Research

Research Interests

  • Materials for Extreme Dynamic Environments, High-throughput Experiments, Additive Manufacturing
  • Materials for Extreme Aerospace and Space Applications, Lightweight Metallic Shape Memory Materials
  • Mechanics of Materials, Materials Informatics, Automation, Sustainability, Propulsion Materials

Research areas

Focus Area 1: Design and Development of Lightweight Structural Alloys 

Focus Area 2: High-throughput Extreme Dynamic Experiments 

Focus Area 3: Metal Additive Manufacturing for Space applications 

Focus Area 4: Materials Informatics for Extreme Environments


Focus Area 1: Design and Development of Lightweight Structural Alloys 

Figure A: Deformation driven soluter clustering and precipitation in Magnesium alloys (link: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1359646222004195)

Synopsis: Metals play a vital role in many industries, ranging from microelectronics to large-scale construction. Researchers are constantly developing stronger, lighter, and more cost-effective metallic alloys through modifications in processing and chemistry. The study of metallic defects, such as vacancies, dislocations, twins, and grain boundaries, has dominated the research on crystalline metals for decades and the impact of these defects on metal failure is a major area of focus. Despite being referred to as “defects,” these features can sometimes be utilized to enhance metal performance. We can now strategically inject atomic-scale defects to tune metal properties in new ways. Light alloys of Aluminum (Al) and Magnesium (Mg) show great promise in structural applications, but their improvement has been uneven. Al alloys have seen significant improvement, but designing strong Mg alloys remains a challenge due to the complex hexagonal crystal system and plasticity mechanisms. The conventional aging process results in lower hardness in Mg alloys compared to Al alloys. Rare-earth alloys show potential for improving Mg alloys, but they are expensive and not readily available in some countries. The design of stronger Mg alloys is advancing through research on clustering and phase transformations. My recent work examines the Mg-Al and Mg-Zn alloy systems and shows that controlling atomic-scale defects, such as dislocations and vacancies, can significantly impact nucleation and solute clustering. Advances in characterization techniques and computational tools are providing a deeper understanding of these complex non-equilibrium phenomena.

Key Publications

  1. Strengthening magnesium by design: Integrating alloying and dynamic processing,
    SE Prameela, P Yi, Y Hollenweger, B. Liu, J Chen, L Kesckes, DM Kochmann, ML Falk, TP Weihs.
    Mechanics of Materials, 2022 [Link]

  2. Deformation assisted nucleation of continuous nanoprecipitates in Mg–Al alloys,
    SE Prameela, P Yi, B Medeiros, V Liu, LJ Kecskes, ML Falk, TP Weihs.
    Materiala, 2022 [Link]

  3. Strategic control of atomic-scale defects for tuning properties in metals,
    SE Prameela, P Yi, ML Falk, TP Weihs.
    Nature Reviews Physics, 2021 [Link]

  4. Dynamic precipitation and recrystallization in Mg-9wt.% Al during equal-channel angular extrusion: A comparative study to conventional aging,
    XL Ma*, SE Prameela*, P Yi, M Fernandez, NM Krywopusk, LJ Kecskes, T Sano, ML Falk, TP Weihs. 
    Acta Materialia, 2020 [Link] (* = co-first author)

  5. Recrystallization mechanisms, grain refinement, and texture evolution during ECAE processing of Mg and its alloys,
    LJ Kecskes, NM Krywopusk, Y Hollenweger, JN Krynicki, SE Prameela, P Yi, B Liu, ML Falk, DM Kochmann, TP Weihs.
    Mechanics of Materials, 2021 [Link]

  6. The Interplay Between Solute Atoms and Vacancy Clusters in Magnesium Alloys,
    P Yi, T Sasaki, SE Prameela, TP Weihs, ML Falk.
    Acta Materialia, 2023 (Accepted) [Link]

  7. Unravelling complex non-equilibrium phase transformation pathways in deformed magnesium polycrystals,
    SE Prameela, Y Hollenweger, A Davis, J Chen, S Lavenstein, R Plamthottam, JD Robson, J El-Awady, DM Kochmann, TP Weihs
    (In preparation 2023)

Focus Area 2: High-throughput Extreme Dynamic Experiments 

Figure B: High-throughput high strain rate spall experiments on light metallic alloys 

Synopsis: Traditionally, material testing at extreme conditions involves destructive, bulky, and expensive methods like split-Hopkinson pressure bar, pressure shear plate impact, and large spall tests, limiting the ability to test different materials with varying microstructures, compositions, and conditions. Additive manufacturing and metal printing have a wide design space, but parts produced can suffer from defects that become harmful under extreme conditions. My collaborators and I have overcome this challenge by implementing small-scale, high-throughput dynamic tests such as low to high strain rate nanoindentation, laser-driven micro-spall, and laser induced particle impact test. These cost-effective tests ($20 per test vs $3-5k for traditional methods) measure material strength across a range of strain rates, enabling the development of advanced materials for extreme conditions. The high-throughput dynamic experiments will also help link microstructural features to properties in specific strain rate regimes, accelerating materials design for extreme environments.

