Newsletter, October 2014

     
    MIT Materials News that Matters

    October 2014
     
     
    Materials Processing Center at MIT MIT Dome
    77 Massachusetts Avenue
    Cambridge, Massachusetts 02139
    617-253-5179
    Email:
       
    New Frontiers in Metals Processing
    Materials Day Symposium & Poster Session
    October 21, 2014 
    8:00am-5:30pm 
    Little Kresge Auditorium W16, MIT 
     

    Hear directly from MIT researchers who are perfecting a liquid metal battery for energy storage, engineering less toxic metal processes such as a nickel-tungsten coating that replaces chromium and developing a new field of strain engineering by altering surfaces of key structural materials.

    MIT Department of Materials Science and Engineering Chairman Christopher A. Schuh's nanocrystalline aluminum  spheres and hemisphere made by electroforming. Photo, Denis Paiste, Materials Processing Center

    Materials Science and Engineering Department Head Chris Schuh will outline the path to commercialization for new materials such as these nanocrystalline aluminum hollow spheres and hemisphere.

    New tools and methods are driving a renaissance in innovation in the design and processing of metals, which continue to play critical roles in all aspects of technology, from micro- and nano-scale devices that enable our massively networked culture, to the buildings we live and work in.    

    Our agenda includes invited industry leaders presenting on key challenges and opportunities impacting technology in their fields. They include Dr. Adam Powell of INFINIUM, Inc; Dr. David Rowatt of Schlumberger; Dr. Louis Hector of General Motors; and Dr. Slade Gardner of Lockheed Martin. 

      

    Also on the agenda are MIT Professors Don Sadoway, Chris Schuh and Bilge Yildiz, respectively, will update their research in these areas during the Materials Day 2014 Symposium, "New Frontiers in Metal Processing," Oct. 21, 2014, in Little Kresge Auditorium, W16, on the MIT campus from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Immediately following the symposium there will be a poster session highlighting the latest materials research, 3:30p.m. to 5:30p.m.   

    The event is free and open to the public, but registration is required.
     
      
    Faculty Highlight: Christopher A. Schuh 
    Nanostructured metal alloys deliver tougher materials, lower costs and safer outcomes. 
    MIT Department of Materials Science and Engineering Chairman Christopher A. Schuh is pushing the boundaries of metallurgy. Photo, Denis Paiste, Materials Processing Center

    Department of Materials Science and Engineering Head Christopher A. Schuh.

    MIT Department of Materials Science and Engineering Head Christopher A. Schuh says technologists can turn to textbooks to predict what happens when they mix metals on the macro scale, but that isn't true for nanoscale alloys. "If I mix titanium into tungsten, I know what they're going to do in a big crystal, but in a small crystal, they have different options," Schuh explains. The key insight from his research is that thermodynamics are different on the nanoscale.Read more.

    Materials Day 2014

    New Frontiers in Metals Processing

    Professor Christopher A. Schuh will speak about commercializing nanostructured metals at the Materials Day Symposium, 8 am-3:30 pm Oct. 21, 2014, in Kresge Auditorium, W16, on the MIT campus.
    Register
    Alloying Tougher Tungsten
    MIT graduate student Zack Cordero deforms and compacts chromium-tungsten powders to create stronger metals with nanoscale microstructure.
     
    MIT graduate student Zack Cordero removes a vacuum-sealed glass ampoule from a box furnace operating at 1,100 degrees Celsius. Photo, Denis Paiste, Materials Processing Center
    MIT graduate student Zack Cordero removes a vacuum-sealed glass ampoule from a box furnace operating at 1,100 degrees Celsius. 

    New tungsten alloys being developed in the Schuh Group at MIT could potentially replace depleted uranium in armor piercing projectiles. Fourth-year materials science and engineering graduate student Zachary C. Cordero is working on low-toxicity, high-strength, high-density material for replacing depleted uranium in structural military applications. Depleted uranium poses a potential health hazard to soldiers and civilians. "That's the motivation for trying to replace it," Cordero says.  

    Normal tungsten would mushroom or blunt on impact, the worst possible performance. So the challenge is to develop an alloy that can match the performance of depleted uranium, which becomes self-sharpening as it shears off material and maintains a sharp nose at the penetrator-target interface. "Tungsten by itself is exceptionally strong and hard. We put in other alloying elements to make it so that we can consolidate it into this bulk object," Cordero says.   Read more. 

