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Outstanding features favour the application of polymers and polymer composites in low-temperature technology. The booming hydrogen technology is a challenge for these materials, which are considered as seals and bearings in cryogenic pumps. In the present study, three types of thermoplastics, i.e., polyetheretherketone (PEEK), polyetherimide (PEI) and polyamide 6,6 (PA6,6), and one epoxy were considered as matrix materials. Micron-sized fillers, i.e., short carbon fibres, graphite flakes, and PTFE powders, were incorporated into these polymers together with nano-sized TiO2 particles. Optimised compositions of each matrix were selected from our previous works at room temperature in order to be studied at very low temperature conditions. In particular, frictional tests were carried out with polymer composite pins against polished steel surfaces under constant load over a certain distance in liquid hydrogen and liquid nitrogen. Afterwards, worn surfaces were analysed by using scanning electron microscopy (SEM). It was found out that the tribological properties in liquid hydrogen are dominated by the matrix materials, in particular thermoplastics perform generally slightly better than thermosetting resins.

Welding is one of the most common methods in industrial practice for joining components. Its main advantages are high speed in manufacturing combined with low costs and, usually, a high degree of flexibility, integrity and reliability. Nevertheless, welding is a highly complex metallurgical process and, therefore, weldments are susceptible to material discontinuities, flaws and residual stresses which may lead to structural failure and life time reduction. As a consequence weldments are an important field of fracture mechanics methods although its application is more complex than for homogeneous or non-welded structures. The aim of the paper is to provide an overview on the current state of fracture mechanics application to weldments. It starts by discussing the specific features which any fracture mechanics analysis of weldments has to take into account. Then, the experimental determination of fracture toughness, fatigue crack propagation and tensile properties of weldments is addressed. Finally, the analytical determination of the crack driving force in components and structural integrity assessment approaches for weldments are presented.

We investigate the pore space of rock samples with respect to different petrophysical parameters using various methods, which provide data on pore size distributions, including micro computed tomography (µ-CT), mercury Intrusion porosimetry (MIP), nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR), and spectral-induced polarization (SIP). The resulting cumulative distributions of pore volume as a function of pore size are compared. Considering that the methods differ with
regard to their limits of resolution, a multiple-length-scale characterization of the pore space is proposed, that is based on a combination of the results from all of these methods.
The approach is demonstrated using samples of Bentheimer and Röttbacher sandstone. Additionally, we compare the potential of SIP to provide a pore size distribution with other commonly used methods (MIP, NMR). The limits of Resolution of SIP depend on the usable frequency range (between 0.002 and 100 Hz). The methods with similar Resolution show a similar behavior of the cumulative pore volume distribution in the verlapping pore size range. We assume that µ-CT and NMR provide the pore body size while MIP and SIP characterize the pore throat size. Our study Shows that a good agreement between the pore radius distributions can only be achieved if the curves are adjusted considering the resolution and pore volume in the relevant range of pore radii. The MIP curve with the widest range in Resolution should be used as reference.

Permeability estimation from induced polarization (IP) measurements is based on a fundamental premise that the characteristic relaxation time τ is related to the effective hydraulic radius reff controlling fluid flow. The approach requires a reliable estimate of the diffusion coefficient of the ions in the electrical double layer. Others have assumed a value for the diffusion coefficient, or postulated different values for clay versus clay-free rocks. We have examined the link between a widely used single estimate of τ and reff for an extensive database of sandstone samples, in which mercury porosimetry data confirm that reff is reliably determined from a modification of the Hagen-Poiseuille equation assuming that the electrical tortuosity is equal to the hydraulic tortuosity. Our database does not support the existence of one or two distinct representative diffusion coefficients but instead demonstrates strong evidence for six orders of magnitude of variation in an apparent Diffusion coefficient that is well-correlated with reff and the specific surface area per unit pore volume Spor. Two scenarios can explain our findings:
(1) the length scale defined by τ is not equal to reff and is likely much longer due to the control of pore-surface roughness or
(2) the range of diffusion coefficients is large and likely determined by the relative proportions of the different minerals (e.g., silica and clays) making up the rock. In either case, the estimation of reff (and hence permeability) is inherently uncertain from a single characteristic IP relaxation time as considered in this study.

