Mechanical failure of metals and ceramics is often caused by deformations in crystal structure (strain) or of phase transformation, which are induced by external stresses. These structural changes are preferably quantified using a non-destructive technique such as X-ray powder diffraction (XRPD). Strain is calculated by comparing peak positions of strained and strain-free material, and expressed as residual stress. Quantification of the phase transformation extent, such as retained austenite in austenite-martensite conversion in steel production, relies on determining the ratio between peak intensities of the two phases. Current challenges of XRPD analysis include low-intensity signals, fluorescence of materials, the need for high throughput, and strain mapping analyses.
DECTRIS HPC detectors feature a sensor with high quantum efficiency for energies ranging from Ti to Ag. They also have a fast readout chip that allows for direct detection of X-rays, free of readout noise or dark current. In combination with high dynamic range and excellent spatial resolution, this translates into highly accurate data acquired in a matter of seconds — even with weak sources. Another unique advantage of HPC technology is an adjustable energy threshold that can be exploited for fluorescence background suppression. DECTRIS offers a broad portfolio of 1D and 2D detectors fitting any diffractometer geometry for portable to metrology instruments.