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The Warsaw Voice » Other » December 3, 2008
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Seeing Through Metal
December 3, 2008   
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Scientists at the Computer Engineering Department of the Technical University of £ód¼ have developed a system for analyzing the geometric features of metals and alloys at high temperatures.

The system helps metallurgists as they search for new materials based on a combination of various kinds of metals with the aim of eliminating lead-tin solders that are hazardous to health. That entails defining the physical and chemical properties of metals and their alloys.

The £ód¼ research team, led by Prof. Dominik Sankowski, includes Krzysztof Strzecha, Ph.D.; Marcin B±ka³a, Ph.D.; Anna Fabijañska, Ph.D.; Tomasz Koszmider, M.Sc.; and Adam Rylski, Ph.D. Their system can be applied in many sectors of industry that make use of state-of-the-art soldering technologies, such as aviation.

The £ód¼ scientists have worked together with materials science and engineering experts from the Warsaw University of Technology, the Czêstochowa University of Technology, and the Technical University of £ód¼.

"Our research is complementary," says Sankowski. "We work out algorithms that enable automated measurement of material properties, while our colleagues from other cities conduct direct tests while looking for optimum solutions."

The system registers what it "sees" and processes data in the form of concrete, repeatable results. The metal sample is melted in a special device at a temperature of up to 1700 degrees Celsius. The sample assumes a spherical shape in the process. Its properties are determined on the basis of images that are transferred for further analysis involving image processing and special algorithms.

Similar methods have been developed in other countries, but the £ód¼ system is more precise and more efficient, Sankowski says.

The method won a silver medal at the International Warsaw Invention Show in 2007 and a gold medal at the 6th ARCA International Fair of Innovations in Zagreb, Croatia, in September this year.

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