanical stability. We fabricate and apply these high-performance fibers for fabricating stretchable electrodes in electronic circuit, wearable sensors for health monitoring, fast response wearable heating elements, low-voltage driven contractile actuators and multifunctional fiber-reinforced composites.​​
Carbon Fiber Reinforced Plastic (CFRP) is a well-known composite materials for structural applications. Carbon-based nanomaterials, metallic nanoparticles along with a new generation of conductive polymers are some of the promising fillers that can be added to CFRP to tailor their mechanical, electrical and thermal properties. We design and process nano reinforced materials and investigate their behavior by several characterization techniques including microscopy, x-ray tomography, mechanical analysis, thermal analysis, electrical conductivity measurements and coupled electromechanical analysis. 
We develop experimental techniques useful to study damage development in thermoplastic-based composite materials at macro-scale and micro-scale. We perform a complete set of mechanical and thermal characterizations for glass/polypropylene. Tensile, shear, quasi-static indentation and low-velocity impact are performed. In situ characterization using fiber Bragg gratings to monitor the processing glass/polypropylene is developed. This project is funded by SABIC (Saudi Arabia Basic Industries Corporation).  ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​
Composite structures are designed to experience severe circumstances in terms of both mechanical loading and environmental conditions. On the short or long term this will eventually lead to degradations of the structure. Understanding the related mechanisms is fundamental to composite materials. Here, we explore the durability of composite materials, and develop structural health monitoring (SHM) technique utilizing fiber Bragg gratings embedded in the composite system. ​​​​​
We develop a specific gluing technique, called as morphing method, to couple continuum and nonlocal mechanics models for predicting the material failure. The morphing method couples both models in the level of constitutive parameters in terms of the conservation of strain energy. This capability makes coupling easier to be applied to a complex structure. In addition, this method is easily transferable and nonintrusive for commercial environments. ​​​