Microstructural changes tracked in real time during Alloy 709 thermomechanical tests (US)

Microstructural changes in a promising material for nuclear reactors can be tracked in real time during thermomechanical tests, thanks to a new microscopy technique. Afsaneh Rabiei is pictured here with the device she developed that can capture scanning electron microscopy (SEM) images in real time at temperatures up to 1,000 degrees Celsius while applying stresses as high as two gigapascal.

A new microscopy technique allows researchers to track microstructural changes in real time, even when a material is exposed to extreme heat and stress. Recently, researchers show that a stainless steel alloy called alloy 709 has potential for elevated temperature applications such as nuclear reactor structures. “Alloy 709 is exceptionally strong and resistant to damage when exposed to high temperatures for long periods of time,” says Afsaneh Rabiei, corresponding author of a paper on the new findings and a professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering atContinue reading

It’s no vibranium or proto-adamantium, but researcher’s new alloy comes close (US)

Four times stronger than stainless steel, a unique alloy blends chromium, cobalt, iron, manganese and silicon.  It’s not Black Panther’s vibranium or Captain America’s proto-adamantium shield, but a new alloy designed by University of North Texas researcher has come pretty close. Researcher  Saurabh Nene has been working with UNT’s College of Engineering Department of Materials Science and Engineering to mix and flow material simultaneously, giving the alloy new strength. The alloy, which has no catchy name like its fictional counterparts, is created by melting and casting the materials, then taking the thin, flat mold to start “friction stirring,” Nene said.  Nene, who has been working on this piece of research for eight months, said the process intensely deforms the metal’s makeupContinue reading

Creating superior alloys (US)

Nooshin Mortazavi is a postdoctoral researcher in the department of physics at Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden. She was recently offered prestigious funding from the Swedish Research Council, the Wenner-Gren Foundation and the Wallenberg Foundation. She can now choose between two or three years of postdoctoral training at Harvard or Stanford University in the US – followed by two more years at Chalmers University of Technology after her return.

 Groundbreaking findings of a study conducted at the Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden, contributes to a better fundamental understanding of how alloys behave at high temperatures, whichcould help researchers to develop improved materials and advancedContinue reading

Army researchers develop novel nanogalvanic alloys for on-demand hydrogen generation (US)

Army researchers have developed a novel, structurally-stable, aluminum-based nanogalvanic alloy powder that, when combined with water or any water-based liquid, reacts to produce on-demand hydrogen for power generation at room temperature without chemicals, catalysts or externally supplied power. These patent-pending powders produce hydrogen at a rate that currently is one of the fastest reported for Al and water reactions without the need of hazardous and costly materials or additional processes. The reaction results in the production of hydrogen and heat with only inert residual materials; i.e., no toxic by-products. ARL has demonstrated that hydrolysis will occur with virtually any water containing liquid. It has long been known that aluminum (Al) reacts with water to produce hydrogen gas and aluminum oxide via a hydrolysisContinue reading

Microdécolletage : tremper l’acier d’abord (FR)

Micro-D2 : optimisation du procédé de décolletage sur tenon de mouvement horloger

Axes, vis, tenons, pignons…, plusieurs dizaines de pièces métalliques minuscules composent le cœur d’une montre mécanique. L’évolution des contraintes environnementales obligeant à recourir à de nouveaux aciers, les problèmes de qualité générant des rebuts importants chez les fabricants, et le souhait de gagner en autonomie pour l’approvisionnement de ces composants dans les manufactures horlogères invitent à travailler, à l’échelle du micromètre, à de nouvelles techniques de décolletage. Technique de prédilection de nombreuses entreprises de la région, le décolletage consiste à fabriquer des pièces à partir de barres de métal, par uneContinue reading

Superstrong Al alloys may change manufacturing processes for automobiles, aerospace devices (US)

In this photo, Qiang Li makes a deposition program on the operational computer, and Yifan Zhang loads samples into a sputtering chamber to prepare high-strength Al alloy coatings. Credit Photo @Purdue University