Key Publications

  1. Spall strength in alloyed magnesium: A Compendium of Research Efforts from the CMEDE 10-Year Effort,
    D Mallick, SE Prameela, D Ozturkf, C Williams, M Kang, G Valentino, J Lloyd, J Wilkerson, TP Weihs, KT Ramesh.
    Mechanics of Materials,2021 [Link]

  2. Materials for Extreme Environments,
    SE Prameela, Tresa M. Pollock, Dierk Raabe, Marc André Meyers, Assel Aitkaliyeva, Kerri-Lee Chintersingh, Zachary Cordero, Lori Graham Brady,
    Nature Reviews Materials 2022 [Link]

  3. High-throughput quantification of quasistatic, dynamic, and spall strength of Mg-Zn Alloys using nanoindentation and laser-driven shock experiments,
    SE Prameela, C Walker, CS DiMarco, D Mallick, S Hernandez, J Chen, T Sasaki, KT Ramesh,George Pharr, TP Weihs.
    (Submitted: Extreme Mechanics Letters)

  4. Hypervelocity impact experiments and simulations on binary Magnesium alloys,
    SE Prameela
    , P Malhotra, X Sun, J Moreno, T Nakata, J Fite, J Chen, F Mammo, M Shaffer, S Kamado, T Sasaki, KT Ramesh, TP Weihs.
    (Submitted: JMPS)

Focus Area 3: Metal Additive Manufacturing for Space applications 

Figure C: Optimization of heat treatment processes of additively manufactured Aluminum alloys (link: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2214860420308010?via%3Dihub)

Synopsis: Metal Additive Manufacturing (AM) is playing a crucial role in the aerospace and space industries, providing the capability to produce complex, lightweight, and highly customized parts. AM technology eliminates the need for tooling and reduces lead times, leading to increased efficiency and reduced cost. Additionally, the ability to produce intricate internal structures and optimally design for specific loads allows for lighter and stronger parts, reducing weight and improving performance in aerospace and space applications. The flexibility of AM also allows for on-demand production, reducing inventory and enabling rapid prototyping and iteration. Furthermore, AM enables the use of advanced materials, including high-performance high entropy alloys and ceramics, which can withstand extreme conditions and provide improved performance in aerospace and space applications.  

Key Publications

  1. Evolution of the microstructure and mechanical properties of additively manufactured AlSi10Mg during room temperature holds and low temperature aging,
    J Fite, SE Prameela, J Slotwinski, TP Weihs.
    Additive Manufacturing, 2020 [Link]

  2. Laser Induced Participle Impact Experiments on AM Nickel Super Alloys,
    SE Prameela, Spencer Taylor, Sam Alyassini, Zachary Cordero
    (In preparation 2023)

  3. Design Framework for Ox-compatible AM Alloys for Reusable Rocket Engines,
    SE Prameela, Spencer Taylor, Sam Alyassini, Zachary Cordero
    (In preparation 2023)

  4. Conventional and alternative heat treatment Impacts on the tensile and strain hardening Performance of AlSi10Mg Parts Made by Additive Manufacturing,
    J Fite, SE Prameela, J Slotwinski, TP Weihs.
    (Submitted: Additive Manufacturing Letters)

Focus Area 4: Materials Informatics for Extreme Environments

Figure D: Data Availability of Magnesium and its Alloys

Synopsis: Materials informatics utilizes data and computational techniques to optimize material design and development. The aim is to use data from experiments and simulations to improve the discovery, development, and optimization of materials for specific applications. AI and machine learning models are becoming key tools in materials informatics, particularly for designing alloys for harsh environments. However, a challenge in using these models is the scarcity and disorganization of data in the literature. To address this, the Mg database project aims to collect data on key parameters for designing Mg alloys to enhance their mechanical performance. The project outlines alloy systems, terminology, and parameters for improving Mg and its alloys’ performance. These efforts are being expanded to other additively manufactured materials for aerospace and defense applications. 

Key Publications

  1. Materials Informatics of Additively Manufactured High Entropy Alloys,
    SE Prameela, Beatriz Medeiros, Stephanie Hernandez
    (In preparation 2023)

  2. Magnesium Database Project,
    SE Prameela, Beatriz Medeiros, Stephanie Hernandez
    (In preparation 2023)

  3. Fast Resolution Agnostic Neural Techniques to Solve Partial Differential Equations,
    Hrishikesh Viswanath, Md Ashiqur Rahman, Abhijeet Vyas, Andrey Shor, Beatriz Medeiros, Stephanie Hernandez, Suhas Eswarappa Prameela, Aniket Bera
    (Submitted: Communication Physics 2023)

Key Collaborators