Printer Friendly

Materials project is summit spin-off.

Materials project is summit spin-off

Later this year the rapidly growing Versailles Project on Advanced Materials and [materials] Standards, known as VAMAS, will sever itself from the multilateral organization that spawned it. On Jan. 30, the United States and France became the first signatories to a memorandum of understanding that will give the project its independence.

A major international research program, VAMAS is one of the most successful of 18 technical projects initiated by the June 1982 Economic Summit of Versailles, in France. The projects were created to enhance trade in high-technology goods and services by summit members: the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, France, Italy, Japan, West Germany and the European Economic Community (EEC). But as an essentially economic, rather than technologic, organization, the Economic Summit never anticipated holding on to these projects for very long, explains Bruce Steiner of the Institute for Materials Science and Engineering at the National Bureau of Standards in Gaithersburg, Md. Since the materials program has come to fill a more valuable niche than its founders had anticipated and "taken on a life of its own," Steiner says, a decision was made to spin it off as an independent venture.

With conventional materials, like cast iron, "one typically has a long experience base" through which a material's general properties, such as melting point, conductivity and ductility, become known, explains Steiner, a member of the VAMAS steering committee. "But with advanced materials--like new polymers, alloys and composites -- there isn't this experience base," he notes. Before a firm can decide whether and how to use a new material in its products, not only must the basic reference properties be established but the "standard" tests to measure these properties must also be characterized. One of VAMAS's primary missions, Steiner says, is to cooperatively develop within these nations the internationally reproducible tests and data that will ultimately be used to establish a new material's properties. Until VAMAS came along, he adds, "nothing like this existed."

Roughly $2 million in research is now conducted annually under this project. The programs span 11 areas, ranging from the development of standard wear tests for ceramics and characterization of weld toughness to the analysis of materials that will be implanted as artificial human-body parts.
COPYRIGHT 1986 Science Service, Inc.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1986, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Title Annotation:Versailles Project on Advanced Materials and Standards
Publication:Science News
Date:Mar 8, 1986
Words:372
Previous Article:Innovations for energy efficiency.
Next Article:Solar bear technology.
Topics:


Related Articles
Marshfield's West keeps nerves in check as he prepares for a spin at state meet.
BUSINESS BEAT.
'BLOOD ALLEY' FIX UP FOR VOTE HIGHWAY 138 WORK PROPOSED.
RECYCLE CENTER LOCATION MOVED 62 ACRES BETWEEN SIERRA, 14 FREEWAY.
KOBE: ALL BRYANT, ALL THE TIME.
Boys, books, blokes and bytes.
Stellar spectacular: brightest supernova.
More please on Happy Potters.
Fill in tree rot?

Terms of use | Copyright © 2016 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters