The Metals Physics Division exists since the foundation of the Centro Atómico in 1955. One of the main research activities originally centered around the investigation of the plasticity in metals and alloys. In 1969, the study of the deformation behavior in alloys which undergo a martensitic transformation, mainly Cu-Zn and Cu-Zn-Al, was incorporated . This started a research line on shape memory alloys which has been pursued actively without interruption till today. The main problems that have been and are still being studied are the stability of the martensites with respect to the high temperature phase, and also between martensite structures themselves, including the influence of magnetism. Also, the influence of thermomechanical treatments and the presence of lattice disorder, point defects and dislocations have been important research subjects, leading to the rubberlike behavior, stabilisation in the martensite, thermoelasticity, fatigue, one and two way shape memory behavior, and others more.
The studies are now being extended to other shape memory alloys, including the shape memory iron alloys. These investigations are closely related to another research line of the Division which deals with the systematic study of cohesive, structural and thermodynamic properties in transition metal alloys and compounds.
The investigations are mainly experimental ones, using a wide variety of techniques, which include transmission electron microscopy, optical microscopy, tensile testing, dilatometry, resitivity and calorimetry. Furthermore, access to other equipment, including a scanning electron microscope, X-ray equipment, sources to produce neutrons, electrons and ion beams for the investigation of radiation damage is available. In the Metals Physics Division exists in addition a group which does research on internal friction. Finally, some issues of Materials Science are addressed through numerical modeling.
See some pictures here.
Address: Centro Atómico Bariloche. Av. Bustillo 9.500 (8400)Bariloche - Río Negro - Argentina