Ageing Studies and Lifetime Extension of Materials

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The first International Conference on Ageing Studies and Lifetime Extension of Materials was held on th July 12-14 , 1999 at St. Catherine's College, Oxford, United Kingdom. Over 230 delegates attended during the three days and heard nearly ninety papers, together with over thirty poster presentations. Sixteen of these papers were keynotes from invited speakers eminent in their field of research. The proceedings were organised into six separate sessions: observation and understanding of real-time and accelerated ageing; experimental techniques; modelling and theoretical studies; lifetime prediction and validation; lifetime extension; and material design for ageing. In doing this, it was hoped to cover most issues of scientific concern inthefield ofmaterials ageing. One important aspect was that the conference did not concentrateon any particular group or type ofmaterial; rather the aim was to attract contributions from workers engaged in ageing studies with as wide a range of materials as possible. In this way, it was hoped that delegates could interactwith and learnfrom those whom they perhapswould not normally come across and that metallurgists could learn from polymer scientists, ceramicists could talk to modellers, and so on, in this important field. A read through the diverse papers contained within these proceedings will confirm that this aim was happily satisfied. Why hold such a meeting? In the modem world, engineered systems are expected to last longer.