Structural Materials

Structural Materials
Composites, Building Materials, Metal Foams, Ceramics

Whether the material class is metallic, ceramic, polymeric or composite, structural materials are designed for the expected, but need to perform under the unexpected. Understanding the structure-property relationships is crucial for our civil infrastructure. Establishing the scientific basis for engineered materials is challenging as structural response needs to be understood under mechanical loads or thermal environments. ZEISS X-ray microscopy (XRM) provides quantitative non-destructive 3D tomography for unique opportunities to study samples in their native (in situ) environments to quantify how microstructures such as engineered pore structure evolve in 3D and over time (4D) from the meso- down to the nanoscale. Data analysis of XRM experiments reveal a wealth of microstructural information in three dimensions that can help understand and improve structural material life-cycle performance and ensure sustainable development.

Characterization and Analysis

  • Study of damage and oxidation kinetics of thermostructural composites
  • Quantify filler from crushed aggregate for concrete: pore structure, specific surface, particle shape and size distribution
  • Calculate carbon fiber length and observe defect sites in aerospace composite materials
  • Visualize ‘vasculature’ in continuous self-healing vascularized structural composites
  • Determine porosity in carbon nanotube reinforced porous magnesium composite
  • Investigate of the foaming process in lightweight aggregates
  • Image cement at various stages of hydration, observing phase changes in 3D due to infiltration of water
  • Track in 3D the evolution of the thermal barrier coatings (TBC) microstructure non-destructively at a single location as a function of thermal exposure time
  • Observe change in metal foam structure under load (in situ) and quantify displacement and strains via digital volume correlation (DVC) analysis

Systems

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ZEISS Xradia 520 Versa

High resolution, non-destructive 3D X-ray microscope with spatial resolution <700 nm (70 nm minimum voxel size), and resolution at a distance, enabling 4D and in situ research
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ZEISS Xradia 810 Ultra

ZEISS Xradia 810 Ultra
Nanoscale X-ray Imaging:
Spatial resolution <50 nm (16 nm minimum voxel size) to support materials research and development
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Publications
Keywords
automotive engineering, aerospace industry, concrete, building safety, polymer composites, hydration studies, progressive characterization