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Dispositivo de sinterización y molino con bolas para producir materiales sensibles al oxígeno

Resumen

Tipo:
Oferta Tecnológica
Referencia:
TOEE20150901001
Publicado:
09/09/2015
Caducidad:
08/09/2016
Resumen:
Una universidad estonia ha desarrollado un método y dispositivo para la síntesis de materiales a granel por ruta de pulvimetalurgia. Todos los pasos de procesamiento, desde la molienda de polvos, se realizan en atmósfera de vacío, lo que permite procesar materiales altamente reactivos y capturar oxígeno reducido. Además pueden añadirse gases en cualquier fase para iniciar las reacciones químicas deseadas. La universidad, que ha desarrollado el primer prototipo a escala de laboratorio, busca socios industriales o académicos con el fin de establecer acuerdos de cooperación técnica o investigación.

Details

Tittle:
Ball milling and sintering device to produce oxygen sensitive materials
Summary:
The invention by an Estonian university aims at providing a method and device for synthesis of bulk materials through a powder metallurgy route. All the processing steps starting from milling of the powders are performed under a vacuum atmosphere. This allows processing of highly reactive materials and reduced oxygen pick-up. The technology is in the stage where first laboratory-scale prototype has been built. Technical or research cooperation with industry or academic partners is sought.
Description:
An Estonian university has developed technology that addresses engineering materials which have high affinity to oxygen and which would be processed by powder metallurgy (PM) route. Existing solutions use protective inert gas atmosphere during operations and powder transport (e.g. NdFeB manufacturing) or vacuum encapsulation and protective atmosphere for transportation (e.g PM aluminium alloys).
The technology that is offered eliminates the need to break the vacuum atmosphere after the powder refinement. Ultrafine particles have large surface area and powder after ball milling can be highly active towards oxygen. With the developed method the vacuum is not broken before the sintered bulk is obtained. The depth of vacuum during the processing can be high or ultrahigh, as no moving parts exist between the outer environment and milling vessel interior. Additionally, at any stage of milling reactive gases can be introduced, to initiate wanted chemical reactions (e.g. introducing hydrogen during milling to hydrate the milled powder).
The working group is developing lab-scale ball milling device which could be taken to the market. Offering such laboratory scale device with diverse new capabilities could open up new fields of applications for materials processing in structural materials, magnet materials or energy materials sector.
Research or technical cooperation agreements are sought with industry or acamic partners for developing a market ready solution using the stirrer ball milling system. The partners are expected to apply the developed technology in their milling equipment; or provide end-user requirements in case of need for development to adapt the solution in new application areas where oxygen free milling system could be applied.
Advantages and Innovations:
Today´s vacuum pumping systems allow obtaining purity of the vacuum atmosphere which is hardly obtained with inert gas. Furthermore, vacuum atmosphere is capable of reducing more volatile gases, especially when mechanical straining (particle between ball to ball impact) and temperature increase are introduced.
The lab-scale device has been assessed with two material systems - NdFeB magnets and aluminium based metal matrix composites.
The oxygen pick up when processing NdFeB magnets was 0.11% (of the weight of the specimen) when vacuum ball milling, hydrogen ball milling and spark plasma sintering were combined. The grain size of the sintered specimen was ultrafine (0.1 - 0.2 ¿m).
The oxygen pick up when processing AlMg5 - 1 vol.% Al2O3 nanocomposites was 0.08 %. Vacuum milling, encapsulation and Hot Isostatic Pressing were used as a processing route.
To our best knowledge such low contamination levels with ultrafine or nanopowders are hardly obtained with other routes when lab-scale material quantities are processed (in order of tens of grams).
Stage of Development:
Prototype available for demonstration
IPs:
Patent(s) applied for but not yet granted

Partner sought

Type and Role of Partner Sought:
Type: Industry partner
Acitivity: Companies producing ball milling equipment
Role: Provide assistance and end-user feedback in developing the current lab-scale device into a market ready solution.

The client is also open to proposals to test the method on different material systems and to find new application areas where the oxygen free ball milling system could be applied. This can be performed together with other R-Y-D institutions, universities, manufacturing companies or inventors.

Client

Type and Size of Client:
University
Already Engaged in Trans-National Cooperation:
Si
Languages Spoken:
English

Keywords

Technology Keywords:
03003 Ingeniería de aparatos
05005 Micro y nanotecnología
02002017 Micromecanizado, nanomecanizado
02007024 Nanomaterials