Chemists at Russia’s Tomsk State University (TSU) have developed a method for obtaining Ti–Al composites (titanium aluminides) doped with rare earth metals zirconium and neodymium, and have already produced prototypes of the alloys, the university said.
Why it matters:
Ti–Al alloys can be used in various fields including the nuclear industry, aviation, shipbuilding, space and rocket technology, transport engineering and medicine.
“It is extremely difficult to obtain the composite materials Ti–Al–Nd and Ti–Al–Zr with conventional technologies used in metallurgy, since the components that make up the alloy have different melting temperatures, and when you try to combine them, undesirable effects occur that adversely affect the quality of the material,” Natalya Karakchiyeva, the project’s manager and senior researcher at the TSU Engineering Center of Chemical Technology, said.
As part of the project for the production of Ti–Al alloys, the hydride technology developed by scientists from the TSU Faculty of Innovative Technologies was used for the first time, she said.
First, TSU chemists obtained hydrides (compounds of hydrogen with metals) from metals, then composite materials of the required proportions were made from these powders using the annealing process.
Scientists have worked out the technological parameters, selecting the optimal ratio of metal components so that the final composite has the required functional properties. As the chemists have noted, the advantageous feature of the hydrogenation technology is that it does not require high temperatures. Thus, it is less energy intensive and cheaper than the approaches currently being widely used in metallurgy.
The new approach made it possible to obtain improved characteristics in the materials: low weight, increased strength and wear resistance, according to Alina Artyomenko, a TSU graduate student and employee at the laboratory.
“The plans are to work out the technology for obtaining samples at the request of customers – for strength, hardness, porosity and other parameters,” Karakchiyeva said.