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Synchrotron Imaging of Engineering Materials


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This talk will cover 4D synchrotron x-ray imaging tools being developed to better the understanding of how microstructures contribute to functionality of aerospace engine components and orthopedic implants etc. using penetrating neutron and x-ray beams.

Date and Time

16 April 2013 - 19:00-21:30


London, United Kingdom - icon_popup  (See map)


Organised by the London local network.

About this event

When manufacturing an orthopedic joint replacement or an Airbus 380, between dozens and thousands of different engineering components are assembled as a system, with each component requiring demanding structural or functional requirements. To achieve these requirements, each component has a hidden world of internal structure, termed the material’s microstructure, providing strengthening, toughness, or functional properties. In industries ranging from medical implants to aerospace, we are now tailoring these complex internal microstructures to obtain the best performance, in addition to designing the component’s shape. This talk will focus on the new tools, such as 4D synchrotron x-ray imaging, that we are developing to better understanding how these microstructures contribute to functionality.

Using a series of examples, from aerospace engine components to additive manufactured orthopedic implants, we will show how the penetrating power of neutron and x-ray beams can give us an inside view of how material microstructures can either enhance or degrade functionality.

We will first look at an aeroengine blade, how it has been designed, how it might fail, and more importantly how to better predict failure. We will also look at how this insight can be used to help us to design new materials that are failure resistant or even heal themselves. Looking next at lithium batteries, we will take a 2D and 3D journey inside these components, providing an inside view of the material’s swell and potential failure. Finally, we’ll examine how additive manufacturing (like 3D printing) can be used to design the microstructure and macrostructure, tailoring both for the best functionality.

About the speaker

Professor Peter D. Lee joined the University of Manchester as Co-Director of the Manchester X-Ray Imaging Facility in 2011, after 17 years at Imperial College.  Prof. Lee has worked in the area of solidification and imaging of alloys for over 25 years, both in academia and industry. Working in Industry, as a Research Scientist at Alcan International's Kingston R&D Laboratory,he helped establish their Modelling of Shape Castings Programme, both developing analysis software and applying it to the design of many automotive castings. He is Fellow of the Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining and the Institute of Cast Metals Engineers. He holds a B.A.Sc. in Engineering Science and M.A.Sc. in Materials from the University of Toronto, with his undergraduate and master's thesis focussing on the simulation of ferrous metallurgical processes.


Evening lecture:
19:00 for 19:30 lecture start


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