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Armenian Research Institute engaged in fundamental researches and practical elaborations has developed basically new hydride cycle (HC) method for synthesis of aluminides of refractory metals, prospective as advanced materials for various types of industry. Partners are sought in industry and academia for research cooperation or manufacturing agreement, and joint venture or financial agreement.
An Armenian research institute, which is active in the field of chemical physics, theory of chemical conversion, complex and elementary chemical reactions, combustion processes, self-propagating high-temperature synthesis (SHS) of hydrides, material science of refractory compounds, etc. has developed a new method of alloys formation. In the modern materials science there is an urgent problem of elaboration of new light, heat-resistant alloys with exploitation temperatures > 550-600ºС. From this point of view, the aluminides of transition metals with low density, high melting temperature, mechanical strength, heat and corrosion resistance, high electrical and heat conductivity, superconductivity, etc. are rather prospective materials. These characteristics determined the using of aluminides in airspace and ground machine building, in defense industry, in several fields of machinery, chemical and food industry, electronics, medicine (bio-compatible materials), etc. The current methods of production of binary and multi-component aluminides are based on the traditional melting technologies (high-temperature induction, electric arc, and electron beam), powder metallurgy and mechanochemistry. All of them are complex, long lasting and multistage. Differences in the melting and evaporation temperatures, in density of components (aluminum and refractory metals) interfere the aluminide formation, enhance the cost of МеIV-V aluminides and hinder their wide using in industry.
The hydride cycle (HC) method of alloys formation developed at the Armenian Institute has many advantages over the traditional methods. It is one-stage, waste-less, proceeds at low working temperature during short time, etc. It is a completely new high-performance method for producing alloys of refractory metals. The method includes the synthesis of metal hydrides by SHS, grinding, mixing, compacting the mixture, removing of hydrogen by vacuum annealing at 1000ºC (the temperature ensuring dissociation of the hydrides). During heating of the compacted mixture of hydrides (≤ 2 hours), a strong activation of metals occurs due to the destruction of the Me-H bonds. In the medium of released hydrogen, the removing of the oxide film from particle surface occurs. These phenomena bring to the mutual dissolution of the reaction components resulting in solid phase formation of alloys. Using HC, more than 100 alloys were synthesized in the systems: Ti-Zr; Ti-Hf; Ti-Nb; Ti-V; Zr-Hf; Ti-Zr-Hf; Ti-Ni; Zr-Co, etc.
Hence, HC method is prospective for industry of alloys.
Then, HC method has been developed for synthesis of aluminides of refractory metals, prospective as construction materials. The method is based on the reaction:
хМе′H2 + y ″Al→ Ме′хAly aluminide + H2↑.
The formation of refractory aluminides in HC proceeds by solid phase mechanism, at temperature ~1000ºC, escaping the melting of components. In the Institute many aluminides were synthesized:
α2-Ti3Al; γ-TiAl; TiAl3; Zr3Al, ZrAl2; ZrAl3; NbAl3; Nb2Al; Nb3Al; Ti0,35Zr0,4Al0,25; Ti0,55Zr0,2Al0,25; Ti0,25Al0,5Nb0,25;
Ti0,45 Al0,28Nb0,27; Ti 6Al4V; etc.
The goal of the present offer is to widen the practical capabilities of HC for synthesis of aluminides of transition metals, development of new, highly efficient, environmentally safe, resource-saving technological processes. The Institute is looking for partners to finalize the technology and bringing it to a commercial state under technical cooperation or a research cooperation agreement. The partners who can help in setting up a small pilot production by providing/acquiring necessary equipment (the vacuum furnaces, press forms, etc) to organize large-scale production under manufacturing agreement, joint venture or financial agreement are also welcomed.
The developed HC technology is promising and represents a commercial interest. Significant advantages of the HC over traditional ones: the reducing of operating temperatures (600-1000°C instead of 1800-2600°C) and of the duration of the process (from tens of hours to 1.5-2 hours); single-stage, waste-less; ecologically safe, accessibility of highly efficient low power demanding SHS process for obtaining starting hydrides.
The method of HC synthesis of aluminides in combination with SHS can provide the requirement of aluminides in industry, to obtain new compositions of aluminides of a given composition and crystal structure with improved physicochemical characteristics (strength, corrosion-resistance, hydrogen adsorption properties (for needs of hydrogen storage), etc., which will expand the fields of aluminides application.
Since 1974, the systematic investigation of processes of combustion of metals in hydrogen allowed elaborating of a new priority direction for synthesis of various H-containing compounds in the SHS mode. During study of SHS processes in Me-H systems, the high-performance, environmentally safe, low-energy method of synthesis of high-quality transition metal hydrides was developed. The idea to use refractory metal hydrides as starting materials for the production of refractory metal alloys arose along with the investigation of physio-chemical properties of the synthesized metal hydrides. A new, previously unknown, highly effective HC method for producing of refractory metal alloys has been developed. The novelty of this method is the use of transition metal hydrides as starting materials for producing of aluminides of transition metals.
The research institute designed and constructed a special laboratory installation, consisting of a hand-made quartz reactor, a furnace and devices for vacuum and temperature control during the alloy formation. The installation permitted to synthesize the samples of aluminides (d=20-25 mm, h=20-30mm). At all HC stages, the samples were certified using X-ray diffraction, derivatograph Q-1500 differential thermal analysis instrument, and pyrolysis for chemical determination of weight content of hydrogen. Using this installation, technological parameters for synthesis of metal aluminides in HC have been defined.
In 1980-1990 at a pilot plant the SHS technology of metal hydrides synthesis was used for manufacturing of over than 20 tons of titanium and zirconium hydrides for the needs of the defense industry.
Armenian patent granted
Universities/academia, research centers, laboratories willing to cooperate in R&D activities for characterization of the synthesized aluminides of transition metals. Industrial partners who would help to set large-scale production by provision of necessary equipment, etc.