To keep ahead of the competition, the motorsport industry needs to identify and realise innovative developments in chemistry, materials science and engineering. A deep understanding of fundamental processes such as strain, stress, wear and corrosion and gaining detailed knowledge of material properties on the molecular scale is vital to developing and maintaining competitive advantage and minimising impact on the environment.
Located in South Oxfordshire, a region widely recognised for a strong technology business focus, the Diamond Light Source is a sophisticated synchrotron light facility which can generate highly intense beams of light ranging from IR and UV to X-rays, all of which are making research at the cutting edge of modern science possible. A £500 million state-of-the-art national research facility, Diamond provides specialist analytical techniques for the atomic to microscale characterisation of materials ranging from engineering components and novel advanced materials through to performance coatings and lubricants.
A detailed understanding of the properties and behaviour of advanced materials in extreme conditions is of fundamental importance to many engineering applications. The ability to assess the weaknesses in an engineering component or system, and to fully characterise the material they are manufactured from, is critical to the life and performance of a component or system.
For engineering problems, light can be used to understand the strain and stress state in the material or the engineering system, allowing predictive models to be validated. Deformation mechanisms can be probed and visualised during the in-situ application of an environmental parameter. Examples relevant to the motorsport industry include strain and stress mapping of the surface or internal structure of metallic components and in-situ measurements of stress in components such as piston rods during engine operation.
High resolution and very fast imaging techniques can be used to see inside a system non-destructively. Internal cavities can be viewed and measured; in-situ imaging can show fluid motion through a system or assembly. For 3D imaging, X-ray tomography allows visualisation of microscale structure in components (for example cracks or voids).
The performance of advanced coatings and surface treatments can also be studied; coating thickness, strain, wear and physical degradation can all be measured. Element-specific chemical information can be obtained from spectroscopic techniques, particularly important for assessing the performance of anti-wear additives in lubricants, thermal spray coatings and anti-corrosion coatings along with high resolution chemical mapping of materials sensitive to even trace contaminants.
In order to facilitate the use of Diamond by researchers working in industry, an Industrial Liaison team has been established, comprising highly qualified scientists experienced in a range of technique areas. This team can help to translate your research problem into an analytical solution by making use of its diverse expertise in synchrotron methods. Please contact us at email@example.com for further information or visit our website at www.diamond.ac.uk/industry.