The competition will run from 6.30 pm to 7.45 pm in Lecture Room C15, MSS Tower (please note amended start time).
There will be four talks:
Beth Trinh - Rapid diagnosis of bacterial infections: A junction between material science and biology
Giulia Mazzei - Lead-Induced Stress Corrosion Cracking of Alloy 690TT
Paul Barron - Metallurgy in the Pre-Columbian Andes
Dominic Shore - Thin Coatings for Light Alloy Components in the Automotive Industry
Ciara Fox - Understanding the role of zinc in radiation field reduction for light water nuclear power plants
A buffet will be provided from 6.00pm in the MSS foyer and everybody is welcome.
Rapid diagnosis of bacterial infections: A junction between material science and biology
By Beth Trinh
Antibacterial drug resistance is a major global health issue with dwindling effectiveness of current antibiotics potentially making currently treatable infections a significant health issue in the future.
Current methods of bacterial identification and detection may take up to a week, and often require specialist knowledge and equipment. This often leads to incorrect treatment and the use of
unneeded antibiotics, contributing to antibiotic resistance. There is therefore an urgent need for simple and reliable diagnostics that can quickly determine the presence of bacterial infections which
will allow targeted treatments to be prescribed, thus reducing unnecessary use of antibiotics. There is ongoing materials science research using a range of technologies such as nanoparticles,
biosensors, fluorescent materials and surface enhanced Raman scattering to develop technologies which provide user friendly, point-of-care diagnostics as an initial test of infection.
This presentation discusses current and future research in the development of new, novel rapid diagnostic tests.
Lead-Induced Stress Corrosion Cracking of Alloy 690TT
By Giulia Mazzei
Stress Corrosion Cracking (SCC) is one of the major degradation mechanisms of structural materials employed in nuclear power plants. SCC requires the synergistic effect of stress (applied or residual),
a corrosive environment, that is specific for the material, and a susceptible microstructure. In pressurized water reactors, the steam generator is the interface between primary side (producing nuclear
energy and radioactive) and the secondary side, which is considered a conventional loop subjected to less restrictive control on the water chemistry. Although lead is hereby present in concentrations
of part per billions, it tends to build-up due to the presence of occluded regions with low flow and high temperatures, causing a specific SCC mechanism (referred as PbSCC). The steam generators
tubes, made of Ni-based thermally treated Alloy 690, are particularly prone to cracking in caustic crevice conditions, with consequences on the operability of the plants. In the present study, Alloy
690TT has been exposed to caustic solutions at different pH values with 1000 ppm of PbO at 315?C using self-loaded C-rings. The baseline microstructure of Alloy 690TT, as well as the deformed
layer on the outer surface introduced during the manufacture of the tubes, were microstructurally characterized in order to understand the effect of carbides and the Bielby layer on the materials
performance. The results indicated that the resistance to PbSCC was affected by the surface finish (polished and as received conditions) and showed a threshold trend with the pH. Advanced
electron microscopy techniques (SEM, ATEM and FIB) have been used to analyse the oxide layer and shed light on the role of Pb on in the SCC crack propagation mechanism.
Metallurgy in the Pre-Columbian Andes
By Paul Barron
The civilisations that inhabited the Andean mountain ranges possessed a rich metallurgical tradition that utilised a variety of alloys comprising of copper, gold, silver and other metals.
The ways that metals were used in these civilisations demanded smelting, forging and processing methods that were unique to this part of the world. This talk will discuss how the usage
of metal shaped the techniques employed by these cultures while giving some examples in the form of artefacts recovered from the region. These examples will also explore how we
know what we know by detailing the scientific techniques used to investigate the artefacts, as well as a discussion of why the artefacts are important.
Thin Coatings for Light Alloy Components in the Automotive Industry
By Dominic Shore
Weight reduction is an important constraint in automotive design as it is imperative to maximizing fuel efficiency and vehicle performance. This has driven an increase in the use of
“light alloys” such as aluminium and magnesium alloys for components. These alloys exhibit low densities and high strength-to-weight ratios. With increasing environmental legislation
regarding vehicle efficiency and with the widespread electrification of automotive vehicles on the horizon, it is envisaged that the demand for light alloys in the sector will continue to
grow in the future.
Whilst chosen for inherent strength/density properties, many aspects of performance are determined by the near surface characteristics of the material. In this talk I will be
exploring how thin coating technologies can be applied to light alloy automotive components to maximize their suitability and performance with regards to: corrosion, joining,
wear, tribology and aesthetic, looking at current technologies and coating solutions to long existing challenges.
Understanding the role of zinc in radiation field reduction for light water nuclear power plants
By Ciara Fox
In nuclear reactors the exposure of working personnel to radiation is a constant concern and extensive work has been undertaken to minimise this exposure. In the 20th century
a main research focus was the impact of cobalt gamma radiation build-up in Light Water Nuclear Reactors (LWRs). Historically up to 80 % of the radiation field in a LWR could
be attributed to cobalt corrosion product activation by the core and subsequent deposition on out of core components.
In the 1980s it was noticed that the use of brass condenser piping led to a reduction in the radiation field caused by cobalt gamma radiation. Subsequent investigation revealed
the presence of ionic zinc corrosion products within the coolant water were responsible for the reduced radiation field observed. This talk will explain the role of zinc in radiation
field reduction and the subsequent development of the zinc injection system.