The formation of metals is actually a complex chemical and physical process that depends on so many factors that sometimes, even the most experienced scientists escape. In both Spain and the rest of the world, the most commonly used methods such as casting, machining or rolling affect the shape and size the crystalline grains that eventually form the metal fragment,
But technology moves forward and with it the engineering of materials sees how to apply the latest innovations in this industrial branch. Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) have succeeded in defining exactly what happens when these Metallic crystal grains formed during a deformation process by a laser on a scale of a few nanometers wide.
This new thread of research led to better forms of processing with new findings being studied. some who get Create materials with better properties—such as hardness and toughness—and greater stability, The research is promoted by the US Department of Energy and the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada.
looking for formula
New discoveries, as indicated by MIT, made possible New Image Analysis Techniques from which the structure of the crystalline granules can be traced. Several professors of the institute and some former scientists and alumni of the center have worked on this project.
“In the manufacturing process of a metal that is being given a certain structure, it will determine its properties. [una vez esté] in service”, remarked MIT professor Christopher Schuh. The smaller the grain size, the stronger the resulting metalThis is why new manufacturing techniques involve making them as small as possible.
For a long time, metallurgists have Applying empirically developed methods to reduce the size of grain from a solid piece of metal. Techniques that sometimes follow a similar pattern to hundreds or thousands of years ago, in which different types of stress are applied to the piece.
One of the most elementary of these methods is recrystallization, which involves heating and deforming the metal to form new crystalline nuclei, taking advantage of the original fragment’s natural defects. ,You go from a messy soup of defects to newly nucleated crystals, And because they’re newly nucleated, they start out very small,” explains Shu himself. Creating a structure with very small grains.
An important part of new MIT technology involves knowing what happens on a microscopic scale when this type of technology is applied. and other advanced ones that achieve similar results “several orders of magnitude faster”,
, We use lasers to launch metal particles at supersonic speeds, To say this happens in the blink of an eye would be an unbelievable understatement because you can do thousands of these in the blink of an eye,” says Shu.
This laser-based system removes 10-micrometer particles on the surface. “You can fire these particles one at a time and really measure how fast they go and how hard they hit,” he says. By varying the speed and using highly sophisticated microscopy equipment, they are able to See how the structure evolved in the nanometer range.
The result, as pointed out by MIT, is the discovery that Shue defined as a “new way” of grain manufacturing. This new method is called “Nano-pairing assisted recrystallization”, The scientists realized that the higher the rate of these effects, the more likely the process was to reproduce, creating smaller and smaller grains.
In the experiment, MIT scientists chose to use copper. They applied a surface “bombing” process with particles at high speed by means of a laser and the findings suggest that they could increase the strength of the metal by about 10 times,
“This is no small change in properties,” Schuh says. And that this result is not really something unknown because it follows the same rule as the hardening of the hammer blows of a simple forge. “It’s a kind of hyperforging phenomenon a”,
The new findings provide ample information on the degree of deformation required, how quickly deformation occurs, and the temperature that should be used for maximum effect on any given metal. can be applied directly And for instant metal production in the real world.