Physics Professor Gabriela Petculescu has been awarded a patent for her invention of a noninvasive method for monitoring degradation in marine alloys for safer and more economical naval operations. A large number of ships have already been built using Al-Mg alloys, benefiting from their properties until sensitization (a heat-driven degradation process) sets in. Critical structural components that become sensitized can become a safety hazard. Repairs are costly, premature, or dangerously overdue, as the components’ integrity becomes vulnerable (through stress corrosion cracking and/or exfoliation). The patented ultrasonic method for nondestructively monitoring the level of sensitization provides a solution to these problems. For those interested, the physics involved in the patent is captured in Gabriela Petculescu’s paper Sensitization in Aluminum Alloys: Effect on Acoustic Parameters, in CORROSION, vol. 74(11), pp. 1237-1244 (2018).
September 17, 2019: UL Lafayette application to US Patent Office for “System And Methods For Determining Sensitization Of Alloy By Measuring And Correlating Ultrasonic Parameters,” is awarded, as Patent# US10,416,120B2 with Gabriela Petculescu as inventor.