 University researchers have developed a superstrong material that may change some manufacturing processes for the aerospace and automobile industries. The Purdue team, led by Xinghang Zhang, a professor in Purdue’s School of Materials Engineering, created high-strength aluminum alloy coatings. According to Zhang, there is an increasing demand for such materials because of their advantages for automakers and aerospace industries. “We have created a very durable and lightweight aluminum alloy that is just as strong as, and possibly stronger than, stainless steel,” Zhang said. “Our aluminum alloy is lightweight and provides flexibility that stainless steel does not in manyContinue reading

FOCAL, les enceintes françaises au béryllium qui pulvérisent BOSE (FR)

La curieuse forme incurvée sert à mieux orienter le son vers l’auditeur. Le tweeter en béryllium, un métal léger et très solide, permet un rendu très fin des aigus. Le dôme du haut-parleur aigu est inversé pour une meilleure directivité des ondes sonores.

De Saint-Etienne, cette PME rayonne dans le monde entier avec ses enceintes et ses systèmes acoustiques très, très haut de gamme. Elle équipe même des voitures premium.

Quand Christophe Sicaud reçoit ses clients VIP à l’usine de Saint-Etienne, le président de Focal, numéro 1 français des enceintes acoustiques, ne manque pas de leur en mettre plein la vue. Ou plutôt, plein les oreilles. D’abord, il les installe dans un large canapé en cuir, face à deux grandes Utopia : des colonnes laquées de 2 mètres de haut àl’ébénisterie épaisse de 5 centimètres et pesant chacune 256 kilos. Ensuite, le maestro pousse le son des quatre Continue reading

SpaceX to use superalloys in Mars rocket Raptor engines, says Elon Musk (US)

SpaceX’s current Texas facilities feature a test stand for Raptor, the engine intended to power BFR and BFS to Mars. (SpaceX)

A few days after he touched upon methods of creating BFR propellant on Mars, SpaceX CEO Elon Musk mentioned in a tweet that the launch company was using cutting-edge combinations of metals (known as superalloys) to ensure the efficiency and reliability of its Raptor rocket engine, a critical requirement for BFR to enable sustainable colonization of Mars. In response to a tweeted question about types of metal alloys currently in use at SpaceX, Musk briefly delved into the complexities of building BFR’s propulsion system, particularly with respect to alloys capable of surviving the intense conditions inside a rocket engine:

“[SpaceX is using] SX 300 & soon SX 500. Kind of a modern version of Inconel superalloys. High strength at temperature, extreme oxidation resistance. Needed for ~800 atmosphere, hot, oxygen-rich turbopump on Raptor rocket engine.” – Elon Musk

There’s a lot to break down for the layperson in Musk’s tweet. First and foremost, commenters (your author included) immediately jumped to the conclusion that “SX 300/500” referred to some sort custom SpaceX material, given that SX is a frequent shorthand for Continue reading

New way found to enhance strength and ductility of high entropy alloys (US)

A joint team of researchers from India, Japan and Sweden have found a way to make multiphase high entropy alloys (HEAs), which are a recently emerging class of alloys, simultaneously stronger and more ductile. In a study published in journal, Scientific Reports, the researchers have reported that novel heterogeneous microstructure achieved by a process of cryo-deformation followed by annealing can help overcome the problem of strength-ductility trade-off in multiphase HEAs. The researchers are from Indian Institute of Technology, Hyderabad, Kyoto University, Japan and Chalmers University, Sweden. Conventionally, alloys are based on one major element to which Continue reading

Les Etats-Unis relancent la course au lithium (FR)

Le chimiste Reginald Penner de l’UCI (l’université de Californie à Ivirne) et la candidate au doctorat Mya Le Thai (en photo) ont développé une technologie à base de nanofils permettant la recharge de batteries de lithium de centaines de milliers de fois. (Credit Photo@Steve Zylius/UCI)

Parce qu’il entre dans la composition des batteries des véhicules électriques, le lithium vient d’être inscrit sur la liste des métaux stratégiques par les Etats-Unis. Les projets d’exploitation du lithium se multiplient sur le sol américain. Les Etats-Unis relancent la course au lithium jusque sur leur propre sol. Ils n’avaient plus qu’une seule mine de lithium encore en activité, dans le Nevada, c’est d’ailleurs la Continue reading