Materials Science and Manufacturing - CSIR

Materials Science and Manufacturing - CSIR

Materials Science andManufacturing40

Strategic overviewThe strategic intent of CSIR Materials Scienceand Manufacturing is to improve industrycompetitiveness, national human resourcedevelopment and quality of life for all SouthAfricans through conducting leading researchand innovation, with partners and stakeholders,in the fields of materials and manufacturing.The S&T environment in which the CSIRoperates is largely determined by the NationalResearch and Development Strategy (NRDS),Integrated Manufacturing Strategy (IMS) andthe Advanced Manufacturing TechnologyStrategy (AMTS). The Africa Science andTechnology Strategy is also an importantreference and guide, as are specific strategiessuch as the National Nanotechnology Strategy.Advanced manufacturing is one of the fourmissions identified in the NRDS, with a focus ontechnological innovation, technologydemonstration, new business incubation andenhanced networks. Future competitiveness ofthe manufacturing sector depends on masteringadvanced technologies and moving towardsknowledge-intensive goods and services. TheAMTS aims to bring together related elementsof the NRDS and IMS to improve thecompetitiveness of the manufacturing industrythrough encouraging the adoption of advancedtechnologies.The CSIR is in a unique position to add valueand impact in the materials and manufacturingindustries in Africa and to develop humancapital through its critical mass of multidisciplinaryresearchers, its equipment andinfrastructure and its knowledge and networkswithin these fields. A major competitiveadvantage is the wide coverage of materials(e.g. fibres, textiles, polymers, ceramics,composites, metals) and manufacturingdisciplines within one unit. This enables multidisciplinaryresearch and solution development.41

Sensor technologyreaches milestoneCSIR Materials Science and Manufacturingreached a milestone when the 100th unit of theCoroCAM was sold. CoroCAM is a range ofimaging tools developed with Eskom for thepower distribution industry that provideengineers with the ability to inspect distributionlines and their insulators for damage ordeteriorating condition that could lead topower outages. CoroCAM cameras cansimultaneously image visible as well as ultravioletwavelengths to provide an analysis of anelectrical installation’s condition. Units havebeen sold worldwide, with many being used byuniversities and electrical utilities for researchinto insulator design and maintenance.Building on the CoroCAM platform, the world’sfirst multi-spectral imaging (MSI) system thatsimultaneously images across visible, ultra-violetand infrared wavelengths has been developed.The MSI system provides additional informationon the temperature profile of a remotelyviewedstructure providing further diagnosticinformation. A broad-band sonar device hasalso been produced based on the use ofcomposite piezoelectric materials. Broaderbandwidths enable higher data rates to beexploited, allowing for significant increases in adevice’s performance and functionality.The Sensor Science and Technologycompetence area of the CSIR conducts R&Dwork across the cycle of innovation fromstrategic basic research to technology transferand industrialisation in the fields of smartstructures and materials, electro-optic sensingand imaging and underwater sonar. Withinthese areas, research is undertaken tointroduce and adopt new sensing technologieswithin South Africa. Novel applications areinvestigated across a broad range of industries,including energy, defence, medical, processcontrol, security, food and beverage andoptical systems.42

