Metal alloys, known for their strength, durability and corrosion resistance, are created by mixing two or more metals together. They are used to manufacture everything from jet engine blades to nuclear pressure tubes—and although they resist corrosion, they are not completely immune to the effects of their environments. As Canada Research Chair in Advanced Materials for Low-emission Energies, Dr. Hamidreza Abdolvand is developing a series of new multiscale numerical models to simulate how metal alloys corrode as a result of environmental influences.
He and his research team are focusing on the materials used in the cores of current nuclear reactors, candidate materials for the next generation of small modular reactors, and materials that are manufactured for other energy sectors. They are also developing and using advanced electron and synchrotron X-ray-based diffraction techniques to test the models they develop. Ultimately, these models will help ensure the safety of the core components of nuclear reactors and improve their performance.