Saturday, October 11, 2008

Corrosion Cracks

Steel for Real

Credit: European Synchrotron Radiation Facility

Renderings showing four steps during the propagation of a stress corrosion crack. Bridges across the crack are seen as "holes" in the crack surface.

Understanding your material is a question of economy and often security. Corrosion of material is something that has to go into the equation when building various constructions such as oil pipelines. Small changes in the composition of a material make huges differences.

By x-raying your material, that is what you do at the ESRF, you get lots of information about your material's behavior. Did you know by the way, that synchrotron radiation was an unwanted side effect at the more famous large research facility, CERN? I might have mentioned it before. :-)

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