Smart Torque System Wins Industrial IoT Innovation of the Year

2019-01-18
Cumulus Digital Systems, a Massachusetts start-up building an Internet of Tools-powered platform to make industrial facilities safer, cleaner, and more productive, today announced that its Smart Torque System (STS) has been selected as the winner of the “Industrial IoT Innovation of the Year” award from IoT Breakthrough, an independent organization that recognizes the top companies, technologies and products in the global Internet-of-Things (IoT) market today.

STS improves productivity and work quality during safety-critical industrial bolting activities.

The system consists of the cloud-hosted Cumulus Control Center and a tablet application, TorqueFit, that communicates with Bluetooth-enabled digital tools in the field. STS empowers maintenance and construction managers with real-time insight into who completed the work, how long it took them to do it, and how well it was done. This creates an objective and transparent medium of communication between service providers and facility owners.

The mission of the IoT Breakthrough Awards program is to recognize the innovators, leaders and visionaries from around the globe in a range of IoT categories, including Industrial and Enterprise IoT, Smart City technology, Connected Home and Home Automation, Connected Car, and many more. This years program attracted more than 3,500 nominations from companies all over the world.

“Cumulus is addressing a critical issue that has been largely ignored by the flourishing industrial IoT industry, creating solutions to transform industrial maintenance and inspection processes,” said James Johnson, managing director at IoT Breakthrough. “Cumulus STS solution provides unprecedented data transparency that ultimately empowers users to implement critical improvements in facility safety, productivity, and work quality. Congratulations to Cumulus on their exciting start to 2019 with their well-deserved IoT Breakthrough Award.”

“We are honored to have been recognized by IoT Breakthrough with this award,” says Cumulus CEO Matthew Kleiman. “It is a testament to the talent and hard work of the engineers who developed the system and our early adopter customers who were key members of the team, providing valuable feedback and support as we built the system and brought it to market.”

STS was developed by Shell TechWorks in Cambridge and first piloted in partnership with Shells Jurong Island and Pulau Bukom manufacturing facilities in Singapore in 2017. STS was spun-out of Shell and exclusively licensed to Cumulus in December 2018.

The system is currently operational at six sites in the United States, Canada, and Singapore, with more than 50 sites on six continents in the deployment pipeline. STS has been demonstrated to reduce data review and quality assurance costs by as much as 60% and reduce downtime costs through a better than 99% pass rate during leak testing.

“For me, this is the gold standard in ensuring zero leaks,” says Narayanan Valayaputtur, Projects and Engineering Manager at Shells Bukom Manufacturing Site, one of the original sponsors of the STS program. He added that, “from the initial torqueing system to achieve tightness, we have now moved to total flange assurance using tracking, tracing, and integration with the 3D Models to achieve zero leaks with complete traceability during every step, improving productivity, efficiency, and reducing overall costs.”

Mark Heath, a Shell capital projects IM/IT manager and early adopter of the system, said that, “STS helped deliver my projects business objectives: improved quality of flange management process, positive material identification, reduced leakage, transparent progress tracking, Right First Time, and from an enterprise perspective, ease of replication to other capital projects.” He noted that project leadership particularly valued STSs ability to “keep contractors and owners teams in alignment with real-time progress measurement.”

About Cumulus

Cumulus connects workers, tools, and data to a cloud-hosted software platform to better manage maintenance and construction workflows. The platform collects data from digitally-enabled tools in the field to provide a single source of “truth” for real-time quality assurance and progress tracking. Cumulus replaces the need for expensive and time-consuming inspections to verify the quality and duration of tasks with software and tools that improve speed and accountability. Cumulus is a spin-out from Shells Cambridge technology center, Shell TechWorks. For more information visit www.cumulusds.com.

About IoT Breakthrough

IoT Breakthrough, part of the Tech Breakthrough Awards organization, is devoted to honoring excellence in Internet-of-Things technologies, services, companies and products. The IoT Breakthrough Awards program provides a forum for public recognition around the achievements of IoT companies and products in categories including Connected Home and Home Automation, Connected Car, Industrial IoT (IIoT) and Smart City, Consumer IoT and more. For more information visit www.IoTBreakthrough.com.

