Sandia’s Experimental Impact Mechanics Lab gains national attention


ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Sandia National Laboratories’ Experimental Impact Mechanics Lab is getting national recognition. According to Sandia, the lab is able to test the strength and evaluate the impact properties of any solid natural or manmade material on the planet.

Mechanical engineer Bo Song has grown the lab’s instrumentation, capabilities, staff, and clientele at Sandia over the last eight years. According to a press release from Sandia, the lab began as a small storage room and has transformed into a laboratory of over 200 square feet including weights, rods, cables, bars, heaters, compressions, and high-speed cameras.

Song explains that his work in experimental impact mechanics and evaluating the response of materials to temperatures and pressure is helping to identify the lab as an ideal facility in materials assessment for national security programs, defense contractors, and in the private industry. The lab additionally functions as a primary test facility for small-scale components and subassemblies and conducts feasibility studies that allows its customers to proceed with full-scale projects.

Sandia reports that 70% of the lab’s work is for programs in nuclear deterrence, advanced science and technology, and global security. About a third of the lab’s customers reportedly come from outside Sandia and range from the Department of Defense and Nasa to other organizations and industries.

“There’s no material we cannot test,” said Song in the press release. “We evaluate the nature, properties and strength of materials and how they change in different testing configurations or conditions. In the end, our customers receive a breakdown of material properties, and our materials experts provide counsel on how to improve the customer’s material design and selection.”

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