A new Gleeble physical simulation system, designed specifically for use in a synchrotron has been delivered to the Brazilian Nanotechnology National Laboratory (LNNano) in Campinas, Brazil.

LNNano has installed the system at the Brazilian Synchrotron Light Laboratory – LNLS. The system is being used to perform advanced and unprecedented in situ materials studies combining the power of high flux x-ray beam emanating from the Brazilian synchrotron source and the dynamic thermo-mechanical capabilities of a Gleeble simulator, which will make it possible to unveil the fundamentals of structural and functional materials behavior when subjected to specific thermo-mechanical conditions. The use of synchrotron generated x-rays to perform very fast diffraction experiments will allow LNNano to explore the complex interactions of temperature and/or stress on phenomena as phase transformations, residual stress evolution, corrosion, and oxidation, among others. The entire project was funded by Petrobras S.A., a Brazilian energy company (oil, gas, biofuels, and alternative energy sources).

This new system has a load frame designed specifically for work in the beam line. This allows the sample to be heated, cooled, and subjected to forces while in the path of a high flux synchrotron generated x-ray beam. The control system is designed for remote operation so the system operator can start, stop, and monitor experiments from outside the work cell where the load unit is located. Windows-based computer software, combined with an array of powerful processors, provides an extremely user-friendly interface to prepare physical simulation and thermal mechanical test programs, to provide digital closed-loop control of the thermal and mechanical systems, and to collect data.

Now that the integration of the customized Gleeble simulator with the synchrotron experimental station has been completed and the installation commissioned, the scientific and technological use of this installation has started with the study of phase transformations on functional and structural materials including corrosion and high temperature resistant materials. The results of the research will be used by Petrobras S.A. to face the challenges to exploit, in a safe and environmentally responsible manner, the oil reserves in ultra-deep waters. Such scientific instrumentation has also been designed to help unveil the fundamentals of diffusion controlled and displasive martensitic and bainitic transformations in metallic alloys, among other phenomena. With the implementation of this advanced instrumentation the Brazilian Nanotechnology National Laboratory is moving forward the development and fruitful future use of LNLS new 3rd generation source called Sirius.

Gleeble systems are used for process simulation, materials characterization, and basic research in technical institutes, industrial laboratories, and universities throughout the world.

The Brazilian Nanotechnology National Laboratory (LNNano) is a multidisciplinary institution, linked to the National Center for Research in Energy and materials (CNPEM), which also host the Brazilian Synchrotron Light Laboratory (LNLS), the Brazilian Bioscience National Laboratory (LNBio) and the Brazilian Bioethanol Science and Technology National Laboratory (CTBE) through management contract with the Ministry of science, technology and innovation (MCTI). CNPEM houses the only source of Synchrotron Light in Latin America, along with a set of advanced laboratories and scientific instrumentations allowing the study of organic and inorganic materials down to the atomic level. Used by scientific and technological community, this complex has contributed to the advancement of knowledge in strategic areas such as nanoscience, advanced materials, drugs and alternative energies, and to the training of scientific and technical personnel.

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