Skokie, IL, United States
Skokie, IL, United States

Time filter

Source Type

Patent
NanoAl LLC and Northwestern University | Date: 2016-09-12

Aluminum-zirconium and aluminum-zirconium-lanthanide superalloys are described that can be used in high temperature, high stress and a variety of other applications. The lanthanide is preferably holmium, erbium, thulium or ytterbium, most preferably erbium. Also, methods of making the aforementioned alloys are disclosed. The superalloys, which have commercially-suitable hardness at temperatures above about 220 C., include nanoscale Al_(3)Zr precipitates and optionally nanoscale Al_(3)Er precipitates and nanoscale Al_(3)(Zr,Er) precipitates that create a high-strength alloy capable of withstanding intense heat conditions. These nanoscale precipitates have a L1_(2)-structure in -Al(f.c.c.) matrix, an average diameter of less than about 20 nanometers (nm), preferably less than about 10 nm, and more preferably about 4-6 nm and a high number density, which for example, is larger than about 10^(21 )m^(3), of the nanoscale precipitates. The formation of the high number density of nanoscale precipitates is thought to be due to the addition of inoculant, such as a Group 3A, 4A, and 5A metal or metalloid. Additionally, methods for increasing the diffusivity of Zr in Al are disclosed.


Patent
General Cable Technologies Corporation and NanoAl LLC | Date: 2016-10-14

A conductive element of a cable or a wire is formed of an improved aluminum-zirconium alloy. The aluminum-zirconium alloy further includes an inoculant. The aluminum-zirconium alloy exhibits excellent ultimate tensile strength values and resistance to heat. Bonding wires formed from an improved aluminum-zirconium alloy exhibiting certain ultimate tensile strength values, fatigue resistance and/or creep rates are also described. Methods of forming cables and wires are also further disclosed.


Aluminum-zirconium and aluminum-zirconium-lanthanide superalloys are described that can be used in high temperature, high stress and a variety of other applications. The lanthanide is preferably holmium, erbium, thulium or ytterbium, most preferably erbium. Also, methods of making the aforementioned alloys are disclosed. The superalloys, which have commercially-suitable hardness at temperatures above about 220C, include nanoscale A13Zr precipitates and optionally nanoscale A13Er precipitates and nanoscale A13(Zr,Er) precipitates that create a high-strength alloy capable of withstanding intense heat conditions. These nanoscale precipitates have a L12-structure in -A1(f.c.c) matrix, an average diameter of less than about 20 nanometers (nm), preferably less than about 10 nm, and more preferably about 4-6 nm and a high number density, which for example, is larger than about 1021 m-3, of the nanoscale precipitates. The formation of the high number density of nanoscale precipitates is thought to be due to the addition of inoculant, such as a Group 3A, 4A, and 5A metal or metalloid. Additionally, methods for increasing the diffusivity of Zr in A1 are disclosed.


Aluminum-zirconium and aluminum-zirconium-lanthanide superalloys are described that can be used in high temperature, high stress and a variety of other applications. The lanthanide is preferably holmium, erbium, thulium or ytterbium, most preferably erbium. Also, methods of making the aforementioned alloys are disclosed. The superalloys, which have commercially-suitable hardness at temperatures above about 220 C., include nanoscale Al_(3)Zr precipitates and optionally nanoscale Al_(3)Er precipitates and nanoscale Al_(3)(Zr,Er) precipitates that create a high-strength alloy capable of withstanding intense heat conditions. These nanoscale precipitates have a L1_(2)-structure in -Al(f.c.c.) matrix, an average diameter of less than about 20 nanometers (nm), preferably less than about 10 nm, and more preferably about 4-6 nm and a high number density, which for example, is larger than about 10^(21 )m^(3), of the nanoscale precipitates. The formation of the high number density of nanoscale precipitates is thought to be due to the addition of inoculant, such as a Group 3A, 4A, and 5A metal or metalloid. Additionally, methods for increasing the diffusivity of Zr in Al are disclosed.


