Unraveling the Complexities of Advanced Manufacturing: Insights from Synchrotron X-rays

Materials Measurement Science Division, National Institute of Standards and Technology, The U.S. Department of Commerce

Manufacturing is vital to the U.S. economy and national security. Advanced manufacturing, which integrates innovative techniques and creates groundbreaking products, is crucial for ongoing technological progress, enhanced productivity, and new industrial sectors. Its inherent value strengthens the U.S.’s global competitiveness.


Synchrotron X-ray techniques stand at the forefront of material analysis. With their exceptional penetration depth and time resolution, synchrotron high-energy X-rays are uniquely suited to investigate the complex relationships between a material’s structure and its properties. As such, they have become invaluable tools in modern material science research. The transformative impact of these techniques is particularly notable in various advanced manufacturing fields, especially in additive manufacturing (AM), an area experiencing rapid expansion and heightened industrial investment.


In AM, materials are synthesized simultaneously with the manufacturing process, leading to highly varied microstructures across multiple length scales. Understanding these AM materials is essential to unravel the relationships between processing, microstructure, and performance. Through case studies, we’ll highlight the unique role of synchrotron techniques in understanding AM materials processing. Additionally, we’ll emphasize their value in refining and benchmarking computational models and simulations. Our focus will be on how synchrotron techniques contribute to the characterization, optimization, and innovation of AM materials, underscoring their pivotal roles in advancing AM technology and driving industrial innovations.

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