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Physical processing of molten light alloys under the influence of external fields

Physical processing of molten light alloys under the influence of external fields

Objective

The ExoMet proposal revolves around innovative liquid metal engineering and the application of external physical fields, in order to significantly influence the microstructures and properties of light alloys, such as aluminium and magnesium. Three types of external fields will be explored, namely: electromagnetic, ultrasonic and intensive mechanical shearing.

To meet the future EU challenges of lightweighting and pollution reduction, especially relevant in transportation, it is necessary to improve the castability of light alloys, to enhance grain and eutectic refinement in monolithic alloys, and to develop new high-strength nanocomposites using nano-reinforcers which have only recently become available. Significant mechanical property improvements are foreseen in ExoMet - including 50% increases in tensile strength and ductility, as well as creep resistance up to 300-350 degC (currently limited to about 200 degC in Al and Mg alloys). This applies to both shape castings and wrought products like extruded profiles, bar, cable, sheet and plate.

Manufacturing scale-up will be tackled in ExoMet, using a variety of techniques such as low and high-pressure die casting, sand casting, investment casting, differential-presssure casting, twin-roll casting, ultrasound-assisted casting and twin-shear casting. The application of external fields to these industrial techniques is novel and would bring about major savings in energy, scrap and processing cost.

Having developed the field-enabled processes and produced high-quality light alloys and nanocomposites, the next stage of ExoMet will be prototypying and the assessment of industrial applications in four selected commercial sectors: (i) automotive powertrain and chassis, (ii) aircraft and aero-engine structures, (iii) space satellite and rockets, and (iv) high-strength high-conductivity Al electrical cabling. Computer modelling, rig-testing, standardisation, life-cycle analysis and patenting will also be undertaken.
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Coordinator

EUROPEAN SPACE AGENCY

Address

24 Rue Du General Bertrand
75007 Paris

France

Activity type

Higher or Secondary Education Establishments

EU Contribution

€ 1 268 542,50

Participants (28)

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AVIO SPA

Italy

EU Contribution

€ 8 893,12

AIRBUS DEFENCE AND SPACE GMBH

Germany

EU Contribution

€ 317 795

AIRBUS GROUP SAS

France

EU Contribution

€ 239 533

CENTRO RICERCHE FIAT SCPA

Italy

EU Contribution

€ 222 837

Volvo Powertrain Corporation

Sweden

EU Contribution

€ 184 996

PRECER AB

Sweden

EU Contribution

€ 124 910

HYDRO ALUMINIUM AS

Norway

EU Contribution

€ 26 804,50

LONDON & SCANDINAVIAN METALLURGICAL CO LIMITED

United Kingdom

EU Contribution

€ 9 631,20

BRABANT ALUCAST THE NETHERLANDS SITE OSS BV

Netherlands

EU Contribution

€ 179 769

ALD VACUUM TECHNOLOGIES GMBH

Germany

EU Contribution

€ 202 500

ESI GROUP

France

EU Contribution

€ 444 226

STEINBEIS ADVANCED RISK TECHNOLOGIES GMBH

Germany

EU Contribution

€ 135 000

FUNDACION TECNALIA RESEARCH & INNOVATION

Spain

EU Contribution

€ 270 711

HELMHOLTZ-ZENTRUM GEESTHACHT ZENTRUM FUR MATERIAL- UND KUSTENFORSCHUNG GMBH

Germany

EU Contribution

€ 676 418,25

FUNDACION IMDEA MATERIALES

Spain

EU Contribution

€ 391 496

MAGYAR TUDOMANYOS AKADEMIA WIGNER FIZIKAI KUTATOKOZPONT

Hungary

EU Contribution

€ 216 000

INSTITUT POLYTECHNIQUE DE GRENOBLE

France

EU Contribution

€ 489 720,69

THE UNIVERSITY OF MANCHESTER

United Kingdom

EU Contribution

€ 600 000

NORGES TEKNISK-NATURVITENSKAPELIGE UNIVERSITET NTNU

Norway

EU Contribution

€ 485 464

UNIVERSITE DE ROUEN NORMANDIE

France

EU Contribution

€ 245 016

BRUNEL UNIVERSITY LONDON

United Kingdom

EU Contribution

€ 898 863

UNIVERSITY OF GREENWICH

United Kingdom

EU Contribution

€ 425 000

POLITECNICO DI TORINO

Italy

EU Contribution

€ 270 000

THE UNIVERSITY OF BIRMINGHAM

United Kingdom

EU Contribution

€ 637 000

State Educational Institution of Higher Professional Education TOMSK STATE UNIVERSITY

Russia

EU Contribution

€ 248 700

THE UNIVERSITY OF QUEENSLAND

Australia

KBM MASTER ALLOYS BV

Netherlands

EU Contribution

€ 248 500

GE AVIO SRL

Italy

EU Contribution

€ 7 673,74

Project information

Grant agreement ID: 280421

Status

Closed project

  • Start date

    1 June 2012

  • End date

    31 July 2016

Funded under:

FP7-NMP

  • Overall budget:

    € 17 660 881,29

  • EU contribution

    € 9 476 000

Coordinated by:

EUROPEAN SPACE AGENCY

France