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The Materials Characterization Department, serves our customers by helping them to better understand the structure, composition and properties of materials, by helping them develop better materials for their applications, and by helping them develop lifetime performance predictions for their materials.  To accomplish this, we apply spectroscopic and diffraction techniques, light and electron microscopy, metallography, surface analysis, chemical analysis, thermal analysis, and mechanical analysis to characterize materials and components.  We also act as a gateway to materials characterization capabilities within and outside of Sandia. We take pride in owning, maintaining and utilizing to the fullest extent the best instrumentation available anywhere.  We serve the entire corporation in their material analysis needs and frequently other federal agencies and industry.

We have considerable expertise and experience in solving material related issues for engineering components and structures.  Failure analysis is performed on all types of materials including metals, ceramics, polymers, electronics, and biological matter to resolve issues related to defective materials, unexpected loading environments, manufacturing process failures, in-service failures, inappropriate use and age-related degradation and defects.  Many government agencies and industrial corporations have utilized our services to provide an impartial and unbiased analysis of their problems.

We owe our diverse set of customers to our thorough comprehensive approach that seeks to address the root cause of a failure and considers factors such as design, expected and actual environments and materials fitness for service.  Typical projects seek to answer questions such as: was the part used incorrectly? was the material defective?, did something unexpected happen during service or is this a systemic problem as opposed to a one-off event?.  By combining true state-of-the-art analytical capabilities with a diverse collection of materials experts, the materials characterization department is uniquely positioned to provide comprehensive failure analysis solutions to your problems.

When required, we develop novel instrumentation and materials characterization techniques.

Contact: Jim Aubert

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