Abu Dhabi TII’s unveils MENA’s 1st Impact Lab to test manufacturing materials

By Arya M Nair, Official Reporter
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Impact Lab image
Representational image

Technology Innovation Institute (TII), an applied research pillar of Abu Dhabi’s Advanced Technology Research Council (ATRC), has launched its Advanced Materials Research Center’s (AMRC) Impact Lab.

The cutting-edge lab is a first-of-its-kind in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region and provides an ideal testbed for trialing state-of-the-art materials, laminates and composites. It is well-aligned with AMRC’s vision to bring advanced materials to a stage where they are ready to transition from lab to industry.

Tests are conducted under a range of impact-related environments, from assessing structures on their velocities, temperatures and energy absorption rates. The equipment will be used to evaluate the behaviors of the materials that help develop breakthrough solutions.

The lab which is capable of characterizing metallic, polymeric, ceramic and composite materials at speed into prototypes with real-world applications, is currently working on key outcomes that will help prevent space rovers from crashing and create helmets, bumpers, tires, and car batteries that can be explosion-resistant and more.

Innovative lightweight structures designed to absorb impact energy can be also used in helmets for sport, riding motorcycles, as well as horseback riding. AMRC’s research team attributes these findings to impact and material science.

Ray O. Johnson
Dr. Ray O. Johnson

“This is an extremely encouraging note on which to start the new year. We are confident that our research centers will continue to achieve similar wins, one breakthrough at a time. At TII, we are committed to offering our researchers an enabling environment to work on their collaborative and proprietary research projects and fast-track innovations to the marketplace.”

Dr. Mohamed AlTeneiji, Chief Researcher, AMRC, said that “We are proud to launch this lab, the outcome of months of planning and hard work, to ensure that it is capable of testing new technologies related to materials impact, as well as new manufacturing processes. We aim to provide cutting-edge tech solutions to companies in the UAE and around the world, and to contribute through developing IP and filing patents to the region’s tech autonomy.”

Some of the futuristic tech devices available at the lab include;

Universal Testing Machine 

It determines the material’s tensile, compression, and bending properties. The Split Hopkinson Pressure Bar, which is the first in the region, measures the material properties during impact and can read temperatures from as low as -60 °C to as high as 225 °C.

The Gas-Gun Projectile Launcher

A one-of-a-kind machine in the Middle East that is capable of simulating ballistic, space debris, or bird impacts on aircraft. This device launches a gas-like substance at up to 1,000 meters per second (m/s) with a high-velocity impact.

The Drop Tower 

This device studies effects on material structures similar to those in a car crash or on a helmet following an accident. The machine can configure impacts of up to 25 m/s in a low-velocity impact setting, allowing researchers to optimize results to meet user needs and step up the safeguards to cushion them from severe impacts.

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