The National Science Foundation (NSF) recently awarded CHESS a Research Advanced by Interdisciplinary Science and Engineering (RAISE) grant to create a collaborative materials gateway for x-ray imaging and modeling of microstructures.
This award is also shared between the University of Minnesota, the San Diego Supercomputer Center, and Carnegie Mellon. The NSF’s RAISE grants are intended to support interdisciplinary projects whose proposals lie outside the scope of a single program or discipline.
The collaboration created by RAISE converges structural materials data collected from the FAST and SMB beamlines at CHESS with the new technologies being developed at NSF High Performance Computing sites to create a Science Gateway. This public gateway will allow the broader science community user-friendly access to a convergence of data and tools used by researchers from scientific and engineering domains that are currently inaccessible.
“The NSF RAISE project will develop and deploy a general purpose ‘Science Gateway’ focusing on engineering alloys that will integrate multiscale X-ray scattering data at CHESS, with accelerated image processing and data reconstruction tools, explains Matt Miller, Professor of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Associate Director of CHESS, and Co-PI on the grant. “This will create a seamless connection to plasticity, fatigue and fracture models and codes for analysis and prediction associated with design.”
This marriage of complex synchrotron data with the supercomputing power of San Diego Supercomputing Center and the University of Minnesota will enable the design of strategies for engineering the new complex materials. Building this infrastructure through RAISE will provide essential understanding of the microstructure of complex materials where reliability, sustainability, and durability are key.
Miller explains that the deeper, long-term impact of this Science Gateway is contributing to the analytic and predictive power of computer-aided design, development, manufacture, and performance of next-generation devices and materials.
A single experiment at CHESS using high energy x-rays generates Terabytes of high-fidelity scattering data. These x-rays aid in the study of important processes, like welding and the addition of additives, which create structural materials, as well as in the study of the limits of materials such as fatigue crack growth. All of this data requires complex analysis, data ingestion, data reduction, and reconstruction tools.
Over the past decade, CHESS and several other high-energy synchrotrons around the world have made enormous advances in the development of diffraction-based characterization methods for structural materials. These materials, like steel, titanium and aluminum alloys, are used in almost every important load bearing application.
The capabilities developed in this grant will enable scientists and engineers to more fully examine and understand the enormous datasets that are now possible at CHESS and around the world. Miller explains that the increased flux from the recent CHESS-U upgrade, paired with the newest generation of large area detectors, and the sophisticated in-situ sample environments which mimic processing or in-service conditions, have all combined to make this possible.
“Merging this high fidelity X-ray data from CHESS with the most current generation of structural material models can change the way new alloys and new engineering components are constructed and designed with those alloys,” says Miller. “We are excited for the accessibility this will create for researchers in the broader materials science community.”