Positron Systems has a nondestructive testing technology that detects component fatigue and embrittlement at the atomic level. The patented technology—Photon Induced Positron Annihilation (PIPA)—detects early fatigue and embrittlement in materials before cracks appear. The technology also assesses the remaining useful life of metallic, composite, and polymer materials. This nondestructive testing is said to help companies prevent component failure due to fatigue cracks and safely extend the service life of expensive and critical parts, such as turbine blades, engines, wing spars, landing gear, fuselages, automotive axles, high performance engine parts (i.e. valve springs, pistons), wheels, and transmissions. The PIPA process involves penetrating materials with a photon beam generated by a linear accelerator. This process creates positrons, which are attracted to nano-sized defects in the material. Eventually, the positrons collide with electrons in the material and are annihilated releasing energy in the form of gamma rays. The gamma ray energy spectrum creates a distinct and readable signature of the size, quantity, and type of defects present in the material. The technology was invented by scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy's Idaho National Engineering and Environmental Laboratory and licensed to Positron Systems for commercial use. For more information, call Positron Systems at 208-672-1923, ext. 203 or go to www.positronsystems.
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