India Develops Superalloys for Nuclear Reactors (US)

Hyderabad: Researchers at Hyderabad-based Nuclear Fuel Complex (NFC) and Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC) indigenously developed super alloys that form an important part of nuclear reactors, which hitherto were imported from other countries.

The two super alloys developed by the top nuclear institutions include SuperNi (Super Nickel) and a Titanium-based alloy Titan 24. “For many of our nuclear programmes, we are forced to import material. Such nuclear materials are not readily available, attract international regulations and are expensive. This forced us to develop SuperNi and Titan 24,” said Dr. Dinesh Srivastava, chairman and chief executiveContinue reading

Super-Elastic Reinforcement Alloy Which Can Withstand the Impact of Earthquakes (US)

Shahria Alam stands near some of the concrete bridge piers tested at the Applied Laboratory for Advanced Materials and Structures at the University of British Columbia. Alam and a former PhD student have developed a residual drift-based design for concrete bridges that emloys a super-elastic reinforcement alloy.

An engineering professor and his former PhD student at UBC’s Okanagan campus in Kelowna have developed “a residual drift-based design” for concrete bridges that employs a super-elastic reinforcement alloy which can withstand the impact of earthquakes. Conventional reinforced steel, by comparison, sustains “large deformation demand during big earthquakes which causes the steel to strain beyond its elastic limit,” says Shahria Alam, associate professor in the school of engineering at UBC’s Okanagan campus in Kelowna. A case in point is the earthquake that hit Kobe, Japan, in 1995 leaving more than 100 steel reinforced concrete bridges beyond repair. If those bridges were reinforced with a super-elastic memory alloy, they might have only required “minor repairs” because theContinue reading

Tesla and SpaceX are partnering up to create new materials to use on Earth and in space (US)

It started just over two years ago when we reported in an exclusive report that Musk hired Apple’s alloy expert Charles Kuehmann to lead materials engineering at both of his companies simultaneously. Kuehmann earned a PhD in Materials Science & Engineering from Northwestern University in 1994 and co-founded QuesTek two years later with four other colleagues affiliated with Northwestern University to commercialize the work of his mentor and pioneer in the field of computational materials design; Prof. Gregory B. Olson, who has been called the “father of materials design” by the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. At QuesTek, he went on to successfully develop and commercialize not only several new materials engineering tools and processes, but also numerous new alloys based on a number of different elements including Al, Co, Cu, Fe, Mo, Ni, Nb, Ti, and W.

Elon Musk has been trying to create some synergy between his seemingly unrelated companies, Tesla and SpaceX. The CEO might have found one way to help both companies: combining their efforts to create new materials that could be used both on electric vehicles and renewable energy products on Earth, as well as in spacecraft and rockets in space. Tesla and SpaceX have been building material engineering teams to develop new advanced Continue reading

Dassault Systèmes and Granta form materials knowledge partnership (US)

Granta Design is collaborating with Dassault Systèmes to help product innovation teams make more informed decisions about the materials they use for the products they are developing and the experiences they want to deliver.

Dassault Systèmes’ 3DEXPERIENCE platform will integrate with Granta Design’s GRANTA MI system for materials information management, improving productivity and collaboration. Thanks to the integration of GRANTA MI technology, approved information from a company’s materials database will be directly available to its product innovation teams on the 3DEXPERIENCE platform. Designers, engineers, simulation analysts and other stakeholders will be able to quickly access accurate and consistent information on materials and their properties, and Continue reading

Ames Laboratory Develops a computational analysis that can help predict the composition and properties of high entropy alloys (US)

The U.S. Department of Energy’s Ames Laboratory has developed a method of computational analysis that can help predict the composition and properties of as-yet unmade high performance alloys.  These materials are made up of multiple elements (four or more) and highly sought after for their simple structures, excellent mechanical properties over a wide range of temperatures, and improved oxidation or corrosion resistance. Advancements in these materials could lead to enhanced jet engine performance and fuel efficiency, as well as other applications in industries where Continue reading

Sheffield Forgemasters Enables Swiss Nuclear Power Plant to Restart (US)

A manufacturer of components for civil nuclear power has completed manufacturing, research and consultancy work to allow the world’s oldest working nuclear reactor to restart. (On photo Professor Jesus Talamantes-Silva)

Sheffield Forgemasters International Ltd (SFIL) was contracted by plant operator, AXPO, to investigate the origin of ultrasonic indications which were detected in the Reactor Pressure Vessel (RPV) of Unit 1 of the Beznau nuclear power plant (KKB) in Switzerland, which was taken offline for two years until confirmed to be safe by the Swiss Federal Nuclear Safety Inspectorate (ENSI). Forgemasters manufactured a large cylindrical forging, identical to the body of the RPV, using techniques employed in the original 1960s manufacture and also acted as engineering and metallurgical consultants, establishing a root cause analysis and delivering detailed reports to support the safety case Continue reading

Pratt & Whitney adds nanoparticules to its nickel based superalloys to make engine components (US)

Alan Epstein, Pratt & Whitney’s vice president for Technology & Environment :  ” To create light and resilient engines, Pratt & Whitney has added nanoparticles to its engine materials. Nickel-based superalloys – materials made of different metals mixed together to improve strength – are used to make engine components ” 

Creating lighter yet powerful engines is just one way the aviation industry is trying to reduce its environmental impact.

