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Russian scientists dope aluminum with nickel and lanthanum to raise strength and ductility
June 07, 2019
Source: ASM International
Scientists from the National University of Science and Technology (MISIS), Russia, report that they have found a simple and efficient way of strengthening aluminum-based composite materials. Doping aluminum melt with nickel and lanthanum, scientists managed to create a material combining benefits of both composite materials and standard alloys: flexibility, strength, and lightness.
Scientists from NUST MISIS scientific school "Phase Transitions and Development of Non-Ferrous Alloys" created a new strong Al-Ni-La composite for aircraft and automobile industry. Doping elements were added to the aluminum melt, forming special chemical compounds that further formed strong reinforcing structure.
"Our research group, led by Professor Nikolai Belov, has worked on the creation of aluminum-based composites for many years,” says Torgom Akopyan, a researcher at NUST MISIS Department of Metal Forming. “The aluminum-based composite material contains more than 15% by volume of doping elements. A feature of the new development is the high reinforcing ability of the chemical compounds with ultrafine structure: the diameter of the reinforcing elements does not exceed several tens of nanometers.”
This development solves the problem of non-uniform reinforcement and low density of "powder" composites: if a melting technique is used, after Al-Ni-La crystallization the diameter of doping particles does not exceed 30-70 nanometers. Thanks to "natural" crystallization, particles are distributed uniformly, forming a reinforcing structure. Hence, the composite becomes stronger and more flexible than its powder analogues.
Due to the peculiarities of the structure formation, the proposed material can be used for the manufacture of complex parts via 3-D printing. In addition, new developments may be of strategic importance from an economic point of view. At the moment, the main share of profit in the aluminum industry in Russia is the export of primary aluminum. The creation of new high-tech developments with increased added value will increase profits by expanding domestic and foreign markets for aluminum consumption.
An article on the research was published in Materials Letters. T.K. Akopyan et al, “New in-situ Al matrix composites based on Al-Ni-La eutectic,” Materials Letters (2019). DOI: 10.1016/j.matlet.2019.02.112
Industries and Applications | Aerospace and Defense
Industries and Applications | Automobiles and Ground Transportation
Materials Processing and Treatment | Additive Manufacturing
Materials Processing and Treatment | Powder Metallurgy
Metals and Alloys | Aluminum