Professor Jian Nie

Professor Jianfeng Nie

Professor, Materials Science and Engineering
Department of Materials Science and Engineering
Room 206, 20 Research Way, Clayton

Jian works in the Faculty of Engineering at Monash University as a Professor. Professor Jian’s current projects include,

  • Development of high strength and creep-resistant magnesium alloys
  • Thermomechanical processing of magnesium and aluminium alloys
  • Creep deformation mechanisms in magnesium alloys
  • Strengthening mechanisms in magnesium and aluminium alloys
  • Heterogeneous nucleation of strengthening precipitates in magnesium alloys
  • Effects of microalloying elements on precipitate nucleation and light alloy design
  • Structure and migration of interphase boundaries
  • Applications of Transmission Electron Microscopy and Electron Diffraction

Qualifications

  • Doctor of Philosophy (PhD). Materials Engineering, Monash University
  • BEng. Materials Engineering, Beijing Inst. of Tech

Editorial

Editor, Metallurgical and Materials Transactions A.

Research Interests

Professor Jian’s research interest are in,

  • Design and development of advanced magnesium alloys and aluminium alloys;
  • Thermomechanical processing (especially extrusion and rolling) of engineering light alloys;
  • Processing-structure-property relationships in metallic alloys;
  • Solute aggregation and segregation in metallic alloys;
  • Crystallography of phase transformations;
  • Precipitation and strengthening in metallic alloys;
  • Applications of advanced electron microscopy imaging techniques;
  • Biodegradable metallic materials.

 

Research Projects

Not started projects

Cast CRC

Current projects

UltraTEM: To resolve the structure of matter in space, energy and time

This project aims to establish a revolutionary transmission electron microscope facility to analyse materials structure at the atomic level with unprecedented resolution in space, energy and time. From solar cells to catalysts to aerospace alloys to bio-sensors to quantum computers, the properties of materials are often governed by a small number of atoms in critical locations. To understand and engineer matter at this atomic level requires tools to characterise these critical atoms. This open access, national facility aims to provide Australian academic and industrial researchers with a world-class capability at the absolute forefront of atomic scale materials characterisation to solve research problems that cannot be solved any other way.

Elastic softening of Ti alloys by plastic deformation for safer and more durable bone implants

The latest generation of beta-titanium alloys developed for human bone implants are still much stiffer than human bones. Recent developments in plastic deformation can achieve lower levels of stiffness in these alloys, but not yet low enough to match that of human bone. This biomechanical incompatibility can cause implant loosening over the years and therefore surgery revision. In this project we will combine advanced experimental techniques and computational tools to reveal the deformation mechanisms underlying the unusual elastic softening phenomenon of biomedical titanium alloys. The outcomes are likely to form the scientific basis for developing next-generation bone-like titanium implants.

Origin and impact of solute clustering in light alloys

Phase transformations play an important role in determining the mechanical properties of many engineering materials. Understanding of the origin and impact of solute clustering in phase transformations is crucial for achieving unprecedented properties in these materials. In this project, atomic-scale characterisation and multiscale computation will be combined to reveal the geometry and energetics of solute clusters and cluster-assisted nucleation in light alloys based on aluminium and magnesium. This work will provide a physical metallurgy platform for understanding and interpreting the role of clusters of micro-alloying elements in precipitation in light alloys and aiding new alloy design and development.

Development of Highly Formable Magnesium Sheet

Lightweight magnesium sheet has attracted considerable interest for applications in automotive vehicles, light-rail and high-speed trains and consumer electronics. One of the technical problems that restrict the wider applications of magnesium sheet is its formability. This project aims to deliver a cost-effective magnesium alloy, together with thermomechanical processing parameters, for fabricating highly formable sheet. This project involves characterisation and evaluation of microalloyed materials that are produced under different alloy compositions and thermomechanical processing conditions. The project will result in magnesium sheet with improved formability, whilst bearing in mind durability (corrosion) considerations.

Past projects

Manipulating of LPSO Structure in Mg-Y-Zn and Mg-Y-Zn-Ni Rod by Severe Plastic Deformation

Investigating materials on the atomic scale using 3-dimensional atom probe tomography

The aim of this proposal is to establish a 3-dimensional atom probe tomography facility dedicated to the study of metallic materials. This technique provides a detailed atom-by-atom reconstruction of the material and allows characterization of the segregation of individual atoms to microstructural features such as grain boundaries, clusters and dislocations. The materials to be studied with this instrument include light alloys for weight and fuel reduction in transport vehicles, biomaterials for implants and drug delivery, nano-structured materials, and characterization of alloys produced via new energy efficient processing routes.

