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White Papers

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  • Your Metal Component has Failed in Fatigue: What do you do next?

    Fatigue is a major failure mode for metal components, in commercial, industrial and research environments, and can have catastrophic consequences. Understanding the mechanisms behind fatigue failures, and knowing how to handle samples after they have failed in fatigue, is essential for engineers to perform effective analysis.

  • Additive Manufacturing - A Metallurgical Perspective

    In this white paper, we will take a look at Additive Manufacturing from the metallurgical perspective. As with any other manufacturing process, different materials provide different benefits for particular applications. We will discuss the advantages and disadvantages of AM at each of the three main manufacturing stages: pre-processing, processing and post-processing. We will also discuss some typical component applications that this new manufacturing process is being used for, and all the metallurgical issues involved.

  • Surface Engineering Coating Technology and Characterization of the Surface Region

    Surface engineering, or surface treatment, can be defined as the design of surface composition and substrate together as a functionally graded system to give a cost effective performance enhancement of which neither is capable on its own - or, more simply, as altering the surface for advantage. This includes both physical and chemical treatments, applied coatings, including multilayer coatings, and the chemical and physical characterization of the affected surface zone. In this paper we will review some of the industrial applications of surface engineering and the techniques used to define the topography and chemical composition of the surface and subsurface regions.

  • Digital Image Correlation and its Benefits to Industry

    Digital Image Correlation (DIC) is a non-contact, non-interferometric measurement technique that uses high-resolution machine-vision digital cameras to accurately measure surface deformation in two or three dimensions. This measurement is presented graphically in a number of ways such as a 2D strain map overlaying the test specimen, or a 3D displacement map showing the specimen surface and how it moves throughout the test. Early development of this technology began in the mid-1980s in the mechanical engineering department of the University of South Carolina. Since then it has gone on to revolutionize mechanical testing on both the macro and micro scale. The applications of DIC are vast, from eyeball pressure testing to earthquake analysis; this adaptable and highly capable system will transform design, validation and testing methods for anything from dental implants to wind turbines.

  • Lucideon's Guide to Composites

    Composites are being used more and more in many different industries, thanks to the enhanced properties that are realised from the combining of materials.
    In this guide we will look at what composites are, highlighting their advantages and explaining how they work. We will also consider how to design with composites and how to test composites and components to ensure that they perform to the best of their ability.

  • Solving Problems by Materials Analysis with an Electron Microprobe

    This paper describes how electron microprobe analysis has been used effectively in industrial materials problem solving. Three case studies are briefly presented to illustrate how the unique capabilities of the electron microprobe were used to solve each problem quickly and cost effectively. These examples illustrate how a methodical approach to problem solving, microchemical analyses, and collaboration in a cross-functional team have led to rapid identification of root cause, and successful recovery from difficult situations. Finally, guidelines are offered on some points to consider when facing problems with materials or processes.

  • How Surface Characterization is Helping the Aerospace Industry to Achieve Environmental Targets

    The green agenda continues to dominate aerospace developments both from the regulatory perspective and from economic operating imperatives. The REACH directive and other regulatory pressures are targeting chromium removal by 2013 whilst fuel burn reduction is the main driver behind the use of composites as a means of light-weighting aircraft structures and components. In both these areas new material developments continue to hold the key to the successful achievement of the green objectives whilst maintaining, or improving, the other essential product performance requirements. Underpinning many areas of these technological advances is a need to understand surface and interface functionality from both a chemical and physical standpoint. In this paper we give examples of where surface characterisation techniques are continuing to make a major contribution to these endeavours to reduce the environmental impact of the aerospace industry in the future.

  • The Growth of Ceramics in Aerospace and Defence

    Over the last 20 years the demands of the Aerospace and Defence sectors on materials have consistently focussed on low density (leading to lightweight components), high specific strength and/or stiffness (maximising the performance of the lightweight materials), and high hardness (for wear resistance and ballistic protection). Reducing the weight of aerospace components has obvious benefits in terms of increasing the effectiveness of the fuel burned, either in increasing the range or allowing greater payload to be carried for the same amount of fuel. In defence applications, a weight reduction of personal protection (armour/helmet etc) reduces the load on the individual soldier, allowing him to carry more munitions making him more effective, and increasing his agility and manoverability. Similarly, military vehicles benefit from reduced weight, making them more easily transported (airlifted) into the theatre of operations. However, these weight reductions must not be achieved at the expense of performance - hence the sector’s drive for new, lightweight, high performance materials.