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Bain Studies IoT and Enterprise Adoption in Inspection

2019-01-18
Enterprise customers remain bullish on the Internet of Things, but their enthusiasm has been tempered by the realization that complete solutions may take longer to implement and yield a return than they had originally expected. Even so, we expect the markets for IoT hardware, software, systems integration, and data and telecom services to grow to $520 billion in 2021, more than double the $235 billion spent in 2017 (see Figure 1).

Since Bain’s last extensive survey on the Internet of Things and analytics two years ago, customers believe that vendors have made little progress on lowering the most significant barriers to IoT adoptionincluding security, ease of integration with existing information technology (IT) and operational technology (OT) systems, and uncertain returns on investment. So these customers have extended their expectations about when those use cases will reach scale in their organizations. On average, they are planning less extensive IoT implementations by 2020 than they were planning just a couple of years ago.

Priorities are shifting, too. Predictive maintenance emerged as one of the first attractive IoT use cases as sensors and analytics helped companies determine more precisely when maintenance or replacement was necessary. Schindler, for example, worked with GEs Predix Platform to implement a broad predictive maintenance program designed to optimize maintenance on more than 60,000 elevators and escalators worldwide. But some of the interest in predictive maintenance has waned because customers found that the returns on investment have taken longer than expected. Legacy data formats and missing historical data are part of the problem, and insights have been harder to glean than first promised.

Interest in remote monitoring, on the other hand, has risen because it tends to be an easily integrated or standalone application. Industrial equipment leader ABB, for example, bundles remote monitoring into its connected robotics systems and connected low-voltage networks, which allows customers to troubleshoot and quickly identify issues requiring greater attention.

Read the full report at Bain & Company.

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Infrasense Evaluates Condition of Stone Arch Bridge

2019-01-18
In July of 2018, Infrasense mobilized a two-man team to perform a ground coupled GPR survey of the road surface on a stone arch bridge in Orange, CT. With the help of a traffic control unit and a local police officer, the condition survey was carried out during overnight hours with minimal disruption to traffic.

The survey implemented a ground coupled 900-MHz antenna and SIR-4000 control unit manufactured by GSSI, Inc. of Nashua, NH. The antenna was maneuvered across the roadway surface of the bridge in a grid pattern and the data was taken back to the office for evaluation.

The results included tabular results of the asphalt cover thickness, rebar depth, and bottom of concrete depth by lane. Eight cores were extracted by a coring team to compare chloride content with the GPR results, which were found to correlate reasonably well. A color-coded plan view condition plot of the bridge with the concrete deterioration results found by GPR and coring was provided in the final report.

About Infrasense, Inc.

Since 1987, Infrasense, Inc. has applied advanced technologies to address the most difficult challenges in subsurface scanning. Infrasense’s engineers nondestructively extract critical information from a diverse range of structures. In addition to providing ongoing subsurface evaluation services to clients across the country, the firm has also conducted numerous research programs to advance the field of subsurface detection and nondestructive evaluation. To learn more about Infrasense and the services we provide, visit our website, http://www.infrasense.com

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Phoenix Extends Transducer Range with Phased Array Probes

2019-01-18
Phoenix Inspection Systems Limited has expanded its product offering with the addition of a new range of Linear Phased Array transducers.

The high performance probes are available to order from stock in a range of 5MHz 7.5MHz and from 16 to 64 elements. Designed with piezo-composite elements, Phoenix phased array probes provide; high resolution imaging – to maximise sensitivity, accurate ultrasonic detection and sizing of defects in welds and effective corrosion mapping of various materials. Housed in a rugged stainless steel case the probes have performed consistently well in customer trials and are suitable for all on-site industrial NDT applications.

Andrew Brewis, Sales Manager at Phoenix ISL said: “The introduction of this new range offers our customers the convenience of ordering premium off the shelf linear phased array probes and allows us to satisfy the demand for orders with short delivery timescales. The range is compatible with Phoenix phased array wedges, toolposts and cradles which means Phoenix now offers its own complete phased array solutions with its dynamic range of manual and automated scanners.”

About Phoenix Inspection Systems Limited

We are specialists in design and manufacture of ultrasonic non-destructive testing solutions serving sectors such as energy, aerospace, process industries and rail.

