Project description

This project is focused on the modeling and simulation of novel and hierarchical metal-polymer composites at the nanoscale. Within the framework of advanced non-linear continuum mechanics, fundamental mathematical and thermodynamic principles are used to develop suitable material models which allow for precise numerical prediction of the micromechanical behavior of materials under the consideration of the relevant underlying physical processes. One important aspect is the variation of elastic composite properties due to an applied electrical voltage. Special emphasis is placed on the validation of the material model using experimental data and by close collaboration with other subprojects which have an experimental orientation.

Advanced continuum mechanics theories are being developed to account for physical phenomena disregarded by classical continuum mechanics. Originally, individual parameters had to be introduced without the ability to identify these parameters by experiments. Thanks to the ongoing technological advances accompanied by up-to-date research evidence, characteristic parameters of physical motivated theories are no longer uncertain. The correlation to experimental measurements became a cornerstone in the research field of advanced continuum mechanics.

Nanoporous metals are characterized by an extreme high surface-to-volume ratio. Even nanoscopic changes of surface conditions result in huge modification of the macroscopic deformation behavior. The surface modification is caused, among others, by the induced voltage and electrical interaction with charge carriers. Furthermore, this process is fully reversible whenever the electric potential is removed or reversed.



Project leader
Prof. Dr.-Ing. Swantje Bargmann,
University of Wuppertal

continuum mechanics


advanced material modeling

finite element method




1. J. Wilmers, A. McBride, S. Bargmann: Interface elasticity effects in polymer-filled nanoporous metals. Journal of the Mechanics and Physics of Solids 99, 163-177, 2017

2. L. Lührs, C. Soyarslan, J. Markmann, S. Bargmann, J. Weissmüller: Elastic and plastic Poisson’s ratio of nanoporous gold. Scripta Materialia 110, 65-69, 2016 – with B2

3. B. Elsner, S. Müller, S. Bargmann, J. Weißmüller: Surface excess elasticity of gold: ab initio coeffcients and impact on the effective elastic response of nanowires. Acta Materialia 124, 468-477, 2017 – with B2, B3

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