Isotropic random fracture model for metal hydride powder

By Kyle Christopher Smith1; Timothy S Fisher1

1. Purdue University



Published on


Metal hydrides can be used to store hydrogen on-board fuel cell vehicles, but the process of fracture which such materials undergo when exposed to hydrogen makes them poor conductors of the heat generated during hydriding. This fracture process creates particles having irregular faceted shapes that are difficult to quantitatively generalize directly from experimental microscopy data. This tool enables modeling of discrete metal hydride particles under the approximation of planar fracture with isotropic orientation and position. Go to this thermalHUB topics page for more details about the tool.


Kyle C. Smith was raised in Orrville, Ohio after which he pursued a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering. After receiving a B.S.M.E.from Purdue University in 2007 he is now studying for Ph.D. at Purdue as an NSF Graduate Research Fellow. His research interests include heat conduction in solid state hydrogen storage media, nano-scale thermal transport, and renewable energy solutions. At the Birck Nanotechnology Center and Zucrow Labs he is modeling heat conduction in metal hydrides and developing metal hydride compacts with enhanced heat conduction. He has been actively involved in undergraduate mentorship through Purdue's Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF) program. Kyle and Prof. Timothy Fisher are actively collaborating with researchers in India (JNCASR, Bangalore) on several projects, including ab initio modeling of metal hydrides, discrete element modeling and quasi-static compression of metal hydride powders, and chemical nanosoldering. These projects are a direct result of their extended international research experience in India funded by NSF, Purdue College of Engineering, and Purdue Department of Mechanical Engineering.

Sponsored by

General Motors, Inc.; KCS thanks NSF for a graduate research fellowship


Smith K.C. and Fisher T.S., Physics based models for metal hydride particle morphology, size distribution, packing, and effective thermal conductivity, MRS Spring 2009 Meeting

Cite this work

Researchers should cite this work as follows:

  • Kyle Christopher Smith, Timothy S Fisher (2011), "Isotropic random fracture model for metal hydride powder,"

    BibTex | EndNote