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Strain mapping

By PJ Webster


Neutron strain scanning techniques have been developing since the early 1980s [1-3] and synchrotron X-ray techniques rapidly since the 1990s [4, 5]. The first neutron measurements used single detector instruments at medium flux reactor sources, 'gauge volumes' that were relatively large and coarsely defined, manual positioning of samples and computer-aided but labour-intensive Interactive Gaussian peak fitting routines. Statistical data quality was often high but spatial resolution, data collection rates and data processing speeds were all relatively low. Even in comparatively simple experiments, for example, scans through thin sections of ferritic steel test samples with moderate residual strain gradients, only a handful of measurements could be made and processed in a day. Consequently most neutron strain investigations were restricted to linear scans at a dozen or so points, usually in three orthogonal directions so that stresses could be derived. Area mapping, which typically might require orthogonal measurements at a hundred or more points was not then generally a practical proposition due to time and resource cost considerations. \ud With the introduction of high flux neutron sources, multidetectors, automated sample positioning, optimisation of data acquisition, fast and cheap computers, fully computerised peak fitting and commercial surface fitting software, the situation has changed dramatically. The data for an adequately defined neutron diffraction peak might now be collected in a few minutes, or even less, and be processed near on-line, so that multipoint neutron area strain scanning is DOW practicable [6,7].\ud Synchrotrons produce near-parallel X-ray beams with extremely high photon fluxes, typically billions of times the equivalent neutron flux of even the most powerful nuclear reactors. On the other hand X-ray attenuation lengths, at similar wavelengths to those used with neu¬tron strain scanning (λ ≈ 1.5 Å), tend to be several orders of magnitude smaller than the corresponding neutron attenuation lengths. Consequently, at these wavelengths the attenu¬ation of X-ray beams is generally much higher than for neutron beams, especially through thick samples. However, for harder more penetrating X-rays (λ ≈ 0.3 Å), attenuation lengths can be similar (≈ mm), for light element materials, to those for neutrons. Scattering parameters and attenuation lengths for neutrons and for X-rays of typically used wavelengths are shown for elements that comprise the majority component of common engineering alloys in Table 12.1. In favourable circumstances, such as when measuring through relatively thin samples made of lower attenuating light element materials, synchrotron X-ray count rates, even with single detector instruments, can be orders of magnitude greater than is typical for neutron count rates. Furthermore, synchrotron technology is advancing rapidly, producing higher fluxes at even higher energies. At wiggler and undulator locations synchrotron X-ray fluxes are particularly high. When used with area detectors, data from several reflections, at all orientations within a nearly flat cone, may be simultaneously recorded in seconds or less. Consequently, although synchrotron strain scanning is a relatively new technique, syn¬chrotron area strain mapping is developing rapidly. As developments proceed it is probable that volume strain mapping will also become routine. \ud The aim of this chapter is to outline the methods used in neutron and synchrotron strain mapping and to illustrate by examples the potentials of the two techniques

Topics: QA75, QC, other
Publisher: CRC Press
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  4. Map of the strain field around a 6 mm cold-expanded hole 1 (l a ferritlc steel, measured by the Btagg-ed1lc transmission technique at ISIS, UK. (See Figure 11.15, page 204.) M~ 2~7S 221~~ :200 -22!:io 17>~D 15lJ--17~ 125-1 50
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