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A D V A N C E D M A T E R I A L S & P R O C E S S E S | J A N U A R Y 2 0 1 7

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A magnet 10 years in the making

smashed the record to become the

strongest in the world for nuclear mag-

netic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy.

Developed at the National High Mag-

netic Field Laboratory based at Florida

State University, Tallahassee, the 33-ton

series connected hybrid (SCH) magnet

reached its full field of 36 T, more than

40% stronger than the previous world

record NMR and more than 50% more

powerful than the highest field high-res-

olution NMR magnet. The SCH’s field is

not only high tesla, but high quality,

remaining constant over both time and


Existing NMR magnets are only

strong enough to locate a handful of ele-

ments, notably hydrogen, carbon, and

nitrogen. With the SCH, zinc, copper,

aluminum, nickel, and gadolinium—of

interest for battery and other materials

research—will now be observable, as

will oxygen, a prize for biologists. The



Researchers discovered a correla-

tion between the rigidity of a material

and its failure behavior, allowing scien-

tists to tune the former to improve the

latter. Through a series of experiments

and computer simulations, the team

from the University of Chicago, New


University at Buffalo,

N.Y., re-

ceived a $2.9 million

National Science


grant to develop a data-

base laboratory open to the scientific

community that collects, interprets,

and learns frommassive amounts of

information. The lab will conduct large-

scale materials modeling and simula-

tion using an untapped collection of

visual data.



Airworthiness Assurance Center,

operated by

Sandia National Laborato-


Albuquerque, N.M., for the

Federal Aviation Administration,

developed the

first course to train inspectors in the airline and aircraft manufacturing industries

in nondestructive inspection (NDI) techniques for solid-laminate composite

materials. The Composite NDI Training Class provides an overview of composite

materials, in-depth knowledge of NDI techniques, and hands-on training.

For more information: 505.284.2200 or email


Plastic honeycomb lattice, pulledapart inanexperiment studyinghowmaterial rigidity

affects theway things break. Courtesy of SidneyNagel, et al.

York University, and Leiden University,

the Netherlands, found that in a rigid

system—for instance, window glass—

bonds are tightly packed and break in

clean, narrow, relatively straight cracks.

In a system with low rigidity, however,

there are fewer bonds and they tear at

seemingly random points throughout

the material, eventually connecting

in an irregular pattern and resulting in

failure. The team also found that as a

material is made more flexible, its fail-

ure zone becomes wider, offering the

equivalent of a close-up view of the

break behavior. “Reducing the rigidity

of a material is, in a sense, like holding

a magnifying glass that allows you to

zoom in on the width of a crack, which is

generally microscopic but can become

as big as the sample size,” explains

Leiden physicist Vincenzo Vitelli. The

discoveries open the door to a system-

atic theory that could allow researchers

to more accurately predict material fail-

ure and control cracking.,,


The National MagLab’s 33-ton, 36-tesla

SCHmagnet. Courtesy of Florida State


A new database laboratory will help re-

searchers commercialize newmaterials

such as graphene. Courtesy of Universi-

ty at Buffalo.