       
    Building on Strength
    Xtalic buoyed by success with connector coatings, focuses on gold substitute, aluminum products.
    More than 4 billion parts have been made using the nickel-tungsten coating developed in the Schuh group at MIT, and Xtalic counts the top 20 Fortune 1000 electronics companies as customers.
    Nanostructured nickel-tungsten coating, top, protects copper parts from corrosion and wear.

    Buoyed by the success of its initial nanostructured metal alloy coating for electrical connectors, Marlborough, Mass.-based Xtalic is building on the MIT-initiated nanostructuring techniques to market a replacement for gold known as LUNA and to develop nanostructured aluminum.

    More than 4 billion parts have been made using the nickel-tungsten coating developed in the Schuh group at MIT, and Xtalic counts the top 20 Fortune 1000 electronics companies as customers. MIT Department of Materials Science and Engineering Head Christopher A. Schuh is Xtalic's chief scientist. Schuh group alum Alan Lund serves as Xtalic's Chief Technology Officer.

    "After we worked with the XTRONIC material, which really was first developed at MIT and was brought to Xtalic, our customers began asking is there a way you could develop a gold replacement product," Xtalic Chief Executive Officer Thomas Clay says. "So we began work at Xtalic under Chris' guidance and developed the LUNA alloy."

     
    The Potash Situation: Pathways from historical development
    Diversity of sources and sustainable production methods are needed to meet world potassium fertilizer demand.
       
    Antoine Allanore, Thomas B. King Assistant Professor of Metallurgy in the Department of Materials Science & Engineering at MIT.
    Antoine Allanore, Thomas B. King Assistant Professor of Metallurgy in the Department of Materials Science & Engineering at MIT.
    While 2014 marks 100 years since the start of the First World War, Germany launched an economic battle against U.S. potash consumers four years earlier by halting export of potassium salts, over which it held a global monopoly. The U.S. struggled for a decade to meet its fertilizer needs, turning to alternative methods of producing potash, such as from brines in California and Nebraska and kelp from California. By the late 1920s cheap potash was again imported from Germany, and all the plants in Nebraska shut down.

    Those are just a few of the interesting twists and turns in the history of potassium resources revealed in a sweeping survey from 1700 to the present by researchers at Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, Mass., and Newcastle University in Newcastle-Upon-Tyne, UK. It is published in "Science of the Total Environment.""It is important for us, researchers seeking to provide sustainable solutions, to always acknowledge that there is a significant body of prior knowledge on issues relating to materials of global importance, for example fertilizers for crop production," Allanore says.
     
    IN OTHER NEWS
    Solid Nanoparticles Can Deform Like a Liquid 

    Unexpected finding shows tiny particles keep their internal crystal structure while flexing like droplets.

    David L. Chandler
    MIT News Office

    Image, Yan Liang
    Image, Yan Liang

    A surprising phenomenon has been found in metal nanoparticles: They appear, from the outside, to be liquid droplets, wobbling and readily changing shape, while their interiors retain a perfectly stable crystal configuration.

    The research team behind the finding, led by MIT professor Ju Li, says the work could have important implications for the design of components in nanotechnology, such as metal contacts for molecular electronic circuits.   Read more. 

     
    Upcoming Events
     
    Materials Day Symposium and Poster Session, Oct. 21, 2014 
     
     
     
    Quick Links
    facebook twitter google plus
    Join the MPC Collegium
    QR code for collegium webpage
    • Facilitation of on-campus meetings
    • Access to Collegium member only briefing materials
    • Representation on the MPC External Advisory Board
    • Customized research opportunity briefs
    • Facilitation of customized student internships
    • Medium and long-term on-campus corporate staff visits
    For more information contact Mark Beals at 617-253-2129 or mbeals@mit.edu
    About MPC

    The goals of the Materials Processing Center are to unite the materials research community at MIT and to enhance Institute-industry interactions. Collaboration on research ventures, technology transfer, continuing education of industry personnel, and communication among industrial and governmental entities are our priorities. The MPC 
    Industry Collegium is a major vehicle for this collaboration. The MPC sponsors seminars and workshops, as well as a summer internship for talented undergraduates from universities across the U.S. We encourage interdisciplinary research collaborations and provide funds management assistance to faculty.
     
    MIT, Materials Processing Center
    77 Massachusetts Avenue
    Cambridge, Massachusetts 02139
    617-253-6472
    http://mpc-web.mit.edu
    Email: mpc@mit.edu