Phoenix offer a dynamic range of standard NDT products, from manual and automated scanners, transducers and instrumentation to sophisticated nuclear inspection and turbine and generator systems all using the latest techniques, including TOFD and phased array.

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Weld Titanium Video Using PurgEye Weld Purge Monitor

2019-01-18
At the end of 2018, WeldTube filmed a two-part welding class on titanium, which features the very talented Travis Field. Travis travelled down to The South Coast Welding Academy in Houston TX from Alberta Canada.

Travis welded the pipe with the addition of our Weld Trailing Shield and PurgEye Weld Purge Monitiors. Travis shares his experience and skills and the videos are very inspirational to anyone welding titanium or looking to get into the field.

The low cost, hand held, battery operated PurgEye 100, designed and developed by Huntingdon Fusion Techniques HFT is perfect for obtaining zero colour, oxide free welds in stainless steel, reading accurately from atmospheric oxygen level (20.94%), right down to 100 ppm (0.01%).

Davina Urquhart, City College AND Senior Welding Engineer at TransWeld Services Ltd recently said: “I am a huge fan of the Huntingdon products and have talked others over the years into using them. The purge meters are second to none. I own and use regularly my PurgEye 100 for stainless steels and my PurgEye 300 for titanium. In fact I think somewhere I still have my original Argweld MKV monitor from the 1970s. Excellent product guys!”

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International Conference on Condition Monitoring and Asset Management Call for Papers

2019-01-17
The Sixteenth International Conference on Condition Monitoring and Asset Management (CM 2019) will take place from Tuesday 25 to Thursday 27 June 2019 at The Principal Grand Central Hotel, Glasgow, UK. The conference is organised by the British Institute of Non-Destructive Testing (BINDT) in close partnership with the International Society for Condition Monitoring (ISCM) and the US Society for Machinery Failure Prevention Technology (MFPT).

Following feedback received after the deadline for abstract submissions for this years conference closed, the decision has been taken to extend the deadline to Friday 25 January 2019.

Papers are invited on all aspects of CM including:

Applications

Architecture of CM systems

Asset management

Certification, education and training in CM

CM for biomedical and healthcare applications

CM case studies

CM for civil engineering

CM for manufacturing

CM systems and applications

CM and diagnosis methods and technologies

Cost-benefit analysis

Damage

Data mining and fusion

Decision support for CM

Design and lifecycle integrity

Design for CM and maintenance

Engineering standards in CM

Equipment troubleshooting

Failure assessment and failure consequences

FMEA and FMECA

Future directions for CM

Instrumentation for CM

Integrated vehicle health management (IVHM)

IT in CM

Machinery failure analysis and prevention

Maintenance

Maintenance planning, scheduling and control

Materials and structural health monitoring

Modelling and signal processing for CM

NDT

Optimisation in CM

Pattern recognition for CM

Physics of failure, fault/failure modes

Prognostics

Repair and overhaul

Risk assessment

Root cause analysis

Sensors and actuators

Through-life support

Wireless CM

Other relevant topics are welcome.

To submit an abstract (of no more than 200 words) visit: https://mc.manuscriptcentral.com/cm2019-mfpt2019 or via the link on the conference website at: www.cm-mfpt.org by Friday 25 January 2019.

All abstracts and papers will be subject to peer review by members of the International Scientific Advisory Committee. All approved papers will appear in the conference proceedings. Selected papers may be published in the BINDT international journal Insight, the International Journal of Condition Monitoring or other leading international journals. Papers related to case studies may be published in BINDTs newsletters, Condition Monitor and NDT News.

The CM 2019 conference will provide attendees with a unique opportunity to make connections with academics and industrialists from all over the world and benefit from in-depth networking with peers. Leading figures in the field of condition monitoring will be presenting at the conference, with the very latest developments in the fields of CM and asset management being revealed, ensuring all attendees will learn something.

Call for Travel and Attendance Award applicants

If you are based overseas and from the profession of NDT and CM, but are unable to attend due to financial constraints, you may be eligible for the BINDT Travel and Attendance Award. Applicants can range from individuals at an early career stage or be experienced contributors. To view the eligibility criteria and details on how to apply, visit: http://www.bindt.org/events/CM2019/travel-and-attendance-award/.

