While neutron based material characterization tools may seem exotic, they have much in common with more widely available microscopy techniques or x-ray based diffraction and computed tomography methods. Due to the high penetration power of neutrons into most materials and the unique contrast they provide, they complement the more standard tools and moreover, are invaluable for in situ and in operando investigations.
Large-scale neutron infrastructure methodology has played key roles in the innovation of engineering systems and provided insights about materials and processes that enable developments of novel and improved products. Thanks to the high contrast for elements like Hydrogen and Lithium, neutron imaging and diffraction has been used to optimize the fuel cell technology that will power our cars tomorrow, to gain insight into the operation of batteries, as well as to reveal corrosion in airplane components. The high penetration power allows probing deep inside of metallic alloys to study phase transitions, determining internal residual stresses or crystallographic texture, hence significantly expanding what can be done using electrons or x-rays.
This presentation will summarize the most important neutron characterization tools for the study of engineering materials and components, and beyond that will aim to spark ideas on how neutrons can help to solve open questions and problems that you are currently facing in your industry.