With the infinitesimally slow cooling rate in space and the incredible impact required to launch them towards Earth, metallic meteorites have fascinating microstructures unlike anything naturally produced on Earth. We wish we had more time to explore these jewels from space! Stay tuned as we add more meteorites to our collection and post our favorite [...]
What does a lab from the flatlands of Illinois have to do with Hawaii? We would like to say that ASTON Kaanapali is our Pacific Rim branch, but we take our role as truth seekers very seriously. Actually, ASTON has reached far across the Pacific to analyze corrosive particles as well as failure work on [...]
A pinhole corrosion problem in copper pipe required an on-site inspection in central Vermont. We took a few extra days to tour through New Hampshire and Maine and have photos to share. Highlights included touring through Ben & Jerry's, Montpelier, Woodstock, Portsmouth, Fort Constitution, tidal pools at Acadia National Park, whale watching from Rye and [...]
Hardness testing is the easiest test to perform in our lab. but, no pun intended, it can be one of the hardest tests to do. Properly, that is. Hardness is a property determined by measuring the resistance to deformation to the applied load perpendicularly indenting into the sample as expressed by the depth of penetration. [...]
Material science is so important to human development that our progress is defined by the materials available to the civilizations at the time. We went from paleolithic (old stone age), neolithic (new stone age), copper age, bronze age and iron age to the current atomic age.
ASTON continues to host ASM Materials Camps. These summer camps introduce high school juniors and seniors to materials science and failure analysis. The students attend lectures at local universities and colleges, go on field trips to local manufacturers and are challenged to perform a hands on failure analysis in our lab. With the guidance of [...]
The native inhabitants of Michigan, Wisconsin and Illinois made use of float copper from Lake Gitche Gumee (Lake Superior) as far as back as 6500 BC. The copper was pure and used for personal adornment as well as simple tools and trading. Microstructural examinations revealed the artifacts were annealed as well as hot forged. Who [...]
Okay, so T-Rex fossil bones are not made of metal and they didn’t have implants, but stay tuned for future updates on how metallurgy is involved.
On November 24, 1971, a man calling himself Dan Cooper boarded a one-way flight from Portland to Seattle. Shortly after takeoff, he informed the flight attendant that he had a bomb in his briefcase and demanded four parachutes and $200,000 in ransom. After his demands were met in Seattle, the plane took off again bound [...]