Follow this event on Twitter @CM_MFPT

About BINDT

The British Institute of Non-Destructive Testing (BINDT) is a UK-based professional engineering institution working to promote the advancement of the science and practice of non-destructive testing (NDT), condition monitoring (CM), diagnostic engineering and all other materials and quality testing disciplines. Internationally recognised, it is concerned with the education, training and certification of its members and all those engaged in NDT and CM and through its publications and annual conferences and events it disseminates news of the latest advances in the science and practice of the subjects. For further information about the Institute and its activities, visit http://www.bindt.org

What are NDT and CM?

Non-destructive testing is the branch of engineering concerned with all methods of detecting and evaluating flaws in materials. Flaws can affect the serviceability of a material or structure, so NDT is important in guaranteeing safe operation as well as in quality control and assessing plant life. The flaws may be cracks or inclusions in welds and castings or variations in structural properties, which can lead to a loss of strength or failure in service. The essential feature of NDT is that the test process itself produces no deleterious effects on the material or structure under test. The subject of NDT has no clearly defined boundaries; it ranges from simple techniques such as the visual examination of surfaces, through the well-established methods of radiography, ultrasonic testing and magnetic particle crack detection, to new and very specialised methods such as the measurement of Barkhausen noise and positron annihilation spectroscopy.

Condition monitoring (CM) aims to ensure plant efficiency, productivity and reliability by monitoring and analysing the wear of operating machinery and components to provide an early warning of impending failure, thereby reducing costly plant shutdown. Condition monitoring originally used mainly vibration and tribology analysis techniques but now encompasses new fields such as thermal imaging, acoustic emission and other non-destructive techniques. The diagnostic and prognostic elements, in addition to increasingly sophisticated signal processing, is using trends from repeated measurements in time intervals of days and weeks.

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YXLON Selects Thomas Wenzel to Lead X-Ray Systems Group

2019-01-15
The Board of Directors of YXLON International has appointed Thomas Wenzel as head of the X-Ray Systems (IXS) division and a member of the Executive Committee of the Comet Group, effective December 1, 2018. Following a comprehensive evaluation process, the Comet Group has selected an in-house candidate with 25 years of experience in the x-ray systems business.

In Thomas Wenzel, 53, a seasoned leader and proven expert in the business is taking the helm of X-Ray Systems. Holding a computer science degree and a PhD in engineering, he has 15 years of management experience at the renowned Fraunhofer Institute for Integrated Circuits in Erlangen, Germany. There he had strategic, scientific and financial responsibility for the Nanofocus System Engineering area and later for Process – Integrated Test Systems. Since 2015 Thomas Wenzel has been Vice President, Technology, of the X-Ray Systems division and the Comet Group. Moreover, as interim head of Research & Development at X -Ray Systems he has played a central role in advancing the development of this business in the past months.

“Thomas Wenzel has an exceptional knowledge of the relevant x-ray systems markets and applications,” says Ren Lenggenhager, CEO of the Comet Group. “With his extensive expertise, his capacity for innovation and his understanding of the market also in regard to digitalization he is ideally suited to take our X-Ray Systems division to a new level both strategically and operationally. He is trusted and highly regarded within and outside the Group and will tackle the issues in the X-Ray Systems business with the necessary speed and vigor.” The Board of Directors and management are convinced that under the leadership of Thomas Wenzel, the X-Ray Systems division will be successfully developed and managed so as to generate value.

On December 1, 2018, Thomas Wenzel will take over the management of the IXS division from Matthias Barz, who has led it since July 2018 as interim manager and who will continue to assist with the initiated measures until their completion. The Board of Directors and management would like to thank Matthias Barz for his achievements and his commitment.

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LynX Inspection is Ready for Industry 4.0

2019-01-15
LynX Inspection, a company that offers innovative inspection solutions for the industrial sector, is proud to have successfully completed its first round of financing. Over $1 million was raised thanks to the support of Anges Qubec’s members, its sidecar investment fund Anges Qubec Capital, Fonds Innovexport and ACET Capital.