Annealing strengthening in magnesium alloys

Magnesium extrusion alloys developed for improved fuel efficiency and green environment suffer from a tension-compression yield strength asymmetry problem: they are strong under tension but weaker under compression, thus limiting their use in high-strength applications. An unusual annealing strengthening phenomenon of magnesium extrusion alloys was recently discovered that offers a significant opportunity to solve this problem. In this project, advanced experimental techniques, including high-resolution electron microscopy, will be used to reveal the mechanisms underlying this annealing strengthening phenomenon. The outcomes are likely to form the scientific basis for developing next-generation magnesium wrought alloys.

A comparative study of Mg-Y(m)-Zn(n) Rod produced by casting and mechanical alloying

Fast extrusion/rolling of Mg alloys

Facility for the development of new lightweight extruded alloys and structures

The present proposal aims to establish Australia’s only large scale research-dedicated extrusion facility. The facility will support fundimental research on the development of new light metal alloys and structures. It will posess the capability to replicate industrial-scale extrusion condition, to process highly alloyed light metals and metal-matrix composites, and to produce complicated profiles. The facility is expected to lead the development of new light metal alloys, new metal matrix composites, new micro-truss structures and new powder-baes metals for structural and biomedical applications.

Facility for the development of new lightweight extruded alloys and structures

The present proposal aims to establish Australia’s only large scale research-dedicated extrusion facility. The facility will support fundamental research on the development of new light metal alloys and structures. It will possess the capacity to replicate industrial-scale extrusion conditions, to process highly alloyed light metals and metal-matrix composites, and to produce complicated profiles. The facility is expected to lead to the development of new light metal alloys, new metal-matrix composites, new micro-truss structures and new powder-base metals for structural and biomedical applications.

Strength Enhancement of Aluminium Extrusion Alloys via Novel Thermal Processes and Alloy Composition Control

The world annual aluminium consumption rate is now over 40 million tonnes, and extruded products constitutes about 30% of the market for aluminium products. While the aluminium extrusions are now widely used in the transportation and building industries, the strength achieved in these products is only a small fraction of their theoretical value. This project explores the effects of some novel thermal processing technologies and alloy compositions on the strength increment in 6xxx series aluminium extrusion alloys. It has the potential to lead to the development of novel alloy compositions and energy-efficient thermal processing technologies that can bring enormous economic benefit to Australia.

High Sensitivity Broad Range Digitised Electron Microscopy

To install in a central location at Monash University a digital image plate reader and appropriate recording hardware and software as a multi-user facility for high-resolution electron imaging and diffraction. Imaging plates are, in appearance, like photographic film and are used in the electron microscope in the same way. They are, however, nearly a hundred times more sensitive, have a range a hundred thousand times greater, and, when interrogated by a reader, generate a digitised output and can then be used again. We propose to exploit those characteristics in the study of advanced materials, in the investigation of phases changes, and in the characterisation of materials not sufficiently stable in the electron beam to observe by more conventional methods.

 

Simulation and Modelling of Interactions between Dislocations and Precipitates in High Strength Light Alloys

His collaboration project combines two groups of international standing on advanced experimental characterization and computational modelling to address some critical issues on deformation in light alloys of commercial significance. The successful outcome of this project is expected to radically advance the fundamental understanding of deformation mechanisms and subsequently exploit this knowledge for alloy development. In particular, the findings will facilitate the identification and realization of special microstructural features that are most important in controlling the deformation of commercially important engineering alloys. It will enhance Australia’s capability and international visibility in computational materials science.

Characterisation of die cast magnesium alloys for automotive power train components

A new group of magnesium die casting alloys has recently been developed for fabricating automotive power train components. While these alloys exhibit good tensile yield strength at both ambient and elevated (100-200?C) temperatures, they are prone to excessive creep deformation when exposed to moderate levels of loads at temperatures above 125?C. The aim of this project is to characterise microstructures of these alloys subjected to controlled levels of creep deformation in the temperature and stress regime of interests, with a view to indentifying microstructural factors that are important in determining the creep resistance of die cast magnesium alloys. The outcome of this project will provide useful guidelines for further improvements in creep resistance of these alloys and development of new die cast alloys with higher creep resistance at elevated temperatures.

Effects of Microalloying Elements and Crystal Defects on Precipitate Nucleation and Light Alloy Design

Development of High Strength and Creep-resistant Magnesium Alloys

Precipitate Microstructures and Strengthening Mechanisms in Lightweight Magnesium Alloys

Enhanced performance of automotive sheet alloys via control of composition, thermal processing and nanostructure

This project involves characterisation using modern facilities of the form and identity of atomic-scale clusters of alloying elements in selected automotive sheet alloys that have been subjected to single and multiple ageing treatments and examination and modelling of deformation mechanisms and behaviour in such alloys. The aim is to establish the precise role of clusters of solute atoms and vacancies in the formation of precipitate phases that control the final strength and deformation behaviour of the alloys, and to provide useful guidelines for further improvements in strength of these alloys via the control of alloy composition and of multiple ageing treatments.

