Fundacion ITMA

Llanera, Spain

Fundacion ITMA

Llanera, Spain
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Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: BSG-SME-AG | Phase: SME-2012-2 | Award Amount: 1.62M | Year: 2013

Refractories are materials essential for all highly industrialised processes which are performed at elevated temperatures e. g. iron- and steelmaking, cement production, glass, ceramics, nonferrous metals, power production and waste incineration Refractories have high economical importance and serve a key function for the industry in Europe. In Europe, most of refractory manufactur are SMEs. The technical suitability of refractory products is warranted through physical, chemical and technological materials properties, laid down in data sheets. For the purpose of obtaining those technical specifications, testing methods are described in national and international standardisation systems, like DIN, CEN or ISO. Progressively, the established standard testing methods no longer fulfil the increasing requirements of the refractory market. This project is a response to the need for a systematic investigation of the accuracy, precision and reproducibility of the current EN testing standards for refractories with the aim to enhance their relevance, especially to the specific needs of SMEs. The central objective of this project is to increase the competitiveness of the European SME refractory producers. This will be archived by generating up-to-date EN testing standards as a save guidance for the producers. An extensive investigation of the current EN testing methods, designs of experiments and interlaboratory tests, more specifically collaborative tests, involving the major European refractory testing laboratories will be the key approach to attain this objective. For a successful review of the EN testing standards and an effective dissemination of the results, a strong and broad-based cooperation between transnational partners is planned. For this purpose, the European SME-AG for the refractory industry is involved and brings together the most active European testing laboratories and SMEs to conduct a large scale and in-depth study of EN testing standards.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: ICT-2011.8.2 | Award Amount: 3.64M | Year: 2013

Because cultural heritage is one of the most valuable assets of our continent, European institutions are strongly committed with its conservation and protection, but also with its worldwide diffusion through the utilisation of digital technologies. In this context, we present INSIDDE (INtegration of cost-effective Solutions for Imaging, Detection, and Digitisation of hidden Elements in paintings) project as an innovative solution for capturing, imaging, and digitising unknown details of paintings and 3D artworks by means of terahertz technology in a unique approach, with the purpose of going beyond our present knowledge and adding value to the cultural content.\nA versatile, easy to configure and affordable prototype working in different frequency bands within the THz region will provide a complete set of images of the paintings and sealed objects, revealing complementary information about its hidden features such as underlying contents, pigment/substance identification, brushstroke texture, defects through various processing techniques.\nThe resulting enriched images and 3D models will be exploited in two manners: integrating them into the professional knowledge-sharing platform Europeana and developing an innovative smartphone application based on Augmented Reality.\nAlthough curators and art researches will benefit from our works, the key of INSIDDE lies in improving the experience of visitors at European museums and through the internet by increasing the digital resources at their disposal, leading to a more attractive interaction.\nExperts from academia, technological research centres, SMEs and end-users with large experience collaborating in international research projects constitute a well-balanced consortium, in which the participation of museums definitely plays an irreplaceable role and makes the difference between theoretical and applied results.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: ENERGY.2012.2.1.2 | Award Amount: 3.20M | Year: 2013

The overall objective of the ETFE-MFM Proposal is the development, evaluation and demonstration of a flexible multifunctional ETFE module for architectural faade lighting. The aim of this proposal is to provide a PV module with embedded additional functionalities designed to be used in ETFE textile architecture for BIPV applications. ETFE-MFM concept is based on the integration of different technologies creating a self-contained building element formed by: ETFE architecture, photovoltaic (PV) technology, illumination devices and flexible integrated circuits (IC). This new concept of multifunctional PV module will be able to work as a stand-alone or grid connected system. The solar energy supplied to the lighting devices will open new architectural faade lighting possibilities due to saving cost in the high energetic demand requested by this type of devices. The basic idea behind the development of ETFE-MFM is to enhance the use of building integrated photovoltaic (BIPV) elements in construction industry, as well as to provide new architectural faade lighting possibilities. The ETFE-MFM basic principles represent relevant innovative elements which are based on the combination of: - A novel attractive textile architecture based on ETFE as building material. The physical characteristics of ETFE allow construction cost savings by reducing greatly the weight of the structure whilst providing the same or even higher level of stability. - PV device, which acts as an electrical generator and shading during daylight, and supply the energy requested by the faade lighting devices at night, reducing the overall energy costs of the building. - Illumination devices, based on LED-RGB and OLED technologies, embedded on the module. - Flexible IC, which acts as individual module control of the PV device, providing the maximum power point (MPP) of the cells, as well as the control of the LED devices through wireless technology.

Garcia-Moreno O.,Research Center en Nanomateriales y Nanotecnologia | Fernandez A.,Fundacion ITMA | Torrecillas R.,Research Center en Nanomateriales y Nanotecnologia
Ceramics International | Year: 2011

Lithium aluminosilicate powder precursors of compositions Li 2O:Al2O3:SiO2 as 1:1:2; and 1:1:3.11 were synthesized and sintered by the Spark Plasma Sintering technique. The sintering conditions were adjusted to obtain dense ceramic materials in an attempt to avoid the presence of a glassy phase. XRD and SEM images were employed for composition and microstructure characterization. The coefficient of thermal expansion of the sintered samples was studied down to cryogenic conditions. Rietveld quantification was performed with the use of an external standard. Pure β-eucryptite of different compositions in dense ceramic bodies was obtained with a negative expansion coefficient. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd and Techna Group S.r.l.

