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Beyond the Surface: Unveiling the Sustainable Impact of Material Selection and Material Assessments

Materials.Business Newsletter ⚙️ August 09th, 2023


Podcast Guest: Dr. Fuad Khoshnaw

Summary of the discussion

In this episode, experts Fuad Khoshnaw and Monica Hernandez shed light on the intricate world of corrosion, material degradation, and the profound significance of early-stage detection and careful material selection. Through their insights, we uncover the multifaceted challenges faced by engineers in designing components that withstand the test of time and emerge with innovative solutions to strike a balance between strength, weight, and sustainability.
Corrosion's Ubiquity and Varied Impact: Corrosion is an intrinsic process that inexorably affects all metals over time, presenting a universal challenge across industries. Regardless of the constitution of the metal, corrosion is an inevitable natural phenomenon that leads to material degradation in diverse environments. Each material experiences some degree of deterioration due to various factors such as environmental conditions and material composition. The rate of corrosion varies and is heavily influenced by interacting factors, underscoring the complexity of addressing this pervasive concern.

Importance of Design and Uncertainty Considerations: Engineers face the challenge of designing components capable of withstanding potential failures while navigating uncertainties. Failures, particularly those stemming from fatigue, are often triggered by diverse factors such as applied loads, temperature fluctuations, and material properties. As Dr. Khoshnaw says: Somehow fatigue is involved with around more than 90% of the whole failures around us, so fatigue has a major impact on failures.
While design principles stipulate that material strength should surpass applied loads, the presence of uncertainties, including load variations, temperature effects, and microstructural changes, necessitates careful consideration. These uncertainties can erode the integrity of components over time, precipitating premature failures if not adequately addressed during the design phase.
Significance of Early Stage Detection and Material Selection: The podcast discussion underscores the paramount importance of early detection in preventing catastrophic failures. Instances like the Titanic sinking and industrial accidents (too often witnessed even today) serve as stark reminders of the far-reaching consequences of corrosion-related failures. Timely detection can avert disasters, safeguarding human lives, the environment, and valuable assets. During the design phase, meticulous material selection is pivotal to mitigating the risks of failures. Selecting suitable materials can considerably extend the operational life of components, assets, and, plants. Addressing corrosion concerns proactively not only minimizes disruptions but also protects human safety and environmental integrity.

Comprehensive Approach to Failure Prevention: Effectively preventing failures necessitates a holistic approach that transcends immediate design considerations. As Dr. Khoshnaw said: Otherwise, if one of these aspects has not been considered in the design, this all will lead to -let's say- early failure.
Engineers must embrace quantitative and qualitative aspects while anticipating shifts in operational conditions. Morphological changes, like altered microstructures due to factors such as welding or temperature variances, exert a profound impact on a component's durability. Unforeseen changes, such as transitioning from benign to aggressive environments in industrial settings, mandate continuous reassessment to ensure the enduring safety and operability of components. By systematically appraising uncertainties and thoroughly evaluating a spectrum of scenarios, engineers can mitigate the risk of unanticipated failures, thereby extending the longevity of components and enhancing overall reliability.

Emphasizing Creative Solutions and Collaboration: The conversation highlights the need for creativity and collaboration in achieving the delicate balance between optimum design and durability. Harnessing existing tools and technologies is pivotal, allowing engineers to explore innovative solutions without the need for groundbreaking inventions. By combining diverse perspectives and expertise, teams can optimize material selection and manufacturing processes to achieve sustainable, resilient outcomes while avoiding unnecessary surprises.
The discussion revolves around corrosion's pervasive impact and the imperative of early detection, material selection, and holistic design considerations in preventing failures. The experts' insights illuminate the complexity of engineering components to withstand corrosion-induced challenges, highlighting the balance between strength, weight, and sustainability. By embracing diverse perspectives, fostering collaboration, and leveraging innovative technologies, engineers are empowered to pioneer solutions that bolster the longevity, safety, and sustainability of materials and structures, ultimately shaping a more resilient and reliable future.
Dr. Fuad Khoshnaw holds a distinguished position as a senior academic and researcher at De Montfort University (DMU) in the United Kingdom, specifically within the School of Engineering and Sustainable Development. He obtained his PhD in Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering from Loughborough University, UK, in 2010. Dr. Khoshnaw's educational journey began with a Metallurgical Engineering BSc degree (1986) at the Technical University in Baghdad, Iraq, where he later earned his MSc (1991) and PhD (1995). In 2004, he was recognized as a Chevening Scholar, having successfully completed the business-focused program on technology transfer and the commercialization of innovation at the Centre of Scientific Enterprise Limited in London Business School, London. From 2010 to 2016, he held the prestigious positions of Professor and Dean of the Faculty of Engineering at Koya University in Iraq. In 2019, Dr. Khoshnaw served as a visiting professor for a two-month period at Mons University in Belgium. In the most recent academic year, 2021-2022, he assumed the role of Subject Head of Science, Engineering, and Computing at the DMU Dubai campus.
Dr. Khoshnaw has a remarkable publication record, having authored over 50 papers in prestigious international journals and conferences with high-impact factors. Additionally, he serves as the Editor of six books, showcasing his expertise and leadership in his field. His extensive research experience revolves around key areas such as corrosion, biomaterials, welding, failure analysis, and fracture mechanics. Dr. Khoshnaw's contributions in these domains have significantly advanced our understanding and knowledge in these critical areas of study.
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