Original Date: 11/03/1996
Revision Date: 01/18/2007
Information : Thermal Analysis and Diffraction
The Diffraction and Thermophysical Properties User Centers of Oak Ridge National Laboratory's (ORNL’s) High Temperature Materials Laboratory (HTML) offer a unique combination of facilities for materials research and process development. Here, U.S. companies can work with highly-trained technical personnel and state-of-the-art equipment, free of charge, provided all results are published and benefit industry as a whole.
Typically, when studying high temperature materials processing, researchers only examine the initial and final state of the materials at room temperature. This approach does not gather any detailed information during the actual processing. High temperature in-situ studies of processing have shown that improved understanding and control of processes can be achieved through high temperature characterization techniques such as x-ray and neutron diffraction coupled with thermal analysis. HTML facilities can provide extensive in-situ characterization of materials at temperatures up to 1600°C for almost any atmospheric condition and at higher temperatures in a vacuum environment.
Although computer modeling has provided the metals processing industry with improved quality and significant savings, the thermophysical property data is generally unavailable, particularly at temperatures above 1000°C. HTML facilities can determine the thermophysical properties of alloys up to and including the molten range. As a result, this data has helped ORNL and industry develop, verify, and modify metals processing models that save time and money.
Materials studied at the HTML facilities include structural ceramics, ceramic precursors, ceramic and metal matrix composites, super alloys, superconducting materials, carbon materials, and carbon fiber composites. The major centers consist of the diffraction and the thermal analysis facilities.
The diffraction facilities can extensively characterize anisotropic thermal expansion, solid state reactions, phase transformations, reactions of starting materials, oxidation kinetics, and crystallization from the melt. The thermal analysis facilities can characterize the reaction or decomposition temperatures, heats of formation, heat capacity, bulk thermal expansion, thermal conductivity, and reactions with environmental gases.
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