Body scanner benefitsclothing industryA 3D body scanner that will benefit the SouthAfrican clothing and textile industry has beenacquired by the CSIR as part of the AMTS.Apart from contributing towards countering theglobal pressures experienced by industry, thescanner will feed into the anthropometricdatabase by providing data for body shapeanalysis of the general population in thecountry.The 3D full-body scanner is an image-capturingpiece of equipment used to generate virtualmodels and extract body measurements forindividuals and is to be used in the manufactureof custom-fitting apparel. It reflectsbody posture of individuals and can be utilisedin body-shape analysis, as well as virtual fittingof apparel on body models. The 3D to 2D betasoftware is currently being used to generatebasic patterns based on an individual's bodymeasurements.Body measurements extracted from the scannerare used to alter key body measurements onparametric models (part of the optitex softwarepackage). Computer-generated garments arethen simulated on the altered parametricmodels in order to evaluate garment fit. Theaim is to achieve interconnectivity betweenthese systems with a view to taking ane-prototyping manufacturing approach toclothing.For South Africa, the acquisition of thismachine means that retailers will be able toaccess the database, spend less time measuringpeople and save costs.New nano-drug delivery systemtargets TB sufferersTuberculosis (TB) is gaining ground — in 2001,the disease killed more people than anyprevious year in history. Globally, there is a3% increase in new TB cases each year, whilein Africa the increase is 20% per year, largelydue to co-infection with HIV/Aids. Every year,eight million people worldwide develop activeTB and three million die from it, while morethan 400 000 new cases of multi-drug resistantTB are diagnosed.A new method of delivering TB drugs tosufferers of the disease using nanotechnologyis being developed by the CSIR. The TB nanodrugdelivery project seeks to address patientnoncompliance in TB control programmesthrough the development of a system wherebydrugs can be administered in a single dose thatmaintains an active level of the drug for anumber of days or weeks. By reducing dosefrequency and shortening the duration of thetreatment from six months to less than twomonths, patient compliance will improvesubstantially.The project, led by the CSIR in collaborationwith the Universities of South Africa, Pretoriaand Stellenbosch as well as the MedicalResearch Council, received a further boostrecently with the signing of a memorandum ofunderstanding with Lifecare Innovations in Indiaand also with the National Jewish Medical andResearch Centre, and the University ofColorado’s Health Sciences Centre.43

Implementation of firstregional AMTSThe first regional AMTS, tailored to the needsof local industry and a unique provincialenvironment, was launched in the WesternCape in November 2005. The AMTS of theDST, managed and implemented by the CSIR,aims to strengthen the competitiveness of themanufacturing sector through theimplementation of targeted, high-impactprojects in areas such as industry development,world-class manufacturing, innovation andR&D. Implementation of the AMTS takes placeon both a national and regional level.The Provincial AMTS for the Western Cape(WC PAMTS) is the first example of a regionalstrategy that has been developed to supportthe objectives of the province, as articulated inthe Micro Economic Development Strategy(MEDS), and which is aligned with relevantnational strategies and initiatives.The WC PAMTS will also support the provincialgrowth and development strategies andobjectives by providing a technologycomponent that will enable the sectors tocompete globally and thereby support theexport drive, manufacturing sector growth andemployment creation.The strategy focuses on five selected sectors,namely craft, electronics, food, metals andengineering, as well as clothing. The scope ofthe strategy will be expanded to other sectors.45

Immobilising enzymes forbetter adaptabilityEnzymes are preferred to normal chemicalcatalysts in many industries due to their highselectivity, activity and product yields, whilereducing waste products, effluent load andenergy consumption (due to milder reactionconditions). However, their general applicationin industrial biocatalysis is hampered by theircost and difficulties in recycling.The CSIR has developed a novel selfimmobilisedenzyme by using an emulsion tocontrol size and orientation. Known asSphereZymes, these self-immobilised enzymespheres display high enzyme activity per unitvolume of reaction. In some cases, activities inexcess of 100% compared to the nativeenzymes can be achieved (whereasimmobilisation through cross-linking usuallyleads to activities of less than 50% of the freeenzyme activity). This is achieved by using aproprietary method during manufacture toimmobilise the enzyme in its active state.The technology is currently being patentedinternationally and there is alreadyinternational industrial interest in itscommercialisation.Innovative textiles withnanotechnologyR&D efforts in the textile industry are aimed atintegrating new functional characteristics intotextiles to generate additional benefits andcreate a competitive advantage. Theapplication of nanotechnology will improve thecharacteristics and functions of fibres, finishes,dyes, colouration systems and textilecomposites.The CSIR’s National Fibre, Textile and ClothingCentre heads up a number of projects in thisarea including the following:• The South Africa/Hungary S&T programme:Research was undertaken under the SouthAfrican/Hungarian Science and TechnologyCooperation Programme involving the CSIRand the Bay Zoltán Institute for MaterialsScience and Technology. The projectcomprises the development of nanocompositeswith polypropylene matrices andsurface treatment of bentonite forpreparation of fibrous nanocomposites. Theproducts have applications in packaging andautomotive parts.• Nanofibre-based non-woven formation: TheCSIR has invested in state-of-the-art nonwoventechnologies and has initiated novelresearch ideas to develop nano-fibres. Thistechnology will also find application in themedical field.• Multi-functional natural fibre: This projectaims to improve the multi-functionality ofcotton, specifically by imparting flameretardancy to the cotton using varioustechniques.46

