Prof Laurent Stainier, Research Institute in Civil & Mechanical Engineering, Ecole Centrale Nantes, France

When Feb 24, 2020
from 02:00 PM to 03:00 PM
Where LR1
Contact Name
Contact Phone 01865 273651
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Hydrogen embrittlement is arguably one of the biggest threats to the integrity of our engineering infrastructure. Hydrogen is ubiquitous and causes catastrophic failures in metallic components. The ductility and fracture resistance are drastically reduced in the presence of hydrogen and these effects increase with material strength. High strength steels exhibit hydrogen assisted cracking in otherwise benign environments (e.g., due to humidity) and a significant fracture toughness reduction with hydrogen concentration (by up to 90%!). Decades of metallurgical progress are effectively compromised by the effect of hydrogen and a problem that was mostly bounded to aggressive environments, e.g. oil and gas extraction, is now pervasive in numerous applications, from bridges to cars.

The speaker and his collaborators have been engaged in the development of models capable of predicting hydrogen assisted cracking as a function of the environment, the material and the loading conditions. To solve this longstanding challenge, research efforts were focused on four fronts: (1) the mechanisms of hydrogen embrittlement, (2) the plastic response at the small scales involved in crack tip deformation, (3) the characterization of hydrogen transport and the electrochemistry-diffusion interface, and (4) the development of robust numerical methods for crack propagation. The combination of these efforts into a mechanism-based framework for hydrogen embrittlement led to an unprecedented level of agreement with experimental measurements. The promising results achieved over a wide range of scenarios have attracted the interest of industrial partners and technical standards organizations, paving the way to extending the success of Virtual Testing in the automotive and aeronautical industries to hydrogen-sensitive applications.




Emilio Martínez Pañeda is a Lecturer and 1851 Research Fellow at Imperial College London. Before, he has a Research Fellow at the Cambridge Centre for Micromechanics (University of Cambridge), led by Profs. Norman Fleck FRS FREng and Vikram Deshpande. During this 6-year academic career, Emilio has published 27 scientific papers (h-index: 13), supervised 6 PhD students and attracted and managed over £1M in research funding. Emilio has been the recipient of a number of competitive fellowships such as the 1851 Research Fellowships, the Marie Curie Individual Fellowship, the H.C. Ørsted Fellowship or the Wolfson College Junior Research Fellowship. His current research interests lie in the field of applied mechanics; more specifically in metal plasticity, fracture mechanics, coupled diffusion-deformation theories, and computational mechanics. Emilio’s work has been recognized through several awards, including the Acta Student Award, the Springer PhD Thesis Prize, the Brunel Award, the Keith Miller Prize and the Extraordinary Doctoral Prize for the Best PhD Thesis in Engineering