Engineering materials beamline

This instrument is operational .

Study of the Airbus prototype

The ENGIN-X instrument: measuring residual stress within friction stir welds on an Airbus prototype wing rib
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ENGIN-X is a dedicated engineering science facility at ISIS. The beamline is optimized for the measurement of strain, and thus stress, deep within a crystalline material, using the atomic lattice planes as an atomic 'strain gauge'. Internal and residual stresses in materials have a considerable effect on material properties, including fatigue resistance, fracture toughness and strength.

ENGIN-X is a 50m flight path instrument, sitting outside the main ISIS hall.  It sits on a curved 'supermirror' neutron guide, with a large detector complement centred at 90º 2q.  It incorporates accurate and large capacity positioning equipment, and a range of sample environment equipment for engineering studies of materials.  ENGIN-X also incorporate considerable improvements in user interface software to simplify the experimental procedure for novice users.

ISIS entered the international stage for engineering stress measurement in the mid-1990s, with the advent of the ENGIN diffractometer.  The success of this instrument led to growing demand for a custom-built diffractometer optimised specifically for engineering measurements, resulting in the development of ENGIN-X; so-called because it was designed to provide an order of magnitude improvement in performance over ENGIN.  ENGIN-X finally superseded ENGIN in June 2003, and has in fact surpassed expectations

Neutron diffractometers are generally built as ‘all-purpose’ instruments, and their designs are compromises which balance the competing requirements to measure the intensities, positions and widths of diffraction peaks simultaneously. In the case of an optimally designed engineering strain scanner such compromises are not necessary, since the overriding requirement of the instrument is the accurate measurement of a lattice parameter, at a known location within the material under study.

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