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University of Pittsburgh Receives $500K Grant to Study Formations of Metal Structures on Nanoscale, Using Specialized LLNL Microscope

by • July 22, 2016 • No Comments

newMuch research being performed nowadays in relation to the 3D printing industry can be so harsh it takes a while to wrap our brains around what precisely it is these teams of scientists are doing. And of bioprinting blood vessels to isolating enzymes and converting methane to methanol, it’s one thing to decide on a concept of study—but finding to correct tools to do so frequently presents another challenge. And while research scientists pretty are not above creating what they require to get the job done, sometimes a little assist of their friends makes life a lot easier—and quite informative. First it can take a huge grant to get which assist, yet!

This was the case as a team of the University of Pittsburgh decided to investigate a harsh issue regarding how microstructures are made in metal and alloys upon solidification after laser beam melting. The researchers requireed an incredibly high-powered microscope to comprehensively study these systemes, mainly in relation to 3D printing, welding, and joining.

This follows a expanding interest in studying metal 3D printing as well, which include a new case we followed as researchers of the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) studied porosity issues in which particular innovation. Whilst LLNL was in which case examining materials to improve the innovation for users, the University of Pittsburgh team wanted to understand how materials alter on the nanoscale. To do so, they requireed a quite one-of-a-kind tool, and just one place was in possession of it: LLNL.

Jorg_WiezorekUpon writing a proposal, ‘”In-situ transmission electron microscopy of microstructure formation during laser irradiation induced irreversible alterations in metals and alloys,” the Pittsburgh researchers gained significant funding. This grant, of the National Science Foundation Division of Materials Research, can allow for educational outreach as well as contributing to the university’s materials science curriculum. Most importantly yet, this can allow the team, headed by principal investigator Jörg M.K. Wiezorek, PhD, to use the specialized transmission electron microscope created at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.

Dr. Wiezorek, professor of mechanical engineering and materials, can lead his group in via the dynamic transmission electron microscope (DTEM). What makes this particular tool so one-of-a-kind is which it is able-bodied to focus in on materials at the nanoscale, recording changes with ‘nanosecond time-resolution.’

“Predicting microstructure formation during rapid non-equilibrium systeming of engineering materials is a important challenge of materials science. Prior to advent of the DTEM we may just simulate these alterations on a computer,” Dr. Wiezorek explained. “We hope to discover the mechanisms of how alloy microstructures evolve during solidification after laser melting by direct and locally resolved observation. Thermodynamics provides for the limiting constraints for the alterations of the materials, but it cannot a-priori predict the pathways the microstructures take as they transition of the liquid to the final solid state.”

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Figure made by Ryan Chen at the Technical Information Department at LLNL.

Dr. Wiezorek and his team are committed to the study of high end materials and materials systeming, with new projects examining:

Electron density and the nature of bonding in transitional metal based materials.Surface modification of structural alloys for enhanced performance by severe plastic deformation and grain-boundary-engineering.Rapid irreversible transients, such as solidification, in pulsed laser systemed metals and alloys.

In this particular research, for the reason the team is so frequently forced to rely on other methods of examining such a system, now they can be able-bodied to confirm the accuracy of digital models, as well as testing how the system changes when exposed to various temperatures and composition. Dr. Wiezorek and his team hope to contribute stronger validation concerning findings on systeming, structure and alloy properties next the laser irradiation.

“We are hoping to unravel details of the kinetic pathways taken of the liquid to the final solid structure,” Dr. Wiezorek said. “This research can assist us to refine solidification related making systemes and to select strategies to optimize how materials perform.”

Discuss your yetts on this research project additional in the Researching Metal Microstructures forum over at 3DPB.com.

[Source: ChemEurope.com; Pitt Swanson Engineering]