Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

First Full 3-D View Of Cracks Growing In Steel

Date:
July 22, 2008
Source:
European Synchrotron Radiation Facility
Summary:
Researchers have revealed how a growing crack interacts with the 3-D structure of stainless steel. By using a new technique, they could determine the internal 3-D structure of the sample without destroying it. Afterwards, they initiated a crack and studied how it grew between the grains. The results could be useful to make more performing materials for, for example, safer power plants.

Cracks forming in the inside of a stainless steel wire are coloured red.
Credit: Andrew King

A team of researchers from the University of Manchester, the National Institute of Applied Sciences (INSA) in Lyon (France) and the ESRF has revealed how a growing crack interacts with the 3D crystal structure of stainless steel. By using a new grain mapping technique it was possible to determine the internal 3D structure of the material without destroying the sample.

Afterwards, a crack was initiated in the stainless steel, and the scientists were able to study how the crack grew between the grains. This is the first time that such an experiment has used the 3D grain mapping technique, and the first results have just been published in the journal Science.

Cracks can appear in stainless steel components when stress or strain is combined with a corrosive environment that attacks sensitive grain boundaries. These cracks represent a critical failure mechanism. In power generation plants, certain grain boundaries can become sensitive during heat treatments or during fast neutron irradiation in nuclear power stations.

Most metals used for engineering are made up of many small crystals or grains. The scientists used a new technique called diffraction contrast tomography, developed at the ESRF, to obtain a 3D map of all grains in a section of a stainless steel wire measuring 0.4 mm in diameter. This map contained the shapes, positions, and orientations of 362 different grains. The next stage of the experiment involved putting the wire into a suitable corrosive liquid, and applying a load to cause microcracks to grow between grains. During the crack growth, 3D tomographic scans (of 30 minutes each) were made at intervals of between two hours and a few minutes to follow the progress of the crack. This is the first in-situ experiment of this kind to use non-destructive 3D grain mapping techniques.

“The cracks grew along the boundaries between the grains which we had mapped in 3D, and we could visualize both the growing crack and certain special boundaries that resist cracking”, explains Andrew King, corresponding author of the paper in Science. “Some of these resistant boundaries were not the ones that we expected".

The special, crack-resistant boundaries may be of key importance to the metallurgy industry. Materials containing more of these boundaries are also more resistant to this type of cracking. Being able to study crack growth in-situ will allow scientists to understand what types of grain structures will give the best performing materials, leading, for example, to more efficient and safer power plants, and more generally to more lightweight alloys in other sectors of metallurgy and engineering.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by European Synchrotron Radiation Facility. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. King, A. et al. . Science, 18 July 2008

Cite This Page:

European Synchrotron Radiation Facility. "First Full 3-D View Of Cracks Growing In Steel." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 22 July 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/07/080717140421.htm>.
European Synchrotron Radiation Facility. (2008, July 22). First Full 3-D View Of Cracks Growing In Steel. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/07/080717140421.htm
European Synchrotron Radiation Facility. "First Full 3-D View Of Cracks Growing In Steel." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/07/080717140421.htm (accessed April 23, 2014).

Share This



More Matter & Energy News

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Is North Korea Planning Nuclear Test #4?

Is North Korea Planning Nuclear Test #4?

Newsy (Apr. 22, 2014) South Korean officials say North Korea is preparing to conduct another nuclear test, but is Pyongyang just bluffing this time? Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
China Falls for 4x4s at Beijing Auto Show

China Falls for 4x4s at Beijing Auto Show

AFP (Apr. 22, 2014) The urban 4x4 is the latest must-have for Chinese drivers, whose conversion to the cult of the SUV is the talking point of this year's Beijing auto show. Duration: 00:40 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Lytro Introduces 'Illum,' A Professional Light-Field Camera

Lytro Introduces 'Illum,' A Professional Light-Field Camera

Newsy (Apr. 22, 2014) The light-field photography engineers at Lytro unveiled their next innovation: a professional DSLR-like camera called "Illum." Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
3 Reasons Why Harley Davidson Is Selling Tons of Epic Hogs

3 Reasons Why Harley Davidson Is Selling Tons of Epic Hogs

TheStreet (Apr. 22, 2014) Sales of motorcycles have continued to ride back from the depths of hell known as the Great Recession. Excluding scooters, sales of motorcycles increased 3% in 2013. In units, however, at 465,000 sold last year, the total remained about 50% below the peak hit in 2007. Industry leader Harley Davidson’s shareholders have benefited both by the industry recovery and positive headlines emanating from the company. Belus Capital Advisors CEO Brian Sozzi takes you beyond the headlines of the motorcycle maker. Video provided by TheStreet
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins