A virtual laboratory for neutron and synchrotron strain scanning

James, J.A.; Santisteban, J.R.; Edwards, L. and Daymond, M.R. (2004). A virtual laboratory for neutron and synchrotron strain scanning. Physica B: Condensed Matter, 350(1-3, Suppl) E743-E746.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.physb.2004.03.194


The new generation of dedicated Engineering Strain Scanners at neutron and synchrotron facilities offer considerable improvements in both counting time and spatial resolution. In order to make full use of these advances in instrumentation, the routine tasks associated with setting up measurement runs and analysing the data need to be made as efficient as possible. Such tasks include the planning of the experiment, the alignment and positioning of the specimen, the least-squares refinement of diffraction spectra, the definition of strain in the sample coordinate system, and its visualization within a 3D model of the specimen. With this aim in mind, we have written a software providing support for most of these operations. The approach is based on a virtual lab consisting of 3D models of the sample and laboratory equipment. The system has been developed for ENGIN-X, the new engineering strain scanner recently commissioned at ISIS, but it is flexible enough to be ported to other neutron or synchrotron strain scanners. The software has been designed with visiting industrial and academic researchers in mind, users who need to be able to control the instrument after only a short period of training.

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