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A new experimental technique for materials more resistant to extreme deformations

An international research team, gathering researchers from the Laboratory for the Use of Intense Lasers (École Polytechnique / CNRS / CEA / UPMC), the University of Osaka (Japan) and ROSATOM (Russia) has developed an experimental technique for determining, at the atomic scale, the level of fracture of a material.

Bruno Albertazzi, researcher at the Laboratory for the Use of Intense Lasers (LULI), has been interested in developing a new experimental platform for measuring fundamental property of a material at the atomic scale: its spallation pressure (or fracture pressure), with a particular focus on the case of tantalum.

In order to determine the spallation pressure at the extreme deformation rate of a material, the LULI researcher and his colleagues conducted an experiment on SACLA in Japan to couple a power optical laser with an X-ray laser (X-ray Free electron laser, XFEL). The first one generated a shock wave in the sample (which simulated the collision of debris, particles, etc. with a material for example), and the second, an X-ray beam, made it possible to probe matter at atomic level and to determine the level of fracture.

This study, published on June 3th, 2017 in the Science Advances, has an interest in many industrial fields, including aerospace.