EWI’s materials engineering group plays a significant role in nearly every manufacturing challenge we face, regardless of industry. By applying materials engineering principles and process knowledge to the selection, development, and evaluation of materials, our experts lead impactful projects and provide valuable support to EWI’s other technology groups.
Our engineers can design heat-treatment procedures to improve structural integrity by optimizing mechanical properties, minimizing residual stresses, and mitigating weld cracking. Our expertise in performing weldability assessments includes dissimilar welding and the improvement of interlayer characteristics and properties. EWI’s materials engineers are also helping to develop new additive- manufacturing powders, design new brazing and soldering alloys, and evaluate alloys for high-temperature applications.
With more than 120 years of cross-industry and cross-technology experience, the materials group offers specialized knowledge in ferrous and non-ferrous metallurgy, polymers, adhesives, dissimilar materials joining, and weldability testing, as well as a deep understanding of the relationship between welding processes and resultant material properties.
Our clients can access this diverse set of skills to address challenges at all stages of their manufacturing processes. The following list provides a sample of our technical expertise.
- Materials selection and characterization
- Materials development
- Weldability evaluation
- Welding process selection
- Failure analysis
- Dissimilar metals joining
- Metal-to-nonmetal joining
- Adhesive bonding
- Filler-metal design and selection
- SEM w/EDS and INCA (scanning electron microscope with energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy and INCAFeature particle analysis)
- FIB – Focused ion beam scanning electron microscope
- XRD – x-ray diffraction
- TEM – transmission electron microscope
- Dynamic mechanical analysis (DMA)
- Differential scanning calorimetry (DSC)
- Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR)
- Raman microscopic spectrometer
- Digital imaging capabilities
- Additive manufacturing powder analysis tools
- Arial surface characterization
- Fiber-probe Interferometry
- Computed tomography
Over the years, EWI’s materials engineers have creatively applied their diverse skill sets to push the envelope in materials science and help our clients succeed. Our high-impact projects have included:
- Supporting United States Air Force (USAF) composites-intensive programs by developing methods to bond advanced composites to titanium, earning EWI the Department of Defense Mantech Achievement Award.
- Modeling and producing thermal protective system (TPS) test structures for the aerospace industry, demonstrating the effectiveness of modeling via thermal testing and verification of predicted performance.
- Identifying the root cause of cracking in titanium pressure vessels intended for satellite installation, providing guidelines to correct fabrication practices and prevent future failures.
- Investigating the effects of inclusions and microstructure in welded high-strength-low-alloy (HSLA) steel on fracture toughness in the coarse-grained-heat-affected-zone (CGHAZ).
- Studying the effect of shielding-gas composition and non-consumable electrode type on microstructure, mechanical properties, and corrosion resistance of stainless-steel weld joints.
- Performing induction brazing of copper pipes which form a continuous hermetic channel hundreds of meters in length in an experimental fusion reactor.
- Vacuum furnace brazing tantalum to stainless-steel flange assemblies for an application in a corrosive environment. Proper filler metal and procedure selection prevented oxidation of the stainless steel and resulted in high-quality joints that passed stringent helium leak test requirements.
- Using ultrasonic soldering as a low-temperature bonding process for joining a silicon carbide-diamond composite to steel for a bearing application, achieving a shear strength nearly 50% higher than required.