“This first round of financing is an important step in the company’s development, letting us move from R&D to the market,” said Luc Perron, President and CEO of LynX Inspection. “This capital is the stepping stone we need to prove ourselves by meeting the expectations of our first clients. We’ll also get our name out there on the international stage.”

By combining three-dimensional analysis and X-ray imaging, LynX Inspection can analyze the internal and external structure of precision parts and detect defects much more quickly and at a significantly lower cost than tomography. The main applications are for moulded and engineered parts and components produced through additive manufacturing.

A fast and cost-effective technology

Target markets: automotive, aerospace, defence

Size of pieces: 2 to 40 cm

Cost of inspection: 5 to 10 times less expensive than traditional radiographic solutions

Scanning, detection and imaging in under 5 minutes

Results of 3D inspection 10 to 20 times faster than tomography

Automation allows for a less specialized workforce

“LynX has a technology that integrates seamlessly with Industry 4.0, allowing the company to jump straight to international markets. We’ve watched this young company evolve within the INO centre of expertise in Qubec City and as part of the oN DuTy! university research initiative. We’re extremely confident in its potential,” said Philippe Ducharme, angel investor with Anges Qubec.

“We believe that LynX’s patent-pending technology will be able to meet the needs of industrial clients for integral, non-destructive and systematic quality control in a variety of manufacturing sectors,” emphasized Richard Bordeleau, President of Fonds Innovexport.

A promising future

Recently, LynX has already hired three new employees to help bring its innovations to market. Representatives from the company will be travelling overseas next spring to give presentations and demonstrate the technology’s full potential.

According to Luc Perron, President and CEO of LynX Inspection, “We’ve made a great deal of progress over the past two years to transform a simple concept into a viable inspection solution for manufacturers and companies specializing in non-destructive testing, or NDT. Our predictive 3D radiography technology fills numerous gaps in current solutions for the automotive, aerospace and defence sectors. We’ve already generated keen interest from key players in the industry.”

“ACET Capital believes that LynX Inspection is offering a powerful and innovative technological solution adapted to Industry 4.0,” said Roger Nol, President of ACET Capital, the investment fund for ACET, a Sherbrooke-based accelerator for tech companies. “We’re very proud to lend our support as investors and advisors to this Qubec tech firm so they can continue to innovate and build their reputation on the international market.”

About LynX Inspection

LynX Inspection is a young high-tech company based in Qubec City that develops innovative inspection solutions for the industrial sector based primarily on three-dimensional analysis and X-ray imaging.

About Anges Qubec and Anges Qubec Capital

Anges Qubec is a network of over 230 angel investors whose mission it is to invest financially and personally in innovative Qubec companies. Anges Qubec members have already invested no less than $75 million in the Qubec economy through over 200 investments in more than 100 groundbreaking companies. In 2012, Anges Qubec launched Anges Qubec Capital, a sidecar investment fund of over $86 million to coinvest along with the network’s members. Anges Qubec Capital is supported by the Caisse de dpt et placement du Qubec, Fonds de solidarit FTQ, Investissement Qubec and the members of Anges Qubec.

About Fonds Innovexport

Fonds Innovexport is an early-stage venture capital firm that supports the development of Qubec-based innovators seeking growth in international markets. Based in Qubec City, Innovexport has partnerships with twenty-five experienced entrepreneurs, as well as the Gouvernement du Qubec, represented by Investissement Qubec, Fonds Espace CDPQ de la Caisse de dpt et placement du Qubec, Desjardins Innovatech, Fonds de solidarit FTQ, and Fondaction CSN. Innovexport also receives financial support from Qubec City’s economic development strategy. All of these parties work together to support the growth of innovative companies with the potential of becoming global leaders.

About ACET Capital

ACET Capital is a venture capital investment fund providing private capital to selected companies that are ready to go to market or have just begun the process. These companies receive support during their first round of financing to help maximize their chances of success.

SOURCE LynX Inspection

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War2In Inspection Training Program Relocating to Bellemont

2019-01-15
War2In, an innovative training program that certifies veterans and others in the lucrative field of non-destructive testing (NDT), is relocating from the Moonshot at NACET business accelerator to its own, larger facility in nearby Bellemont.

