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Abu Dhabi’s Technology Innovation Institute (TII) has opened a dedicated material impact and material science laboratory

Abu Dhabi: Abu Dhabi’s Technology Innovation Institute (TII) has opened a dedicated material impact and material science laboratory for trialling material, laminates and composites.

The Advanced Materials Research Centre (AMRC) Impact Lab will provide an ideal test bed and will help bring advanced material to a stage at which they will be ready for transition from lab to industry.

Tests will be conducted under a range of impact-related environments, from assessing structures on their velocities, temperatures and energy absorption rates. The state-of-the-art equipment will be used to evaluate the behaviours of the material that help develop breakthrough solutions.

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Real-world applications

The lab will be capable of characterising metallic, polymeric, ceramic and composite material at speed into prototypes with real-world applications. In fact, the key outcome that the lab is presently working towards will help prevent space rovers from crashing and help create helmets, bumpers, tyres and car batteries that can withstand explosions. Innovative lightweight structures designed to absorb impact energy can be also used in helmets for sport, riding motorcycles, as well as horseback riding. AMRC’s research team attributes these findings to impact and material science.

“This is an extremely encouraging note on which to start the new year. We are confident that our research centres will continue to achieve similar wins — one breakthrough at a time. At TII, we are committed to offering our researchers an enabling environment to work on their collaborative and proprietary research projects and fast-track innovations to the marketplace,” said Dr Ray Johnson, TII chief executive officer.

“We are proud to launch this lab, the outcome of months of planning and hard work, to ensure that it is capable of testing new technologies related to material impact, as well as new manufacturing processes. We aim to provide cutting-edge tech solutions to companies in the UAE and around the world, and to contribute through developing IP and filing patents to the region’s tech autonomy,” added Dr Mohamed AlTeneiji, chief researcher at AMRC.

Futuristic tech

Among the futuristic tech devices available at the lab are the Universal Testing Machines that determine the material’s tensile, compression and bending properties. The Split Hopkinson Pressure Bar, which is a first in the region, measures the material properties during impact and can read temperatures from as low as -60 degrees Celsius to as high as 225 degrees Celsius.

The lab’s Gas-Gun Projectile Launcher is also one of a kind in the Middle East. Capable of simulating ballistic, space debris, or bird impacts on air craft, this device launches a gas-like substance at up to 1,000 m/s with a high-velocity impact.

Meanwhile, the Drop Tower studies effects on material structures similar to those in a car crash or on a helmet following an accident. The machine can configure impact of up to 25 metres per second in a low-velocity impact setting, allowing researchers to optimise results to meet user needs and step up the safeguards to cushion them from severe impacts.

One of ten initial dedicated research centres at TII, AMRC was established to create a global centre of excellence in the development of applied research on metals and composites, including meta, nano, smart, self-healing, energy-absorbing and additive manufacturing materials.