New Dimensions of Engineering Science at Large Facilities

Lead Research Organisation: University of Oxford
Department Name: Engineering Science


The knowledge of multi-component, spatially varying stress and strain states and structural information is crucial for elucidating advanced concepts and models in materials science and strength engineering. Recent developments in neutron and high energy X-ray diffraction techniques at large scientific facilities have pushed the spatial resolution towards ever smaller length scales, at the same time improving data acquisition rates, making it possible to obtain large collections of diffraction patterns. However, because of the limitations imposed by gauge volume geometry and grain structure of the object the desired information is often contained within these data sets in implicit form, e.g. as convolutions or averages. Recently it has been demonstrated that robust inverse problem formulations akin to tomographic reconstruction methods can successfully be used to de-convolve detailed, spatially resolved information about material structure, texture and deformation. The present project will develop systematic approaches to the treatment of redundant high energy X-ray and neutron diffraction data sets for the purpose of extracting time-dependant, three-dimensional, multi-component maps of strain, texture and damage. X-ray diffraction experiments will be conducted on the JEEP beamline at Diamond, beamline ID15A at the ESRF, and neutron transmission data will be obtained on the ENGIN-X instrument at ISIS. The results will establish foundations for future methodologies for multi-dimensional analysis (3D and time-resolved) of strain, texture and structure of advanced engineering materials and components.


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Roberts O. (2014) A study of phase transformation at the surface of a zirconia ceramic in Lecture Notes in Engineering and Computer Science

Description A host of new approaches developed allows "rich" tomography characterisation of structural and functional materials and components. We are able to map strain, grain orientation, damage etc. in 3D using neutron and synchrotron X-ray beams.
Exploitation Route Failure analysis, microstructure analysis, strength analysis, product optimisation New generation of non-destructive materials characterisation tools
Sectors Aerospace, Defence and Marine,Agriculture, Food and Drink,Chemicals,Construction,Education,Electronics,Energy,Environment,Manufacturing, including Industrial Biotechology,Pharmaceuticals and Medical Biotechnology

Description The far-reaching impact of this research concerns 3D imaging in the widest sense: stress-strain, phase, grain orientation, etc. This kind of insight is in demand right across the range of technologies, cultural context, forensics, etc.
Sector Aerospace, Defence and Marine,Agriculture, Food and Drink,Chemicals,Construction,Creative Economy,Education,Electronics,Energy,Environment,Healthcare,Government, Democracy and Justice,Manufacturing, including Industrial Biotechology,Pharmaceuticals and Medical Biotechnology,Transport
Impact Types Societal,Economic

Description DLS 
Organisation Diamond Light Source
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution We provide scientific leadership, ideas for tests, expertise and manpower for running complex experiments.
Collaborator Contribution Access to unique world class synchrotron beam lines.
Impact Multi-disciplinary - engineering, physics, chemistry; use of X-ray scattering, spectroscopy, imaging
Description Specialist Dental Group, Singapore 
Organisation Specialist Dental Group
Country Singapore 
Sector Hospitals 
PI Contribution Presentations were made by AMK (PI) at events and meetings in Singapore during which the details of the insights into caries processes obtained in the course of the project were presented.
Collaborator Contribution During mutual visits of TKN to UK, and AMK (PI) to Singapore; joint preparation of publications was undertaken, as well as exchange of knowledge and expertise. In particular, advice was received from NTK on caries therapy procedures in Singapore.
Impact Publications as found in the literature, preparation of patent applications
Start Year 2010