Technology Innovation Institute launches first Impact Lab in MENA

Technology Innovation Institute (TII), a global research center and applied research pillar of Abu Dhabi’s Advanced Technology Research Council (ATRC), announced the launch of its Impact Lab at Advanced Materials Research Centre (AMRC). In a first for the MENA region, the new project provides an ideal testbed for state-of-the-art materials, laminates, and composites. TII AMRC established one of ten initial dedicated centers to create a global center of excellence for applied research on metals and composites, including meta-, nano-, smart-, self-healing-, energy-absorbing -, and additive manufacturing materials.

Technology Innovation Institute launches first Impact Lab in MENAAMRC’s vision is to bring advanced materials to a stage where they can be translated from lab to industry with this cutting-edge lab. Tests are conducted under a variety of impact-related conditions, including evaluating structures’ velocities, temperatures, and rate of energy absorption. Innovative equipment will be used to evaluate the behavior of materials to help create breakthrough solutions.

As a lab capable of characterizing metallic, polymeric, ceramic, and composite materials quickly into prototypes with real-world applications, the lab is currently working on developing solutions to prevent space rovers from crashing and create explosion-resistant helmets, bumpers, tyres, and car batteries. Innovative lightweight structures can also be used in motorcycle and horseback riding helmets to absorb impact energy. Researchers at the AMRC attribute these findings to impact and material science.

At the lab, futuristic devices such as the Universal Testing Machine are used to measure materials’ tensile, compression, and bending properties. Split Hopkinson Pressure Bar, a first in the region, measures material properties and can measure temperatures as low as -60 C and as high as 225 C during impact.

Gas-Gun Projectile Launchers are also unique in the Middle East. By launching a gas-like substance at up to 1,000 m/s with a high-velocity impact, this device can simulate a ballistic, space debris, or bird impact on aircraft. Meanwhile, the Drop Tower studies effects on material structures, similar to the ones that occur in car crashes or on helmets after accidents. With the machine, researchers can set impacts of up to 25 m/s in a low-velocity impact setting, allowing them to enhance results to meet user needs and bolster safety measures.