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ANSTO contributes to ARC-funded tech projects

ANSTO is contributing to five collaborations that have received Australian Research Council funding, comprising four Discovery Projects and one Linkage grant.

Improving the reliability and design of 3D printed metal structures

The University of Sydney and the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANTSO) are leading research that will provide a design framework for additively-manufactured metal structures.

The research project has been awarded a Discovery grant for $408,164 for the development of computational modelling tools based on open-source algorithms to predict the mechanical properties, as well as internal stresses and distortions of 3D printed metals.

The devised methods will be tested using the Kowari strain scanner at ANSTO. The instrument will also be used to optimise process parameters of 3D printing. The project will enable structural engineers to safely and efficiently design 3D printed metal structures and components.

ANSTO’s Prof Anna Paradowska, who is also a Conjoint Professor of Practice in Advanced Structural Materials in the School of Civil Engineering at the University of Sydney, is a Chief Investigator on the project and Dr Ondrej Muransky is a partner investigator, who is leading the development of numerical simulations.

Visualising molecular level detail in single cells and intact tissues

ANSTO is part of a $525,000 Discovery Project grant led by the University of Adelaide and University of Sydney that will develop next-generation imaging techniques for visualising chemical interactions occurring within cells. These interactions underpin a multitude of biological processes relevant to human health and disease.

The specific goals of this project are to deliver new tools for imaging cellular biology at an unprecedented resolution and level of chemical detail. It will expand Australia’s scientific capabilities by creating synergies between existing X-ray and optical microscopy techniques.

While initial investigations will use the Australian Synchrotron’s existing X-ray fluorescence microscopy and the X-ray absorption spectroscopy beamlines, as well as experiments international synchrotron facilities, these initial efforts will feed more sophisticated advances enabled by the new X-ray fluorescence nanoprobe and Medium energy X-ray absorption beamlines. The instruments are coming online as part of the new suite of instruments developed under Project BRIGHT at the Australian Synchrotron. The results are expected to benefit the biotechnology sector and expected to contribute to improvements in medical treatments, diagnostics, and bioremediation.

Australian Synchrotron beamline scientists Dr Martin de Jonge and Dr Simon James are partner investigators on the Project.

Developing advanced heat filters using phonons

ANSTO is part of a team led by the University of Wollongong that uses quantum phenomena in the design of phonon heat filters. Their research project was funded with a Discovery grant of $315,000 to acquire knowledge for the development of novel composite materials that can limit the flow of heat using a combination of bulk solids embedded within nanoparticles.

Investigators will use neutron spectroscopy at ANSTO to study the vibrations in the materials at an unprecedented level of detail. The research will have benefits for thermoelectric devices, integrated circuits, more sustainable building design, heat sterilised surfaces and personal protective equipment.

Instrument scientists Dr Dehong Yu and Dr Kirrily Rule are partner investigators on the project. Dr Yu will supervise measurements of phonon spectra on the Pelican time-of-flight spectrometer. Dr Rule will undertake measurements on the Taipan triple-axis spectrometer to resolve high energy features.

Understanding soil and water contamination in near-surface/sub-surface environments

ANSTO is contributing to a study led by the University of NSW, which has been awarded a $400,000 Discovery grant for a project that focuses on the role of redox cycling in impacting contaminants in trenches and hazardous waste disposal sites.

This project will build on knowledge gained from ANSTO research at the Little Forest Legacy Site (LFLS) and use some existing experimental infrastructure at the site.

Specifically, the research will quantify the rate and extent of change in the groundwater composition, biogeochemical conditions and the microbial community in response to periodic influxes of oxygenated rainwater due to major rainfall events.

The research will provide unique insights into the combination of generic processes acting upon inorganic and organic contaminants in redox-oscillating environments. It is expected to have catchment-wide relevance and beyond to similar sites in other parts of the world.

ANSTO’s Dr Timothy Payne is a partner investigator on the project.

Developing an approach to estimate damage tolerance in the design and maintenance of trailer trucks

A $482,000 Linkage grant was awarded to a research project led by Monash University along with its industry partner to develop a damage tolerance approach for the design and maintenance of truck trailers.

This project expects to revolutionise the design and maintenance practices in the Australian truck trailer industry. It should provide significant benefits, such as prolonging the life cycle of truck trailers, reducing their weight and bring economic benefits to trailer producers and users.

ANSTO Instrument Scientist Dr Mark Reid, a partner investigator on the project, is expected to supervise neutron diffraction experiments on the Kowari Strain Scanner to investigate residual stress in trailer welds. The Wombat High-Intensity Powder Diffractometer may be used for texture investigations. The Dingo neutron radiography and imaging instrument maybe be used to assess defects in trailer welds.

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