Wednesday, 9 May 2012

Neutron scattering helps advancing understanding of Shape-memory alloys (SMAs)

Neutron scattering helps advancing understanding of Shape-memory alloys (SMAs) used in aerospace and other everyday applications! did you know the major funding for VULCAN instrument used in this study came from Canada Foundation for
Innovation and prominent Canadian scientists such as Dr. Tom Holden were instrumental in design and construction of the instrument? see for background information on this instrument... And this is the link to the diffraction study using this instrument to study SMAs: ...""These are materials that can change phase and change their structure in response to mechanical and thermal conditions in their environment. We're trying to take advantage of that to use them in aerospace and other applications," says NASA's Othmane Benafan. In mechanical systems, components made from SMAs micro-engineered to deform precisely in response to heat or pressure would avoid the need for complex hydraulic or pneumatic actuators. They would change shape predictably and then return to their original configuration as conditions around them returned to normal (that's where the shape memory comes in).
Othmane and Santo Padula II, materials scientists at NASA; Doug Nicholson, a Ph.D. student at UCF; and his advisor Raj Vaidyanathan make up the team. They're examining the microstructure and micromechanics (i.e., atomic structure and atomic-level behaviors) of a sample of the SMA nickel titanium using the VULCAN Engineering Materials Diffractometer. "VULCAN's unique multi-axial load frame enables simultaneous testing of samples under tension, compression, and torsion, a capability not available anywhere else," says Ke An, lead scientist at VULCAN. "That's very important for problems under complex loading, which are real-world applications.""

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