Solar cells — a solution tothe energy crisis?As fuel sources become depleted, there is anincreasing search for alternative sources ofenergy, particularly solar energy, since it isclean, abundant and renewable. Cost,performance and convenience of currentsystems need to be improved if solar energy isto be integrated successfully into society. Anovel system to effect improvement is the use ofdye-sensitised solar cells (DSC), in conjunctionwith several new concepts, such asnanotechnology and molecular devices.The CSIR is working toward DSC nicheapplications, which include alternative energydevices to be used in cell phone chargers,laptops and radio batteries. Solar cellsproduced to date at the CSIR have successfullydriven a toy windmill and a kitchen clock.Energy conversion in a DSC is based on theinjection of an electron from a photo-excitedstate of the sensitiser dye into the conductionband of the nanocrystalline TiO 2 film. Thesecells also employ a liquid electrolyte (usuallyan iodide/triiodide redox-active coupledissolved in an organic solvent) to reduce thedye cation, i.e. to regenerate the ground stateof the dye.CSIR contributes to road safetyIn a significant contribution towards roadsafety, the CSIR harnesses modern technologyto protect law-abiding people while ensuring afair judicial process.Being one of only two institutions in the countryaccredited to calibrate evidential breath testers,the CSIR National Metrology Laboratorycalibrated more than 350 breathalysers in2005. The CSIR laboratory ensures that thesedevices are properly adjusted, calibrated andthat they meet the legal traceabilityrequirements prescribed by the MeasuringUnits and Measurement Standards Act(Act 73 of 1976).Prosecuting guidelines require breathalysers tobe calibrated and adjusted every six months.The two peak periods for calibration of thebreathalysers are immediately prior to theDecember and April holidays.The calibration process is semi-automated andtakes between 30 and 45 minutes per unit. TheCSIR is involved with the work of the DrunkenDriving Working Group of the TechnicalCommittee for Standards and Procedures forTraffic Control and Traffic Control Equipment ofthe Department of Transport.This committee keeps the specifications forevidential breath testing updated in accordancewith the standards prescribed by theInternational Organisation for Legal Metrology.47

Measurement technologiesto support nanoscienceThe CSIR has developed high-precisionmeasurement techniques and commissioned acomprehensive suite of analytical tools toensure successful industry participation in localand international markets, while keepingabreast of developments in nanotechnology.These include a high-resolution scanningelectron microscope, scanning electronspectroscopy for chemical analysis microprobe,a scanning auger electron microprobe, x-raydiffraction and glow discharge optical emissionspectroscopy.These will ensure reliable comparablereference measurements with results traceableto an agreed metrology scale and productsthat are interchangeable.Proper measurement and testing are keyaspects to sectors such as biomoleculartechnology, aerospace, telecommunications,chemical engineering, electronics, theautomotive industry, etc.New forum set to boostautomotive industrycompetitivenessThe CSIR and the National Association ofAutomotive Manufacturers of South Africaestablished the South African AutomotiveMeasurement and Testing Forum.The aim of the Forum is to strengthen andimprove measurement capabilities of the SouthAfrican automotive industry, both at the motorvehicle manufacturers and their componentsuppliers.The Forum is set to raise the standard ofmetrology in the automotive industry and willplay a vital role in coordinating efforts topromote good metrology practice in theindustry, thereby improving competitiveness inthe global marketplace through improvedquality.48

