Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

New Industrial Application For Revolutionary Forensic Metal Fingerprinting Technique

21.10.2010
Simple, handheld device which can measure corrosion on machine parts
Groundbreaking research into fingerprint detection developed at the University of Leicester now has an industrial application, thanks to a new invention by the scientist who developed the technique.
 
Dr John Bond’s method of identifying fingerprints on brass bullet-casings, even after they have been wiped clean, was based on the minuscule amounts of corrosion which can be caused by sweat. First announced in 2008, this breakthrough was cited as one of the technologies ‘most likely to change the world’ by a panel of experts for BBC Focus magazine and was included in Time magazine’s list of ’50 best inventions of the year’.
 
Now, working with scientists in the University of Leicester Department of Chemistry, Dr Bond has applied the same technique to industry by developing a simple, handheld device which can measure corrosion on machine parts. Corrosion leads to wear and tear and needs to be carefully monitored so that worn parts are replaced at the appropriate time so this invention should prove a boon to the manufacturing sector.
 
“This is a new, quick, cheap and easy way of measuring the extent of corrosion on copper and copper based alloys, such as brass,” explains Dr Bond, who is an Honorary Research Fellow in the University’s Forensic Research Centre and Scientific Support Manager at Northamptonshire Police.
 
“It works by exploiting the discovery we made during the fingerprint research – that the corrosion on brass forms something called a ‘Schottky barrier’ – and we use this to see how much the metal has corroded.
 
“Such measurements can already be made but this is quick,  cheap and easy and can be performed 'in the field' as it works off a nine-volt battery.”
 
Dr Bond said: “Measuring corrosion of metal such as brass is important to ensure that machinery does not operate outside its safe limits.  
 
“This could be anything from checking that a water pipe will not burst open to ensuring that the metal on an airplane is not corroded.  This could lead, for instance, to the wheels falling off a jet.   Having a corrosion measurement means for copper and alloys such as brass that is quick portable and cheap enables metals to be tested in situ with no prior set up of a corrosion measuring device.  
 
“Also, rather than simply saying that the brass is corroding (as a technique such as weighing  the brass would) this technique enables the type of corrosion to be determined (i.e. copper oxide or zinc oxide corrosion).  As to which one it is gives clues as to how severe the corrosion is.  
 
“This can be done already with something like X-ray photoelectron Spectroscopy (XPS) but that is lab based and very expensive to use.  Our technique works off a 9-volt battery.  In that sense, it won't tell you any more than XPS can, it is just quicker, cheaper and easier.
 
“A common use of brass in industry is heat exchangers as brass is a good conductor of heat.  If these are water based, then seeing how the water is corroding the brass is useful.  Also, you simply need to be able to touch the brass with a probe, there is no other setting up required.  It's as easy as taking your temperature with a thermometer.”
 
There is much research on inhibiting the corrosion of brass because of its use in heat exchangers and industrial pipe work, this technique enables the degree of corrosion to be easily measured.
 
A description of the prototype device has been published in the journal Review of Scientific Instruments. Dr Bond and his colleagues are now looking for a company which could exploit the invention and place it on the market.
 
For  more information, please contact:
 
Dr John W Bond
Honorary Fellow
Forensic Research Centre
University of Leicester
 
Media contacts:
John Bond | Scientific Support Manager
Contact via Northamptonshire Police Press Office:
Tel: (01604) 703197/8/9 or 703238
 
Or
University of Leicester Press Office
0116 252 2415 pressoffice@le.ac.uk
Press Office Contact:
Ather Mirza
Press Office
Division of Corporate Affairs and Planning
University of Leicester
tel: 0116 252 3335
email: pressoffice@le.ac.uk
Twitter: @UniofLeicsNews
ABOUT THE UNIVERSITY OF LEICESTER
- A member of the 1994 Group of universities that shares a commitment to research excellence, high quality teaching and an outstanding student experience.
Winner of Outstanding Student Support award, Times Higher 2009/10
Named University of the Year by Times Higher (2008/9) Shortlisted (2006, 2005) and by the Sunday Times (2007)
Ranked 12th in the UK by The Guardian and 15th by The Times out of more than 100 universities
Ranked in world’s top 2% of universities by the-QS World University Rankings
Described as Elite without being Elitist by the Times Higher Education magazine

Ather Mirza | University of Leicester
Further information:
http://www.le.ac.uk
http://www2.le.ac.uk/about/facts

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Decoding the genome's cryptic language
27.02.2017 | University of California - San Diego

nachricht New risk factors for anxiety disorders
24.02.2017 | Julius-Maximilians-Universität Würzburg

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Safe glide at total engine failure with ELA-inside

On January 15, 2009, Chesley B. Sullenberger was celebrated world-wide: after the two engines had failed due to bird strike, he and his flight crew succeeded after a glide flight with an Airbus A320 in ditching on the Hudson River. All 155 people on board were saved.

On January 15, 2009, Chesley B. Sullenberger was celebrated world-wide: after the two engines had failed due to bird strike, he and his flight crew succeeded...

Im Focus: Breakthrough with a chain of gold atoms

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

Im Focus: DNA repair: a new letter in the cell alphabet

Results reveal how discoveries may be hidden in scientific “blind spots”

Cells need to repair damaged DNA in our genes to prevent the development of cancer and other diseases. Our cells therefore activate and send “repair-proteins”...

Im Focus: Dresdner scientists print tomorrow’s world

The Fraunhofer IWS Dresden and Technische Universität Dresden inaugurated their jointly operated Center for Additive Manufacturing Dresden (AMCD) with a festive ceremony on February 7, 2017. Scientists from various disciplines perform research on materials, additive manufacturing processes and innovative technologies, which build up components in a layer by layer process. This technology opens up new horizons for component design and combinations of functions. For example during fabrication, electrical conductors and sensors are already able to be additively manufactured into components. They provide information about stress conditions of a product during operation.

The 3D-printing technology, or additive manufacturing as it is often called, has long made the step out of scientific research laboratories into industrial...

Im Focus: Mimicking nature's cellular architectures via 3-D printing

Research offers new level of control over the structure of 3-D printed materials

Nature does amazing things with limited design materials. Grass, for example, can support its own weight, resist strong wind loads, and recover after being...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Booth and panel discussion – The Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings at the AAAS 2017 Annual Meeting

13.02.2017 | Event News

Complex Loading versus Hidden Reserves

10.02.2017 | Event News

International Conference on Crystal Growth in Freiburg

09.02.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

New pop-up strategy inspired by cuts, not folds

27.02.2017 | Materials Sciences

Sandia uses confined nanoparticles to improve hydrogen storage materials performance

27.02.2017 | Interdisciplinary Research

Decoding the genome's cryptic language

27.02.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>