Skip to Main Content


CMEDE Research

Overall design strategy for protection materials. Left-hand boxes are driven by ARL, while right-hand boxes are driven by the MEDE Consortium.

Research Strategy

The objective of the MEDE program is to develop the technical and workforce capability to design, create, and optimize novel material systems that exhibit revolutionary performance in extreme dynamic environments. Achieving this objective requires a new paradigm for materials research and workforce development. One cannot use the classical materials science structure-properties-performance approach because path-dependent and time-dependent failure processes are involved in these dynamic environments, and optimal solutions may not exist in the traditional design space. Instead, we must design with knowledge of the dynamic failure processes (mechanisms) that are involved in the actual application.

To achieve the MEDE program objectives, research activities are focused on a materials-by-design process involving a canonical model and a mechanism-based strategy. We have established a canonical model for each model material under investigation. A canonical model is defined as: “A simplified description of the system or process, accepted as being accurate and authoritative, and developed to assist calculations and predictions.”

Typically such a canonical model defines key variables and their ranges, defines critical mechanisms, and then prioritizes the variables and mechanisms. Beginning with a canonical model allows a large group of researchers to ensure that efforts are relevant in terms of both science and application.

Once the canonical description is established, researchers can then proceed with the mechanism-based strategy. Researchers seek to see the mechanisms during the extreme dynamic event, to understand them through multiscale models, and to control them through synthesis and processing. Understanding the mechanisms through multiscale models provides the capability to define integrative experiments and to test the coupling of mechanisms. This information leads to validated models and codes, which feed back into the canonical model, by transitioning into Department of Defense (DoD) and Department of Energy (DoE) codes. Similarly, controlling the mechanism through synthesis and processing leads to newly designed materials for the canonical environment. Industry helps to determine the scale-up feasibility of these newly designed materials, which are then fed back to the experiments in the canonical modeling effort.

Research Activities

Currently, the MEDE program examines one model material in each of the following materials classes: ceramics, composites, metals, and polymers. The discoveries and insights developed can be used for other materials in the same class. Collaborative research within each material system is planned, executed and overseen by a Collaborative Materials Research Group or CMRG. Thus there are three CMRGs: the Ceramics CMRG, the Composites CMRG, and the Metals CMRG. The role of the CMRG is to coordinate and oversee all research within the Consortium on that material system, to ensure that there is appropriate communication between experimental, modeling and processing activities. Additionally, there are integrative research activities which cross-cut multiple CMRGs.





Expected Acknowledgement for MEDE Researchers

In accordance with the MEDE cooperative agreement, when a MEDE person publishes or presents, they are required to provide the following acknowledgement:

Research was sponsored by the Army Research Laboratory and was accomplished under Cooperative Agreement Number W911NF-12-2-0022. The views and conclusions contained in this document are those of the authors and should not be interpreted as representing the official policies, either expressed or implied, of the Army Research Laboratory or the U.S. Government. The U.S. Government is authorized to reproduce and distribute reprints for Government purposes notwithstanding any copyright notation herein.