Imagine how much cleaner the air would be if 3 million cars were taken off the roads in your city. A hint: Banning just half of Beijing’s 3.3 million cars before the 2008 Olympics cleared its skyline within a few days. The world’s skies may clear in an equally dramatic fashion if the aviation industry could succeed in cutting carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions through more efficient engines, sustainable fuel and use ofContinue reading

New High-Performance Alloys Lab at Austria Graz University (US)

The new lab will focus on non-ferrous alloys such as titanium, nickel or aluminium alloys for components and their processing steps. The industrial partners for seven years are the metal producer Nemak, with head offices in Mexico and Linz, which produces cast-aluminium parts for the automotive industry, and BOEHLER Schmiedetechnik GmbH, with head office in Kapfenberg.

When metals are pressed to built a product, a lot of things happen to their microstructure. How strong, resilient, heatproof and chemically homogeneous an end product is in the long run, for instance a turbine blade, depends very much on the thermomechanical loads during production. But for high-performance alloys, like those used inContinue reading

Liége : premières commandes pour l’acier revêtu sous vide d’Arcelor-Mittal (FR)

Le groupe PSA (Peugeot, Citroën et Opel dernièrement), Renault et Fiat. Voilà les tout premiers clients de la ligne JVD (Jet vapor deposition) d’ArcelorMittal, située à Kessales (Jemeppe). Les premières bobines de cet acier du futur viennent d’être commandées. Cette technologie, unique au monde, a été développée ici à Liège, au Centre de recherche métallurgique. Les premiers clients du secteur automobile viennent de passer leurs premières commandesContinue reading

Researchers achieve breakthrough in 3-D printed marine grade stainless steel (US)

LLNL materials scientist Joe McKeown looks on as postdoc researcher Thomas Voisin examines a sample of 3D printed stainless steel.; Researchers say the ability to 3D print marine grade, low-carbon stainless steel (316L) could have widespread implications for industries such as aerospace, automotive, and oil and gas.

“Marine grade” stainless steel is valued for its performance under corrosive environments and for its high ductility—the ability to bend without breaking under stress—making it a preferred choice for oil pipelines, welding, kitchen utensils, chemical equipment, medical implants, engine parts and nuclear waste storage. However, conventional techniques for strengthening this class of stainless steels typically comes at the expense of ductility. Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) researchers, along with collaborators at Ames National Laboratory, Georgia Tech University and Oregon State University, have achieved a breakthrough in 3-D printing one of the most common forms of marine grade stainless steel—a low-carbon type called 316L—that promises an unparalleled combination of high-strength and high-ductility properties for the ubiquitous alloy. The research appears online Oct. 30 in the journal Nature Materials .

“In order to make all the components you’re trying to print useful, you need to have this material property at least the same as those made by traditional metallurgy,” said LLNL materials scientist and lead author Morris Wang. “We were able to 3-D print real components in the lab with 316L stainless steel, and the material’s performance was actually better than those made with the traditional approach. That’s really a big jump. It makes additive manufacturing very attractive and fills a major gap.”

Wang said the methodology could open the floodgates to widespread 3-D printing of such stainless steel components, particularly in the aerospace, automotive and oil and gas industries, where strong and tough materials are needed to tolerate extreme force in harsh environments.

To successfully meet, and exceed, the necessary performance requirements for 316L stainless steel, researchers first had to overcome a major bottleneck limiting the potential for 3-D printing high-quality metals, the porosity caused during the laser melting (or fusion) of metal powders that can cause parts to degrade and fracture easily. Researchers addressed this through a density optimization process involving experiments and computer modeling, and by manipulating the materials’ underlying microstructure.

“This microstructure we developed breaks the traditional strength-ductility tradeoff barrier,” Wang said. “For steel, you want to make it stronger, but you lose ductility essentially; you can’t have both. But with 3-D printing, we’re able to move this boundary beyond the current tradeoff.”

Using two different laser powder bed fusion machines, researchers printed thin plates of stainless steel 316L for mechanical testing. The laser melting technique inherently resulted in hierarchical cell-like structures that could be tuned to alter the mechanical properties, researchers said.

“The key was doing all the characterization and looking at the properties we were getting,” said LLNL scientist Alex Hamza, who oversaw production of some additively manufactured components. “When you additively manufacture 316L it creates an interesting grain structure, sort of like a stained-glass window. The grains are not very small, but the cellular structures and other defects

LLNL postdoc researcher Thomas Voisin, a key contributor to the paper, has performed extensive characterizations of 3-D printed metals since joining the Lab in 2016. He believes the research could provide new insights on the structure-property relationship of additively manufactured materials.

“Deformation of metals is mainly controlled by how nanoscale defects move and interact in the microstructure,” Voisin said. “Interestingly, we found that this cellular structure acts such as a filter, allowing some defects to move freely and thus provide the necessary ductility while blocking some others to provide the strength. Observing these mechanisms and understanding their complexity now allows us to think of new ways to control the mechanical properties of these 3-D printed materials.”

Wang said the project benefitted from years of simulation, modeling and experimentation performed at the Lab in 3-D printing of metals to understand the link between microstructure and mechanical properties. He called stainless steel a “surrogate material” system that could be used for other types of metals.

The eventual goal, he said, is to use high-performance computing to validate and predict future performance of stainless steel, using models to control the underlying microstructure and discover how to make high-performance steels, including the corrosion-resistance. Researchers will then look at employing a similar strategy with other lighter weight alloys that are more brittle and prone to cracking.

The work took several years and required the contributions of the Ames Lab, which did X-ray diffraction to understand material performance; Georgia Tech, which performed modeling to understand how the material could have high strength and high ductility, and Oregon State, which performed characterization and composition analysis.

Source :

https://www.llnl.gov/news/lab-researchers-achieve-breakthrough-3d-printed-marine-grade-stainless-steel