IMAT science

What science can IMAT do?

IMAT will enable conventional neutron radiography, tomography and neutron diffraction applications, but it will also offer novel energy-selective neutron imaging techniques as well as combined imaging and diffraction studies.

A diverse range of scientific and technological areas and topics will be covered on IMAT. Some of them are presented below:

Aerospace and transportation:

  • Fuel and lubricants in combustion engine technology
  • Fatigue properties of welded components
  • Creep and stress-corrosion cracking
  • Advanced titanium alloys for aero-engine components
  • Residual stress and texture mapping of casts and weldings; novel joining methods (e.g. friction welding)
  • Surface treatments (e.g. laser peening or shot-peening, coatings)
  • Composite reinforcements

 Civil engineering:

  • Integrity of load-bearing structures
  • Reinforced concrete; deformation of concrete
  • Multiphase materials
  • Water repellent agents/rising of liquids in concrete

 Power generation:

  • Microstress evaluation of nuclear-industry alloys
  • Hydrogen-induced cracking in high-strength steel welds
  • Characterisation of steels and other materials for improved steam and gas turbine performance

 Fuel and fluid cell technology:

  • Functioning and in-situ testing of gas pressure flow cells/fluid cells
  • Water/lithium distribution in fuel cells/batteries
  • Blockages, sediments, corrosion in pipes

Earth sciences:

  • Deformation mechanisms in polymineralic rocks
  • Systematic investigations of the development of different textures in different phases of natural geological materials (e.g. haematite, magnetite, calcite etc)
  • Neutron radiography and tomography studies of rock cores, distribution of materials, especially hydrogen-containing minerals
  • Non-destructive visualisation and examination of fossils imbedded in rocks

Archaeology & heritage science:

  • Material compositions and fabrications processes using neutron diffraction, e.g.:
    • Microstructural characterization of copper alloys: segregation, microstrain and microsegregation; cast or worked
    • Determination of Pb contents in copper alloys
    • Determinations of carbon contents in iron objects
    • Residual strain analysis and strain mapping
    • Interpretation of ancient metal working techniques via crystallographic texture analysis
  • Conservation assessment using neutron imaging, e.g.:
    • Organic material inside metal structures
    • Distributions of hydrogenous materials

Soft matter and biomaterials:

  • Real-time distributions of water and hydrogen in plants
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