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Materials Characterization and Analysis

Lab analysis underway at UDRI

Comprehensive Characterization, Testing, Evaluation and Analysis of Advanced Materials

UDRI has virtually unlimited capabilities in this area, as we conduct the largest sponsored materials engineering research effort in the nation among universities. While our primary materials customer is the United States Air Force, we serve a wide variety of both governmental and commercial organizations with the facilities and services detailed below.

Metallography Laboratory

UDRI's Metallography Laboratory possesses equipment enabling our researchers to section, grind, polish, etch and optically characterize metallic, ceramic, polymeric, and composite materials. Examinations include characterization of materials’ macro- and microstructures, image analysis, and hardness. Equipment in the Metallography Laboratory is frequently used on failure analysis projects and provides rapid turnaround times for rapid response efforts. In addition to the metallographic and failure analysis support, the laboratory's researchers routinely provide specimen preparation and photo documentation. We work extensively with industrial customers to provide validation of production techniques via depth-of-damage (DoD) calculations and analysis.

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Microanalytical Laboratory

UDRI's Microanalytical Laboratory personnel use SEM, x-ray diffraction, Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy (FTIR), and optical spectroscopy, among others, to characterize the surface and subsurface regions in metallic, ceramic, polymer, and composite materials. In addition, our researchers build analytical instrumentation to measure various material properties. These include electrochemical responses, X-ray emission, and dimensional changes during chemical exposure. Chemical changes in materials have been measured by looking at high and low frequency dielectric and conductivity changes. The proton response of material has been used to monitor curing. Once the initial characterization has shown which property to measure, we can follow up and manufacture a device to routinely examine that property.

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Chemical Analysis Laboratory

The Chemical Analysis Laboratory has comprehensive elemental and molecular analysis capabilities. Elemental analysis instrumentation includes CHNS/O compositional analysis for organics, carbon and sulfur analysis in metals, non-destructive x-ray fluorescence spectroscopy, atomic absorption spectroscopy, and inductively-coupled plasma optical emission spectroscopy. Further, the laboratory has capabilities for specialized elemental analysis such as titrimetric determination of halogens in organics. Molecular analysis capabilities include a Raman microscope and a Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy system with micro-ATR, transmission, and reflectance sampling techniques. The laboratory also has miscellaneous capabilities such as pH, conductivity, and ion-selective electrode measurements. The two primary scientists in the lab have a combined experience of over 60 years in chemical analysis and problem-solving.

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Surface Analysis Capabilities

UDRI Surface Analysis researchers have access to an X-Ray Photoelectron Spectroscopy (XPS) system to fully characterize surface and near-surface composition and provide chemical state information for various material substrates. This method is based on energy spectroscopy of emitted electrons. Depth profiling perpendicular to the surface can also be obtained via ion-beam sputtering. XPS is a vacuum method suitable for a wide variety of materials such as metals, semiconductor materials and devices, catalysts, ceramics, powders, polymers, composite materials, tissues and cultures, and catalysts. XPS is useful for a range of applications including bulk and thin film composition, tribology, coatings, alloying, bonding, oxidation, corrosion and contamination, catalysis, and biological samples.

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Nanoscale Engineering Science and Technology (NEST) Laboratory

The NEST Laboratory is a multi-user facility operated and managed by UDRI. The lab features state-of-the-art equipment that enables research and development through the interrogation, characterization and manipulation of materials at the nanoscale. Customers may either be trained on the instruments and use the equipment themselves, or submit samples for characterization by our expert staff for a fee. Users may schedule experiments online, use the instruments and extract the data in a convenient manner for analysis. Available instruments include a transmission electron microscope (TEM), a high-resolution scanning electron microscope (HRSEM) and an environmental SEM, RAMAN microscope, a single-crystal X-Ray diffraction (XRD) instrument, a profilometer, and an ultra-small angle X-Ray scattering (USAXS) instrument. The NEST lab is only the second university lab in the United States to possess a USAXS, and is first one open to users. Our USAXS is equipped with advanced features including high sensitivity, swappable X-ray sources (Copper and Molybdenum), coexistent SAXS and USAXS capabilities. It is suitable for all materials and provides quantitative, hierarchical structural data covering length scales from approximately 10nm to 1 micrometer in a single experiment.

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University of Dayton Research Institute

300 College Park
Dayton, Ohio 45469 - 0101