Dr Justin Kimpton, who leads the powder diffraction beamline at the Australian Synchrotron, visited the mineAlloy group at Deakin University on 15th June. Justin delivered a talk on Real time experiments using synchrotron X-ray powder diffraction and subsequently discussed the opportunities for our students and industry partners to use synchrotron X-rays for in-situ and ex-situ studies of wear resistant materials.

X-ray powder diffraction is a powerful technique capable of probing the atomic structure of polycrystalline materials. Compared to laboratory instrumentation, synchrotron X-ray powder diffraction exploits the bright and highly collimated X-rays produced at synchrotron facilities for improved signal-to-noise (lower detection limits), tuneable wavelengths (to minimize sample absorption) and higher angular resolution (to reduce peak overlap).

The combination of high beam intensity with state-of-the-art detectors makes time-resolved measurements or in-situ measurements feasible. This means that our scientists and engineers can study the behavior of materials in complex environments (high temperature, load, etc.) and monitor the changes in real-time: precipitation and phase transformations during heat treatments, deformation and work-hardening mechanisms, etc.

For more information on the capabilities of the Australian Synchrotron, please visit www.synchrotron.org.au