Near Net Shaped Casting and Alloy Development Facility

This facility will provide an experimental platform for Australian researchers to develop new alloys and processing routes for light alloys. The facility will also support fundamental research on the deformation and transformation behaviour of ferrous alloys. At present there are no Australian facilities to cast laboratory scale ferrous alloys or to systematically study the early stage of solidification in light alloys. With this platform the group will explore: new strip casting approaches for magnesium, titanium and aluminium alloys, advanced high strength steels for automative applications, new bulk amorphous alloys for high performance applications and the fundamentals of laser processing.

Interactions between Lattice Defects and Nanoscale Solute Aggregates: Strengthening and Creep Mechanisms in Magnesium Alloys

Advances in manufacturing and processing technologies in recent years have brought renewed interests in magnesium alloys for applications at elevated temperatures (100-200’C). Improvement in strength and creep resistance of existing alloys and development of new alloys require better understanding of strengthening and creep mechanisms and their correlations with deformation behaviour of the alloys. In this project, advanced imaging techniques of transmission electron microscopy and three-dimensional atom probe field-ion microscopy, combined with tensile and creep tests, will be used to study interactions between lattice defects and nanoscale solute aggregates and their quantitative effects on deformation behaviour of magnesium alloys at elevated temperatures. The aim of this project is to develop a robust theory for the design of magnesium alloys with improved strength ad creep resistance.

Australian Partnership in Light Metals Research

States of Aggregation - Clustering, Segregation, Nucleation and Nanostructure

High strength light alloys are nanostructured materials, deriving their mechanical properties from nanoscale dispersions of strengthening precipitate phases controlled by alloy composition and thermomechanical processing. Atom-probe field-ion microscopy and high-resolution electron microscopy will be combined to study the aggregation of solute atoms that precedes formation of the precipitate phases. Experimental studies at high spatial resolution will be complemented by elastic strain energy calculations and first-principles modelling of the aggregation behaviour, to define its role in controlling precipitation processes and thus properties. The work will provide a basis for improved alloy design and a platform for computer-aided design of high-performance alloys.

CRC Cast Metals

A Predictive Approach to the Formation of Plate-Shaped Strengthening and Toughening Constituents in Advanced Metallic and Ceramic Materials

Solid-state phase transformation is still one of the most effective and efficient ways of producing nano- and micro-structures in bulk materials for desired properties. This project aims to develop and validate a unified theoretical model that can predict the shape, orientation and growth of diffusional and displacive transformation products that are often the key strengthening or toughening constituents in advanced metallic and ceramic materials. The knowledge gained will lead to better understanding of nucleation and growth behaviours, and distribution control, of key strengthening and toughening constituents in a group of industrially important materials.

Development of Ultrahigh Strength Magnesium Extrusion Alloys for Manufacturing Lightweight Aircraft Framework

Recent advances in manufacturing and processing technologies have stimulated increasing interest in lightweight magnesium products for aircraft and automotive applications. One barrier to the acceptance of magnesium products is that existing commercial magnesium alloys have inferior strength compared to aluminium alloys. This project aims to break this barrier and to develop ultrahigh strength magnesium alloys for fabricating aircraft framework. The larger-scale use of magnesium products will increase the international magnesium market that can eventually lead to a substantial export of Australian magnesite. An elegant example is the massive export of Australian iron ore as a result of increased international demand for steels.

Development of Ultrahigh Strength Magnesium Extrusion Alloys for Manufacturing Lightweight Aircraft Framework

Recent advances in manufacturing and processing technologies have stimulated increasing interest in lightweight magnesium products for aircraft and automotive applications. One barrier to the acceptance of magnesium products is that existing commercial magnesium alloys have inferior strength compared to aluminium alloys. This project aims to break this barrier and to develop ultrahigh strength magnesium alloys for fabricating aircraft framework. The larger-scale use of magnesium products will increase the international magnesium market that can eventually lead to a substantial export of Australian magnesite. An elegant example is the massive export of Australian iron ore as a result of increased international demand for steels.

Design and development of high performance magnesium alloys for automotive applications at elevated temperatures

ARC Centre of Excellence - Design in Light Metals ID: CE0561574

The Centre will adopt a systematic process of ‘virtual materials selection’ to assess modifications to the property profiles of light metals systems that will maximize the competitiveness of light alloys and new light metal hybrid materials based on aluminium, magnesium and titanium. Using a novel ‘design-directed’ approach to fundamental research, it will address strategic design targets through innovations in structural design at the nanoscale and advances in processing, to enhance the properties of existing alloys economically. It will also embrace innovation in design of light metal systems to create novel hybrid and surface-modified materials that expand the range of properties available and thus the applications for light metals.

Research articles, papers & publications

See Jian’s research contributions through published book chapters, articles, journal papers and in the media.

Last modified: January 12, 2018