Robert Carter from NASA’s Glenn Research Center (left) and Daira Legzdina from Honeywell Aerospace (right) examined high temperature nickel alloy samples containing linear friction welds using VULCAN, Oak Ridge National Laboratory's Spallation Neutron Source beam line 7.

Nickel alloys are often used in critical rotating applications, like turbines, and welded components are typically stress relieved through standard heat treatment processes, often without understanding the actual final stress state. Potential remaining residual stress can lower the life of the component dramatically, in some cases leading to premature field failure. Measuring the stress state of welded components using neutron diffraction could help designers manufacture more reliable aircraft components and other aerospace-related materials.

Through this research, Honeywell and NASA are working to understand the fundamental parameters that drive performance improvement in advanced nickel alloy bonding.

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