LNNano - Brazilian Nanotechnology National Laboratory

Metals Characterization and Processing Laboratory


Metals Characterization and Processing Laboratory

The Metals Characterization and Processing Laboratory (CPM) is a partner of the transportation (aerospace, automotive) metallurgical, oil, gas, and biofuels industries, among others. The group activities range from fundamental science to applied technology, focusing on advanced materials characterization and processing, including friction stir welding and processing (FSW/FSP). Such activity covers from the nanometric to the micro and macro scales, with emphasis on metals. However, fundamental science activities also involve nanoscale ceramics and semiconductors. In addition, the group has extensive experience in developing specialized infrastructure for unique in-situ experiments, involving and combining scanning and transmission electron microscopy, conventional and synchrotron X-ray scattering, and thermo-mechanical simulation.

CPM counts with physical simulators in laboratory scale for actual processes, aiming at accelerating the development of materials, optimization of operating parameters of manufacturing processes and development of processing maps for new materials. The group also develops methodologies and computer programs for modeling and numerical simulation of materials and processes.

The laboratory stands out due to its expertise of friction stir welding (FSW), which enables fundamental studies of the severe deformation mechanisms of materials. These technologies improve the performance of materials widely used in aerospace, defense, marine, automotive and energy generation industries.

CPM carries out studies of phase transformations and mechanical and environmental performance from the micro scale to macrometric scales as tensile, compression, torsion, transformation curves assessment and corrosion tests. The process parameters resulting from the laboratory study are scaled production, enabling the industrial processing of metallic, ceramic, advanced alloys and composites materials.

CPM facilities:

  • Samples Preparation Laboratory, equipped with metallographic equipment for cutting, mounting, sanding and polishing, etching, etc;
  • Arc furnace with electromagnetic stirring for the production of metal alloys;
  • Furnace with vacuum and controlled atmosphere (Ar, N2, H2 and mixtures) capacity for heat treatment and surface processing of experimental materials;
  • Optical microscopes with advanced digital systems for analysis and image registration;
  • Automated micro and macroindentation systems for hardness measurements;
  • MRD Panalytical X-Ray diffractometer with high spatial resolution, capable of automated measurements on surfaces, determination of phases and assessment of residual stress maps;
  • Gleeble 3800® thermo-mechanical simulator, enabling a wide range of physical simulation experiments: heating and cooling at extreme rates and application of tension, compression and torsion efforts;
  • X-Ray Scattering and Thermo-Mechanical Simulation Experimental Station (XTMS), installed in the line of XRD1 Synchrotron Light, a joint project with LNLS enabling to explore the crystalline structure of materials and mechanical and thermal behavior in macrometric scale. The vacuum chamber surrounding the sample has several systems for monitoring of temperature, deformation, and dilatometry for analysis of phase transformations, including advanced linear and two-dimensional X-ray detection systems, enabling to carry out dynamic experiments;
  • Friction Stir Welding/Processing (FSW/FSP) machine, particularly designed for R&D of materials with high melting temperature;
  • Servohydraulic Universal Testing Machine MTS 250 kN, with environmental chamber and furnace for static and dynamic mechanical assays under controlled environmental conditions from -130 up to 315 ºC;
  • Charpy and Izod type impact pendulum;
  • Optical spectrometer for chemical composition analysis of metallic materials;
  • Diffusible Hydrogen Spectrometer for high-performance analysis with two hot extraction furnaces (infrared and wire-heated);
  • Non-contact 3D Surface Profiler.

Metals Characterization and Processing Laboratory (CPM) is dedicated to the material studies with emphasis in the advanced characterization and processing, micro- and nano-scale characterization of functional materials, including metals, semiconductors, and ceramics.