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The structural evolution of materials under sudden, high impact deformation is of critical importance in a variety of different applications, particularly in the automotive and aerospace industries. But despite this importance, existing methods to probe such events, involving strain rates of 103-105 s-1, provide only limited or indirect information about the atomic-scale rearrangement that materials undergo.
By combining the high x-ray intensity of synchrotron radiation with a new, high-speed pixel array detector developed at Cornell, researchers from six different institutions have demonstrated a new approach to this critical area of materials science. Using a so-called Kolsky bar apparatus at the G3 hutch at CHESS, the group was able to obtain in situ diffraction patterns of magnesium undergoing shock-wave induced strain, with useful exposures as short as 70 ns. The results are described in detail in a new publication in Review of Scientific Instruments, (v. 85, 093901 (2014), and are also described briefly in an online highlight by the Army Research Lab.
Figure 1. Dr. Emily Huskins at the G3 hutch at CHESS in early 2014, preparing the Kolsky-bar apparatus.
Submitted by: Arthur Woll, CHESS, Cornell University