War2In the name is a shortening of “Warrior To Inspector” was the first Moonshot client to occupy the accelerator at NACET when it opened in October 2015.

“In about three years, we outgrew our space in the accelerator,” said Kenny Greene, War2In’s founder and one of its two instructors. “It’s perfect evidence of how well NACET is working; it’s a good program and a good process.”

Greene’s company teaches students, primarily veterans transitioning into civilian life, the basics of NDT, which uses numerous techniques to evaluate the properties of materials and components without damaging what is being tested. NDT methods have applications that range from making sure a ski resort chairlift is safe to estimating how much pressure a pipeline can withstand. The most common NDT jobs are in the energy sector.

Unlike many NDT schools, however, War2In also includes the more than 1,000 hours of on-the-job training that is required to become certified in these techniques.

The school’s new 6,000-square-foot Bellemont facility will quadruple the indoor space War2In currently has at the accelerator. The additional space will help accommodate an anticipated increase in students. The school’s enrollment has doubled in the past year and War2In is in the final stages of a review by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs to determine if veterans can access GI Bill benefits to pay for the program.

As the program has grown, it has also become more diverse. Originally started to connect veterans to jobs, about 25% of its students now are civilians. The school will also welcome its first female student next year.

About Moonshot at NACET: The Northern Arizona Center for Entrepreneurship and Technology (NACET) hosts a business incubator and accelerator in its state-of-the-art facility featuring 38,000 square feet of wet labs, suites, offices and manufacturing space. With the ‘Moonshot’ initiative, NACET recruits next-generation entrepreneurs pursuing imaginative, ambitious and even radical new commercial ideas for a rigorous, four-track process to develop a minimum viable product or investment-ready concept for the marketplace.

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Researchers Develop Nondestructive Method to Measure Salt Content of Concrete

2019-01-15
Researchers from the RIKEN Center for Advanced Photonics (RAP) have used a method, using the RANS compact neutron source, to non-destructively measure the salt content of structures such as bridges, tunnels, and elevated roadways, which can suffer from degradation due to exposure to salt from seawater and other sources.

The collapse of a bridge in August in Genoa, Italy, leading to the deaths of 37 people, has highlighted the danger posed by aging infrastructure. Japan, like many countries, faces major problems, as many of its bridges and tunnels were constructed during the high economic growth in the 1960s and 1970s and are now suffering degradation. However, inspections are time-consuming. For example, gauging the salt content of cement structures is typically done by boring out a corean action which is time consuming and can slightly damage the structure.

The research group decided to search for a better way to perform inspections, using a neutron beama device that emits high-energy neutrons in a beamemitted by a compact neutron source that they had developed. Neutrons are an exciting new way to image structures, as they can penetrate quite far into metallic materials thanks to the fact that they do not interact via the electromagnetic force, and thus are not affected by electric charge. They do occasionally interact with nuclei in the materials they penetrate, leading to the release of gamma rays that can be detected.

For this experiment, the group used their compact neutron source, which generates neutrons by bombarding a beryllium target with protons. They used the beam to irradiate a series of concrete blocks with salt squeezed between them, with “prompt” gamma raysgamma rays that are emitted immediately upon irradiation by neutronsbeing measured by high resolution germanium detectors. The prompt gamma rays are emitted from the atoms in the concrete blocks, and different elements can be detected by looking at the energy of the gamma rays. For example, the energies peaks from the prompt gamma rays emitted from chlorinea component of saltare 517 kiloelectron volts, 786 kiloelectron volts, 788 kiloelectron volts, 1165 kiloelectron volts, and so on.

By doing this, the researchers were able to demonstrate the presence of salt even when it was surrounded by between 12 and 18 centimeters of concrete. Each measurement took about 10 minutes.

According to Yoshie Otake, who led the study, “This is very exciting, because Japan is suffering from serious infrastructure degradation, and it is impossible to predict when a major accident will happen. Our feasibility study has shown that neutron beams can indeed be used to measure whether the salt content of a concrete structure is within the legal limits set by the government. Our next challenge is to build a compact neutron source that is small enough to be readily transported to various infrastructures to conduct measurements.” The results were presented in October at the 18th JSMS Symposium on Concrete Structure Scenarios, held by the Society of Materials Science, Japan.

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