Shinning a bright light on wear resistant materials

Dr Justin Kimpton, who leads the powder diffraction beamline at the Australian Synchrotron, visited the mineAlloy group at Deakin University on 15th June. Justin delivered a talk on Real time experiments using synchrotron X-ray powder diffraction and subsequently discussed the opportunities for our students and industry partners to use synchrotron X-rays for in-situ and ex-situ studies of wear resistant materials.

X-ray powder diffraction is a powerful technique capable of probing the atomic structure of polycrystalline materials. Compared to laboratory instrumentation, synchrotron X-ray powder diffraction exploits the bright and highly collimated X-rays produced at synchrotron facilities for improved signal-to-noise (lower detection limits), tuneable wavelengths (to minimise sample absorption) and higher angular resolution (to reduce peak overlap).

The combination of high beam intensity with state-of-the-art detectors makes time-resolved measurements or in-situ measurements feasible. This means that our scientists and engineers can study the behaviour of materials in complex environments (high temperature, load, etc.) and monitor the changes in real-time: precipitation and phase transformations during heat treatments, deformation and work-hardening mechanisms, etc.

For more information on the capabilities of the Australian Synchrotron, please visit