All 2 entries tagged Hardmetals

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September 16, 2022

12 g/cc mark has been breached!

Why this is important? Significance of this milestone can be well understood from the fact that the most common material used for radiation shielding was lead whose density is 11.29 g/cc. That’s why this number 12 g/cc is important. In addition to that density/porosity has direct effect on radiation atenuation. The goal was to achieve similar densities under lab based environment with different sintering technique. In this case, horizontal furnace with Ar as inert atmosphere. These samples were sintered at 1450 oC for 4h under Ar atmosphere. Sintering with different composition and sintering conditions (table 1) were performed, so that the final density can be fine-tuned.

Table 1: Densities of various compositions at specific sintering conditions for RSB55


Sintering Temperature (In oC)

Dwell time (In hr)

Density (g/cc)





















What next? In the upcoming weeks, we will be using N2 as the atmosphere for sintering. Hopefully, we will achieve the final density of 12.3 g/cc and with that it will be the time for gen. 3 materials. With present milestone, stay tunned for more details at SOFT22. Figure : RSB55_Large_2Cr sample: Needle like structure of WB

Figure : RSB55_Large_2Cr sample: Needle like structure of WB

July 29, 2022

News from Plansee 2022

Writing about web page

After being delayed by COVID from 2021, the long-awaited Plansee 2022 conference took place in Ruette, Austria from 29th-May -3rd June.

This is a four-yearly conference that is the place to be for anyone who works with hard metals and refractory metals - essentially most metals from group 5,6,7 of the Transition metals - namely W and elements next door.

This Seminar did not disappoint and there was a surprisingly significant number of talks on nuclear materials in terms of how W and similar materials have their place in fusion power.

There have also been numerous opportunities to connect with academic and industrial partners as well as groups such as the European Powder Metals Group (EPMA). Maintaining networks and setting up new once is as crucial to research as doing research itself - no advances get made if they are not communicated,

Alongside this were talks on exciting topics such as additive manufacture and 3-D printing techniques - both of which are significant when considering parts for fusion reactors since complex geometries are required.

The work our group presented gained some interest in that this conference is an ideal platform to demonstrate the cWC-RSB concept and the progress made so far despite setbacks. Certainly, the contacts made at Plansee will show a significant role later this year as the full demonstration of Gen 2 RSBs is realized.

Simply put, 3-D printing of powder metallurgy fabrication can be split into two main categories:

1. Direct powder bed sintering, where a laser draws out a part from a powder bed in a protective atmosphere as for 3-D printing. The aim is ultimately a near net shape part that can then be annealed and finished as for conventional PM.

2. 3-D printing of green PM materials. This comprises of a selection of techniques involving green materials including 3-D printing of organic binder into powder constituents - useful for for complex geometries - prior to a standard debinding cycles or from filaments which can be shaped and bonded into a more robust structure prior to sintering.

Both techniques show promise both for cWC and RSB materials in the later stages of this project when there will be need for demonstrator parts and full-sized boilerplace items by the mid 2020s

While it might be a long time until Plansee 2026 the work starts now to ensure that fusion-realated applications will be front and centre.

June 2024

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