Lasers used in cleaning andnuclear decontaminationLaser cleaning involves the laser evaporation ofnon-metallic coatings from metallic substrates.A number of demonstrators involving thistechnology have been set up at a CSIRlaboratory where the necessary nuclear safetyservices are available. However, both forindustrial laser cleaning and nucleardecontamination, system mobility is a key issue.The first locally-developed transportable laserbasedsystem intended for the removal of paintfrom walls in nuclear facilities, developed bythe CSIR National Laser Centre, is nearingcompletion. Potential applications range frompaint removal to cleaning of vulcanisingmoulds, removal of grease layers andde-scaling of weld seams.The main advantages of the laser-cleaningprocess include the control that can beexercised with regard to precision and depth ofcleaning.In addition, the process offers anenvironmentally-friendly option to cleaningtechnologies that involve the use of toxicchemicals, which pose a hazard to bothoperators and the environment. Since remoteoperation is possible, the process can beautomated to avoid human contact withhazardous materials being cleaned.The advantages of waste minimisation andremote operation are key in the application oflaser cleaning to nuclear decontamination. Byremoving from the surface of a component onlythe contaminated layer, the volume of wasterequiring expensive disposal is minimised.Remote application of the laserdecontamination technology also effectivelyreduces operators’ exposure to radiation.49

Phase calibration of laboratorystandard accelerometersNational metrology institutes (NMIs) have theresponsibility to uphold the nationalmeasurement standards at a level that satisfiesindustry’s requirements. Industry requireshigher accuracy phase-response calibration ofaccelerometers — which are used to measurevibration.A laser interferometer system to satisfy currentrequirements for phase shift calibration ofvibration transducers has been implemented bythe CSIR.The magnitude and phase performance of thesystem were validated through bilateralcomparison measurements between the CSIRand Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt (PTB)of Germany.participating NMIs’ Calibration andMeasurement Capabilities (CMCs). After theCSIR National Metrology Laboratory’ssuccessful participation in CCAUV.V-K1, a keycomparison of accelerometer calibrations, theorganisation (in cooperation with the PTB)registered a supplementary comparison,SADCMET.AUV.V-S1, with the BureauInternational des Poids et Mésures (BIPM).In this bilateral comparison between the CSIRNational Mertrology Laboratory and the PTB,the complex (magnitude and phase) CMCs ofthe participating NMIs for accelerometercalibration were examined and compared.This was the first registered publication ofphase calibration results internationally.Comparisons between NMIs are performed atvarious levels in order to validate the50

System to calibrate scanningelectron microscopeA standards system has been developed for thecalibration of scanning electron microscopesused for dimensional measuring. The system,developed by the CSIR, was built aroundprojecting a laser, with a known wavelength,onto the line-grating standards and measuringthe angle at which the light is diffracted. Fromthe wavelength and the angle, the pitchbetween the line gratings can be calculated.Comparison with another national metrologyinstitute proves that the current system canmeasure down to an uncertainty of ± 0.2 nm.With planned improvements to the detector, anuncertainty of ± 0.05 nm or 50 pm can beachieved. This is more than adequate whencompared to the accuracy achieved by currentelectron microscopes in dimensional measuring.Obtaining precise measurementof optical frequenciesA femto-second frequency comb will in futureensure precise measurement of opticalfrequencies in the visible and near-infraredwavelength ranges.The femto-second frequency comb of the CSIRwill be used in precise laser spectroscopy, timeand frequency measurements, dimensionalmeasurements and photometry and radiometrymeasurements.The system will also be available to universitiesfor carefully selected experiments requiring theunique capabilities of the system. It forms thebasis of the envisaged new optical clock whichwill be developed by the CSIR NationalMetrology Laboratory as the national standardfor time for South Africa.Apart from CSIR metrologists, two lecturers andone doctoral student from the University ofStellenbosch and representatives from the CSIRNational Laser Centre have received training inthe use of the system.During the training, a measurement wasperformed on CSIR4, one of two iodinestabilised He-Ne lasers that is used as thenational standard for length in South Africa.This laser was recently calibrated at the BIPMin France. The value obtained in thatmeasurement agreed with the calibration valuewithin the uncertainty of the measurement, thatbeing about 1.4 parts in 1 011 and required avery short time to complete.51

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