Garcia-Moreno O.,Research Center en Nanomateriales y Nanotecnologia | Fernandez A.,Fundacion ITMA | Khainakov S.,Research Center en Nanomateriales y Nanotecnologia | Torrecillas R.,Research Center en Nanomateriales y Nanotecnologia
Scripta Materialia | Year: 2010

Five lithium aluminosilicate compositions of the LAS system have been synthesized and sintered. The coefficient of thermal expansion of the sintered samples has been studied down to cryogenic conditions. The data presented here under cryogenic conditions will be of value in the future design of new composite materials with very low thermal expansion values. The variation in thermal expansion properties with composition and sintering temperature was studied and is discussed in relation to composition and crystal structure. © 2010 Acta Materialia Inc. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Bonache V.,ITM University | Salvador M.D.,ITM University | Fernandez A.,Fundacion ITMA | Borrell A.,Research Center en Nanomateriales y Nanotecnologia
International Journal of Refractory Metals and Hard Materials | Year: 2011

The aim of present work is to study the effect of VC and/or Cr 3C2 in densification, microstructural development and mechanical behavior of nanocrystalline WC-12wt.%Co powders when they are sintered by spark plasma sintering (SPS) and hot isostatic pressing (HIP). The results were compared to those corresponding to conventional sintering in vacuum. The density, microstructure, X-ray diffraction, hardness and fracture toughness of the sintered materials were evaluated. Materials prepared by SPS exhibits full densification at lower temperature (1100 °C) and a shorter stay time (5 min), allowing the grain growth control. However, the effect of the inhibitors during SPS process is considerably lower than in conventional sintering. Materials prepared by HIP at 1100 °C and 30 min present full densification and a better control of microstructure in the presence of VC. The added amount of VC allows obtaining homogeneous microstructures with an average grain size of 120 nm. The hardness and fracture toughness values obtained were about 2100 HV30 and close to 10 MPa m1/2, respectively. © 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Bonache V.,ITM University | Salvador M.D.,ITM University | Rocha V.G.,Fundacion ITMA | Borrell A.,University of Oviedo
Ceramics International | Year: 2011

The aim of this present work is to study the effect of VC and/or Cr 3C2 in densification, microstructural control and mechanical behaviour of WC-12Co ultrafine and nanocrystalline mixtures, consolidated by spark plasma sintering at 1100 °C, applying a pressure of 80 MPa in combination with a heating rate of 100 °C min-1. Nanocrystalline and ultrafine mixtures with an average size of 30 nm and 100-250 nm, respectively, with the addition of 1 and 0.5 wt.% of VC/Cr 3C2 grain growth inhibitors, respectively, were investigated. The density, microstructure, hardness and fracture toughness of the consolidated samples were measured and observed. The addition of VC inhibitor allows an excellent grain growth control keeping microstructures with an average grain size of 154 nm. The hardness values and fracture toughness obtained were about 2000 HV30 and above 10 MPa m1/2, respectively. © 2010 Elsevier Ltd and Techna Group S.r.l.

Garcia-Moreno O.,University of Oviedo | Borrell A.,University of Oviedo | Bittmann B.,Fundacion ITMA | Fernandez A.,Kaiserslautern Institute for Composite Materials | Torrecillas R.,University of Oviedo
Journal of the European Ceramic Society | Year: 2011

Composite materials formed by a LAS matrix reinforced with second phases are promising materials in many applications where better mechanical properties than those corresponding to conventional low thermal expansion coefficient materials are required. In this study we will show the capability of the design of a LAS-alumina submicron composite. The main scope of this work is to test the sinterability of the composites and to design a composition for a very low thermal expansion submicron composite. For this purpose, Taimei alumina (TM-DAR) powders and an ad hoc synthesized β-eucryptite phase were used to fabricate the composite. XRD phase compositions and microstructures are discussed together with data from dilatometries in a wide temperature range. The results obtained show the possibility of designing a submicron composite with a very low thermal expansion coefficient and improved mechanical properties that can be used in oxidizing conditions. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd.

Borrell A.,University of Oviedo | Rocha V.G.,Fundacion ITMA | Torrecillas R.,University of Oviedo | Fernandez A.,Fundacion ITMA
Composites Science and Technology | Year: 2011

Alumina-reinforced carbon nanofiber nanocomposites were prepared using different routes; powders mixture, colloidal route and sol-gel process followed by spark plasma sintering (SPS). CNFs/xAl 2O 3 (x=10-50vol.%) were prepared through nanopowders mixing in a high-energy attrition milling. The main limitations in the preparation of this kind of nanocomposites are related to the difficulty in obtaining materials with a homogeneous distribution of both phases and the different chemical nature of CNFs and Al 2O 3, which causes poor interaction between them. A surface coating of CNFs by wet chemical routes with an alumina precursor is proposed as a very effective way to improve the interaction between CNFs and Al 2O 3. An improvement of 50% in fracture strength was found for similar nanocomposite compositions when the surface coating was used. The improved mechanical properties of these nanocomposites are caused by stronger interaction between the CNFs and Al 2O 3. © 2010.

Garcia-Moreno O.,University of Oviedo | Fernandez A.,Fundacion ITMA | Torrecillas R.,University of Oviedo
Journal of the European Ceramic Society | Year: 2010

Very low thermal expansion materials have been developed in a wide temperature range from -150°C to 450°C. These very low expansion materials are composed of a lithium aluminosilicate matrix with dispersed silicon carbide nanoparticles. The nSiC content in the most stable composite has resulted to be 27. vol.%. Powder processing and sintering temperature control have been found to be of key importance in order to obtain low porosity sintered nanocomposites. Here it is proposed the sintering by pressureless methods (conventional sintering) in order to obtain a LAS-nSiC nanocomposite with improved mechanical properties and excellent expansion behaviour by means of control of the phase reactions and glass formation during sintering. © 2010 Elsevier Ltd.

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