Functionally graded materials (FGMs) are used in applications in the construction of civil infrastructure and the aerospace, security and transportation industries. However, FGMs face challenges concerning strength, ductility and toughness. The MSCA project DIAGONAL will establish an intercontinental and inter-multidisciplinary research network consisting of 10 research organisations to analyse, optimise and design new FGMs with unprecedented combinations of mechanical properties and functionalities and with minimal weight and cost. The project will adapt the local properties of different materials to fit specific requirements by locating optimised compositions and architectures in appropriate regions and generating multiple advantages within a single material to create improved global properties.
In this project, we aim to build an intercontinental and inter-multidisciplinary research network to unravel what is referred to as a pending challenge of Continuum Mechanics, Material Science, Aerospace Engineering and Civil Engineering: analysis and optimization and design of new functionally graded materials with unprecedented combinations of mechanical properties and functionalities, such as stiffness, strength, ductility, toughness, and formability, with minimal weight and cost. The rational solution to this problem is to adapt the local properties of different materials to fit specific requirements, by locating optimized compositions and architectures in appropriate regions, and generating multiple advantages within a single material to create improved global properties. The network is an international consortium composed by 10 research organizations, (4 European beneficiaries and 4 American, 1 Australian and 1 Brazilian associated partners) who will exchange and share skills and knowledge with the view to understand and optimize the ductile and toughness behavior of brittle and ductile functionally graded materials. Breakthroughs in this field will allow functionally graded materials fabricated by additive manufacturing to replace traditional composites with sharp transition between dissimilar components commonly used in critical applications in construction of civil infrastructures and in aerospace, security and transportation industries, all sectors of crucial importance for the European economy and society, as stated in clusters (iii) Civil Security for Society, (iv) Digital, Industry and Space and (v) Climate, Energy and Mobility of Horizon Europe. The staff members who participate in the project will be exposed to new research environments and develop new skills, thus contributing to their increased employability and supporting top-class research in Europe. The 10 organizations will strengthen their knowledge base and develop lasting collaborations.