HPC from A-Z (part 25) - Y

Y is for… yield strength

Think how many children play with plasticine and Play-Doh and day dream about being an artist or a sculptor when they grow up. The majority of adults actually follow different career paths but the true passions of a child often resonate with their adult selves in a different and more advanced form. Just look at the number of engineers in the world!

‘Yield strength’ or ‘yield point’ is in many ways, basic knowledge for ‘grown up’ sculptors. It is the stress at which a material begins to deform and can no longer return to its original shape. This is vital information for design as it represents an upper limit of a load that can be applied on a surface and similarly is an important consideration in materials production. How would we create new objects and materials without this knowledge?

Times have moved on since my Play-Doh days and the engineers of today no longer need to determine the yield strength of a material by stacking weights on top of materials one by one. Instead, this type of testing is nearly all done through simulations so that the extensive (and expensive) real world testing is only conducted on a select few prototypes. Think about the materials used to create space shuttles. Not only do they cost a small fortune but making a mistake and using a material with the wrong yield strength could actually impact human life. Simulation is crucial to avoid these types of issues.

The role of HPC? It’s all about the high performing cluster technology that is required for the engineers at the heart of material development to vet prototypes without ever having to develop scale models. It’s a profit enabler, enabling faster product development and time to market for materials and the designers that make use of them.


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