Photo: Iben Julie Schmidt

Material Science and Characterization (MAC)

The section focuses on processing, structural characterization and mechanical properties of metallic materials with wind energy applications and implements the research in cooperation with industry and in courses.

The Section for Materials Science and Advanced Characterization links materials science and advanced characterization, focusing on metallic materials at different length scales from the macroscopic to the nanometer dimension. The materials science encompasses the evolution of structures and properties during plastic deformation and annealing of high-performance materials with emphasis on their application in the wind energy sector. The materials groups are steel and light metals, and research is conducted of both bulk and surface designs. The characterization techniques are based on electron and X-ray diffraction in 2D, 3D, and 4D—combining in-house activities with work at various international facilities. The experimental work is guided by materials problems with the objective of analysing and understanding fundamental mechanisms behind the processing, properties, and performance of engineering metallic metals. International collaboration is an integral part of this endeavour.

MAC contributes to DTU Wind Energy’s Research and Innovative Strategy by, e.g.:

  • Development of chemical and mechanical surface treatments to improve friction, wear, and corrosion resistance of moving components in wind turbines, especially gears.
  • Optimization of strength and toughness of high-strength steels (nanosteel) by thermomechanical processing (together with the Section for Composites and Material Mechanics).
  • Processing of metals and metal composites with enhanced erosion resistance by hot compaction/accumulative roll bonding (together with Harbin Institute of Technology, China).
  • Development of X-ray techniques for quantification of defective structures and internal stresses in new and in failed components for wind turbines (together with XNovo Technology ApS).
  • In-situ characterization in a scanning electron microscope of crack initiation and propagation in dual-phase steel (together with Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal Corporation, Japan).
  • Microstructure and residual stress in fatigue-tested ductile cast iron for wind turbine applications (together with Vestas A/S).

Innovation and Knowledge Transfer
Collaboration with industry is ongoing in a number of technical areas, having in common that advanced characterization of metallic materials is in demand. The materials are typically high-strength steel, cast iron, and light metals (Al, Ti) and applications are for wind turbine components (shafts, bolts, bearings, and gears), armour, and rails.

Knowledge transfer: International and national technical meetings, publications in scientific journals, organization of the annual Risø Symposium on Materials Science  (2012, 2014, 2015) with 70-100 participants from all over the world; in each Proceeding about 15-20 invited and contributed papers are from this Section.

Research Facilities
MAC has a strong tradition of performing state-of-the-art experimental work and has pioneered advanced techniques for structural characterization, including electron microscopy and X-rays with focus on non-destructive 3D and 4D (x,y,z,time) methods. The in-house research facilities reflect the key scientific and technical activities in the Materials Science and Advanced Characterization section: (i) processing and optimization of advanced and new metals and alloys and (ii) microstructural characterization by electron microscopy and X-rays. 

Processing of Metals, Alloys, and Metal-matrix Composites:

  • Equipment for forming of metallic materials by hot/cold rolling, swaging, and drawing
  • Equipment for surface engineering by shot peening and deep rolling
  • Equipment for powder metallurgy processing by atomization and extrusion

Over the years, these processing techniques have been an integral part of MAC’s R&D activities

Characterization of Metal Structures

  • Electron microscopes: Jeol 3000F, 2100F and 2000F for transmission electron microscopy
  • Zeiss Supra 35, Jeol 840 and Evo 60 for scanning electron microscopy
  • Zeiss Xradia 520 Versa for X-ray tomography (together with COM)
  • Laboratories for preparation of specimens for microscopy

Head of Section

Dorte Juul Jensen
DTU Wind Energy
+45 46 77 57 01