In the project Z-Ultra, a 12-ton forging was produced as a demonstrator. (Credit Photo © Saarschmiede)
As the most important industrial construction material, with more than 2,500 grades, steel is highly specialized for diverse applications. Even the smallest changes of the composition can modify the material structure on an atomic scale and improve material properties on the macroscale. The consortium of the EU-project Z-Ultra, led by the Fraunhofer Institute for Mechanics of Materials IWM, has developed new 12% chromium alloys for high-temperature applications that are up to 30% stronger than traditional 9% chromium steels and withstand higher temperatures and pressures for a longer period of time. Atomistic simulations supported the development of the new steel alloys in a targeted manner.
Higher operating temperatures in gas and coal power plants mean higher efficiencies and, therefore, less CO2 emissions per kilowatt-hour of electricity. However, the temperature capacity of real materials is naturally limited. The materials used in power plants (usually steels) Read more