Advanced Materials & Processes

NOV-DEC 2013

Covers developments in engineering materials selection, processing, fabrication, testing/characterization, materials engineering trends, and emerging technologies, industrial and consumer applications, as well as business and management trends

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industry news briefs SAE International, Warrendale, Pa., released the first-ever industry guidelines for Structural Health Monitoring (SHM) of commercial aircraft. The document, Aerospace Recommended Practice "ARP6461: Guidelines for Implementation of Structural Health Monitoring on Fixed Wing Aircraft," was produced by an SAE technical committee consisting of aircraft manufacturers, systems and equipment integrators, regulators, airlines, and technical experts. Guidelines detail the necessary steps to incorporate built-in sensors on aircraft that can monitor operating conditions such as load and stress, as well as the occurrence and extent of damage. Malvern Instruments Ltd., UK, acquired NanoSight Ltd., UK, on Sept. 27. NanoSight developed and commercialized Nanoparticle Tracking Analysis (NTA), instrumentation and software that enables rapid and simultaneous multiparameter analysis and characterization of nanoscale particles. With the ability to analyze particle size, concentration, zeta potential, and aggregation, NanoSight systems complement Malvern's Zetasizer product range., TESTING CHARACTERIZATION Grant to study how radiation damages nuclear components A $5 million Department of Energy grant aims to enable University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, researchers to understand how radiation damages nuclear reactor components. The work could help engineers predict when and how components in nuclear power reactors will wear out. It could also speed up testing of tougher new materials for advanced reactors. The team will determine how well damage from ion beams in the laboratory mirrors actual damage that reactor components sustain during decades of service. "If we're going to build advanced reactors In the Michigan Ion Beam Laboratory, or operate today's reactors beyond their liresearchers will test whether ion beams can cense lifetimes, we need to solve some matereplicate the damage nuclear reactor components sustain over decades of use. rials problems," says Professor Gary Was, Courtesy of Joseph Xu. who heads the project. "France, Britain, Russia, Japan, they all have the same concern—how do materials behave at these very high radiation doses?" The full collaboration comprises national laboratories, industrial partners, and universities in the U.S. and overseas, with about $9 million in funding from all sources. The group is counting on a new triple beam facility at University of Michigan to provide answers. Samples are held in a chamber that can recreate the temperature and pressure conditions inside a reactor and are hit with three ion beams. One beam bombards the test material with atoms that match its composition, for instance, iron atoms on a steel alloy. This produces most of the structural changes. At the same time, two other accelerators hit the material with hydrogen and helium, small atoms that are produced inside reactor components. As they accumulate, these atoms can cause bubbles to form inside the material and make it more susceptible to cracking. Meanwhile, matching samples will be exposed to radiation in an advanced fast reactor in Russia. By comparing microscopic structural changes in the beam-damaged and reactor-damaged materials, the collaboration will attempt to identify a method for faithfully reproducing reactor damage with ion beams. For more information: Gary Was, 734/763-4675,, Air Force teams with national labs to improve component design Paul Walker, managing director of Malvern Instruments (left), and Jeremy Warren, CEO of NanoSight. Turbine disk. Courtesy of Air Force Research Laboratory. 8 Materials research engineers at the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) are working with national laboratories to model defects and study materials at the grain level in an effort to advance the design of systems used by military personnel, including aircraft. Traditionally, engineers approach component design in a manner that homogenizes the physical properties of a structure. However, a new approach has engineers looking deeper to incorporate the material's substructure into the design process. To address the need for microstructure data, a team of scientists and engineers developed a novel capability to nondestructively map the material substructure and grain level stresses concurrently in 3D. The team is comprised of researchers from the AFRL, the Advanced Photon Source at Argonne National Laboratory, Lawrence Livermore National ADVANCED MATERIALS & PROCESSES • NOVEMBER-DECEMBER 2013

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