This department specializes in developing new characterization techniques for metals, ceramics and composite materials. Development of new methods to characterize and predict the behavior of materials is absolutely necessary for successful energy and water research, as well as other technology development missions in national and homeland security.
The ability to determine specific material properties without direct physical access is critical in many energy and environmental applications. This department develops capabilities and methods in non-destructive evaluation (NDE) for such applications.
These methods include laser-methodologies that use acoustic, interferometric, and reflective detection technologies. These methods allow for microstructure analyses on length scales ranging from nanometers to millimeters. These activities compliment capabilities in traditional NDE which include eddy current detection and conventional ultrasonics.