PhD Dissertation Defense by Ashley Goulding

Event Details
  • Date/Time:
    • Tuesday February 23, 2016 - Wednesday February 24, 2016
      12:00 pm - 2:59 pm
  • Location: Hightower Conference Room, MRDC 3515
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Summary Sentence: Implementing the Materials Genome Initiative: Best Practices for Developing Meaningful Experimental Data Sets in Aluminum-Zinc-Magnesium-Copper Alloys

Full Summary: No summary paragraph submitted.

Committee Members:

Dr. Richard Neu, ME/MSE (Co-Advisor)

Dr. Tom Sanders, MSE (Co-Advisor)

Dr. Preet Singh, MSE

Dr. David McDowell, ME/MSE
Dr. Seung-Kyum Choi, ME


Title: Implementing the Materials Genome Initiative: Best Practices for Developing Meaningful Experimental Data Sets in Aluminum-Zinc-Magnesium-Copper Alloys



In 2011, the White House announced The Materials Genome Initiative (MGI), which aims to cut down the time it takes to discover, develop, and manufacture new materials, including alloys are commonly used in advanced manufacturing processes. The initiative is aimed at developing a new material innovation infrastructure that leverages databases of known information with traditional and cutting-edge experimental testing capabilities to develop meaningful and accurate computational predictive tools for advanced materials.


This dissertation attempted to implement the goals of the MGI in commercial high-strength Al-Zn-Mg-Cu alloys that are typically utilized in aircraft. Here, the known body of work in this system over the last 50 years was examined to develop a Process-Structure-Properties-Performance (PSPP) map that provides a clear visual understanding of the design ‘space’ of the system. This map was then leveraged to design a large experimental testing matrix that was consistent and comparable. The goal was to gather experimental data that covered wide range of the design space and was well suited to developing meaningful computational predictive tools.

Eighteen large plates of 7050 aluminum which were each processed uniquely in a commercial production line and each large plate was then subdivided into 42 test coupons. Of the over 750 test coupons generated in this process, approximately 300 of them were machined into test specimens and evaluated in the work discussed here.


Microstructure characterization, including both optical and high-resolution scanning electron microscopy, was conducted to collect information about the grain characteristics, the strengthening precipitates located in the interior of the grains, and the morphology and local electrochemistry of the grain boundaries in the material. A wide variety of standardized tests were also conducted to evaluate the mechanical properties of the material, including tensile tests, plane-strain fracture toughness tests, and potentiodynamic polarization tests. In addition to the data, which is reported here in summary and included in full in an affiliated data repository, this dissertation evaluates the effectiveness of the different tests and procedures that were conducted and suggests best practices for the collection of meaningful experimental data sets that can be used in the development of computational predictive tools for advanced materials.

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PhD Dissertation Defense
  • Created By: Jacquelyn Strickland
  • Workflow Status: Published
  • Created On: Feb 19, 2016 - 12:03pm
  • Last Updated: Oct 7, 2016 - 10:16pm