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National labs and Air Force partner to improve aircraft component design
Date:9/20/2013

LEMONT, Ill. --- Working with national laboratories, universities and industry, the Air Force is ensuring it stays on the cutting edge of global security by creating a new engineering paradigm to improve the safety and fuel-efficiency of aircraft.

Materials research engineers at the Air Force Research Laboratory have partnered with national laboratories to model defects and study materials at their grain level in an effort to develop and advance the design of systems used by the military personnel, including aircraft.

Traditionally, engineers approach component design in a manner that homogenizes the physical properties of a structure. Significant achievements have been made in the longevity of a component by optimizing this process. Now, engineers are looking deeper to incorporate the materials substructure into the design process.

To address the strategic need for microstructure data, a diverse team of scientists and engineers developed a novel capability to nondestructively map the material substructure and grain level stresses concurrently in three dimensions. The team is comprised of researchers from the AFRL, the Advanced Photon Source at the U.S. Department of Energy's Argonne National Laboratory, the DOE's Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Carnegie Mellon University, and PulseRay.

For the first time, the team has integrated three high-energy synchrotron X-ray techniques during mechanical testing to:

  • quantify the average elastic strain and stress tensor for each grain using far-field High Energy Diffraction Microscopy (HEDM);
  • map the grain shape and local crystallographic orientation within and between grains using near-field HEDM; and,
  • track the formation and spread of voids and cracks using micro-contrast tomography.

These one-of-a-kind datasets provide insight into deformation and form an essential basis for the development and validation of modeling tools. Currently, the capability
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Contact: Tona Kunz
tkunz@sbcglobal.net
630-252-5560
DOE/Argonne National Laboratory
Source:Eurekalert

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