Grain boundary energy effect on grain boundary segregation in an equiatomic high-entropy alloy
(2020)

Grain boundary (GB) Segregation has a substantial effect on the microstructure evolution and properties of polycrystalline alloys. The mechanism of nanoscale segregation at the various GBs in multicomponent alloys is of great challenge to reveal and remains elusive so far. To address this issue, we studied the GB segregation in a representative equiatomic FeMnNiCoCr high-entropy alloy (HEA) aged at 450 °C. By combining transmission Kikuchi diffraction, atom probe tomography analysis and a density-based thermodynamics modeling, we uncover the nanoscale segregation behavior at a series of well-characterized GBs of different characters. No segregation occurs at coherent twin boundaries; only slight nanoscale segregation of Ni takes place at the low-angle GBs and vicinal \Sigma 29b coincidence site lattice GBs. Ni and Mn show cosegregation of high levels at the general high-angle GBs with a strong depletion in Fe, Cr, and Co. Our density-based thermodynamic model reveals that the highly negative energy of mixing Ni and Mn is the main driving force for nanoscale cosegregation to the GBs. This is further assisted by the opposite segregation of Ni and Cr atoms with a positive enthalpy of mixing. It is also found that GBs of higher interfacial energy, possessing lower atomic densities (higher disorder and free volume), show higher segregation levels. By clarifying the origins of GB segregations in the FeMnNiCoCr HEA, the current work provides fundamental ideas on nanoscale segregation at crystal defects in multicomponent alloys.

Dehydration is a common process occurring in natural environments, rocks, and building materials. Suitable methods for monitoring the changing moisture content should be identified.
We have investigated the impact of dehydration of sandstones on complex conductivity spectra. Spectral induced polarization measurements were performed on five sandstone samples during evaporative drying. The complex conductivity spectra indicate considerable changes with decreasing saturation. The relationship between conductivity and saturation can be described by a power law known as the second empirical Archie equation. Separate saturation exponents have been determined for the real and imaginary parts of conductivity. The imaginary part of conductivity indicates higher saturation exponents for the investigated sandstones compared to the real part. Obviously, the saturation exponents depend on the method used for changing water saturation. Evaporative drying, which is used in our experiments, causes an increase of pore-water salinity and results in lower saturation exponents for the real part of conductivity but higher exponents for the imaginary part in comparison with the classical imbibition/Drainage technique. We evaluate a theoretical approach that considers the influence of pore water salinity on the saturation exponents of the real and imaginary parts of conductivity. The complex conductivity spectra are processed by a Debye decomposition procedure.
The resulting integrating parameters such as direct current resistivity, total chargeability, normalized chargeability, and mean relaxation time indicate a power law dependence on saturation. Our experiments indicate that the imaginary part of conductivity and normalized chargeability have a high sensitivity related to the drying process of rocks and might be suitable indicators to Monitor the changes of moisture content in sandstones.

Remote and on-line measurement of chromium on structural steel surface in nuclear power plants is critical for protection against fluid accelerated corrosion. To improve the insufficient sensitivity of fiber-optic laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy toward trace element detection, a dual-pulse spectral enhancement system is set up. In an iron matrix, for the purpose of improving sensitivity of trace chromium analysis and reducing the self-absorption of iron, the effects of key parameters are investigated. The optimal values of the parameters are found to be: 450 ns inter-pulse delay, 700 ns gate delay, 30 mJ/6 mJ pulse energy ratio, and 19.8 mm lens-to-sample distance (corresponding to a 799 μm laser focused spot size). Compared to the single-pulse system, the shot number of dual-pulse ablation is limited for reducing surface damage. After the optimization of the dual-pulse system, the signal-to-noise ratio of the trace chromium emission line has been improved by 3.5 times in comparison with the single-pulse system, and the self-absorption coefficient of matrix iron has been significantly reduced with self-reversal eliminated. The number of detectable lines for trace elements has more than doubled thus increasing the input for spectral calibration without significantly increasing the ablation mass. Three calibration methods including internal standardization, partial least squares regression and random forest regression are employed to determine the chromium and manganese concentrations in standard samples of low alloy steel, and the limit of detection is respectively calculated as 36 and 515 ppm. The leave-one-out cross validation method is utilized to evaluate the accuracy of chromium quantification, and the concentration mapping of chromium is performed on the surface of a steel sample (16MND5) with a relative error of 0.02 wt.%