Solid Mechanics

Naval structures operate in severe environments in the presence of: high levels of moisture, sea water, hydrostatic pressure, temperature extremes, structure-fluid interactions and dynamic loading. The aim of the Solid Mechanics Program (SMP) is to understand and establish quantitative predictive models for the response and failure characteristics of naval structural materials subjected to three-dimensional loads (static, cyclic, and dynamic) in these severe environments. In the past, the SMP has supported research on deformation and failure of metals, especially in the areas of three-dimensional fracture, dynamic fracture, shear bands, mode coupling, etc. The current focus of the SMP is on marine composites and sandwich structures — and on understanding physical phenomena which we do not understand today — utilizing a combination of unique experiments, advanced theories and detailed computations. The fluid-structure coupling is an essential ingredient in these investigations. A noteworthy feature is the detailed delineation of highly dynamic failure processes in real-time using advanced optical techniques, innovative instrumentation and high speed photography. In view of recent, increasing access to the Arctic regions, the SMP is involved in studies of extreme cold temperature effects on composite structures.

Research Concentration Areas

  • Naval structures operate in sea water; consequently, an important area of research deals with sea water absorption, the effect of stress fields (including hydrostatic pressure) on sea water diffusion and environmentally induced damage evolution
  • Investigations are conducted into the effects of temperature extremes on marine composites and sandwich structures
  • Naval structures are designed to resist highly dynamic loading (shock, blast, impact, implosions); consequently, investigations into the dynamic response and failure of marine composites and sandwich structures, are an integral component of the SMP
  • Since Naval structures operating in the Arctic regions may be subjected to dynamic loading, subsequent to exposure to sea water, research is conducted to establish the coupled effects of environmental exposure and dynamic loading
  • Research into implosions in submerged composite structures is a new area of research, and current research includes implosions in composite and composite sandwich cylindrical shells
  • Innovative techniques for mitigating the adverse effects of shock, blast, impact and implosions are being explored in the SMP

Research Challenges and Opportunities

  • Establish the effect of extreme cold temperatures on dynamic response and failure
  • Establish the effect of stress fields on absorption of sea water and mechanical property degradation
  • Develop quantitative models for the coupled effects of sea water absorption, extreme temperatures and highly dynamic loading
  • Develop composite materials and composite sandwich structures for shock/blast mitigation
  • Utilize innovative techniques for mitigating implosion effects in submerged composite structures

Program Contact Information

Name: Dr. Yapa Rajapakse

Title: Program Officer

Department: Code 332

Email for Questions:

How to Submit

For detailed application and submission information for this research topic, please see our Funding Opportunities page and refer to broad agency announcement (BAA) No. N00014-21-S-B001.

  • Contracts: All white papers and full proposals for contracts must be submitted through FedConnect; instructions are included in the BAA.
  • Grants: All white papers for grants must be submitted through FedConnect, and full proposals for grants must be submitted through; instructions are included in the BAA.

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