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New Materials for Extreme Environments

Final Report Summary - EXTREMAT IP (New Materials for Extreme Environments)

The goal of the EXTREMAT IP project was to provide and to industrialise knowledge-based materials and their compounds for top-end and new applications in extreme environments that are beyond reach with incremental materials development only.

One subproject (SP), SP 4 formed the technological and systems engineering bracket and provided optimum interfacial technologies to combine the highly functionalised materials of the SPs 1 to 3 into multi-functional compounds and components for operation in extreme environments. Thus, not only new materials were developed, but the embedding into this SP 4 warranted the industrial relevance of the materials development and provided multifunctional added value compounds from these new materials. Each of these subprojects was structured into three, resp. four specific work packages.

The requirement and concept definition phases yielded 31 industrial user requirement specifications regarding materials and compounds for applications and spin-off subjects covered by the project activities. Based on these definitions of the industrial user needs the project partners elaborated the corresponding 15 materials requirement specifications which describe in detail the requirements to materials and compounds to be developed during the Research and development (R&D) phase. The scientific industrial committee and the project partners have evaluated the materials requirement specifications and steered the selection of the materials concepts which are to be pursued in the main R&D phase. The results are documented in the concept evaluation and selection reports.

Materials and compound development was carried out based on the 15 materials requirement specifications which were elaborated at the end of project' second phase. Processing of materials was initiated at lab-scale levels. After determination of the material properties, for the most promising materials the processes were optimised and up-scaling efforts were started. The irradiation conditions and the test matrix of the neutron irradiation campaign were developed. Sample production for neutron irradiation was carried out and samples are delivered to NRG as the responsible partner for assembly of the irradiation capsules. During the period three training activities were organised with main focus on creating awareness of the EXTREMAT activities within expert communities and the objective of training young researchers in the fields of EXTREMAT subjects.

After characterisation of the material properties, for the most promising materials the processes were optimised and up-scaling efforts were started. The irradiation conditions and the test matrix of the neutron irradiation campaign were finalised. Sample production for neutron irradiation was completed and samples have been delivered to NRG as the responsible partner for assembly of the irradiation capsules and the organisation of the neutron irradiation. With selected materials from all subprojects the development of processes for compound formation was enhanced and suitable joining techniques have been investigated. Procedures and techniques for the environmental testing of materials and compounds have been improved in interactions between material producers and partners responsible for testing.

Based on the neutron irradiation test matrix, the irradiation capsules were loaded and mounted in the HFR reactor, Petten, and the neutron irradiation was started. With selected materials from all subprojects and bonding / joining technologies from SP4, compounds and mock-ups were produced. Testing and characterisation of the new materials were performed in strong collaboration between partners responsible for development testing.

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