Grant
Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: SMALL BUSINESS PHASE I | Award Amount: 149.99K | Year: 2016

This Small Business Innovation Research Phase I project involves development of a new family of thermally-stable, high-strength aluminum casting alloys for engine cylinder head applications. There is a strong push globally to improve internal combustion (IC) engine efficiency, through down-sizing, turbo or supercharged boost, and through the use of alternative fuels. All of these approaches increase the operational temperature of the engine beyond what current aluminum engine alloys can sustain, leading to dimensional changes which can cause engine failure. At these higher temperatures, the new alloys to be developed will retain engine performance and life, while maintaining the low weight, castability, and cost-effectiveness of standard aluminum alloys. Our initial focus is on two-wheeled motorcycles and other recreational vehicles that represent a total market capitalization of $35 million, just for cylinder heads. There are many follow-on markets including diesel generators, and engines for outboard marine, small aircraft and even automobile vehicles, where the total markets are estimated in the billions of dollars.

The intellectual merit of this project is the replacement of traditional gravity- and die-cast aluminum alloys with higher performing materials at a competitive cost. These aluminum alloys will contain heat-resistant nano-precipitates, which will not dissolve at high operating temperature and pressure, thus retaining the component strength, toughness and microhardness. With production of millions of IC engines each year, a new high-temperature alloy will lead to significant energy reductions. Current automotive and motorcycle aluminum engine components, such as cylinder heads, blocks and pistons, are limited to an operating temperature of roughly 220 deg. C. Modern and future engines require higher operating temperatures of up to 290 deg. C and pressures up to 21 MPa to meet demands for higher engine efficiency, reduced vehicle mass and fuel consumption, increases in the power-to-mass ratio, and lower emissions. The 2025 Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) regulations require an efficiency of 54.5 miles per gallon for light duty vehicles by 2025. The need for improved IC engine efficiency is urgent, thus increasing the demand for novel high temperature aluminum casting alloys.


Grant
Agency: National Science Foundation | Branch: | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 149.99K | Year: 2016

This Small Business Innovation Research Phase I project involves development of a new family of thermally-stable, high-strength aluminum casting alloys for engine cylinder head applications. There is a strong push globally to improve internal combustion (IC) engine efficiency, through down-sizing, turbo or supercharged boost, and through the use of alternative fuels. All of these approaches increase the operational temperature of the engine beyond what current aluminum engine alloys can sustain, leading to dimensional changes which can cause engine failure. At these higher temperatures, the new alloys to be developed will retain engine performance and life, while maintaining the low weight, castability, and cost-effectiveness of standard aluminum alloys. Our initial focus is on two-wheeled motorcycles and other recreational vehicles that represent a total market capitalization of $35 million, just for cylinder heads. There are many follow-on markets including diesel generators, and engines for outboard marine, small aircraft and even automobile vehicles, where the total markets are estimated in the billions of dollars. The intellectual merit of this project is the replacement of traditional gravity- and die-cast aluminum alloys with higher performing materials at a competitive cost. These aluminum alloys will contain heat-resistant nano-precipitates, which will not dissolve at high operating temperature and pressure, thus retaining the component strength, toughness and microhardness. With production of millions of IC engines each year, a new high-temperature alloy will lead to significant energy reductions. Current automotive and motorcycle aluminum engine components, such as cylinder heads, blocks and pistons, are limited to an operating temperature of roughly 220 deg. C. Modern and future engines require higher operating temperatures of up to 290 deg. C and pressures up to 21 MPa to meet demands for higher engine efficiency, reduced vehicle mass and fuel consumption, increases in the power-to-mass ratio, and lower emissions. The 2025 Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) regulations require an efficiency of 54.5 miles per gallon for light duty vehicles by 2025. The need for improved IC engine efficiency is urgent, thus increasing the demand for novel high temperature aluminum casting alloys.


Grant
Agency: National Science Foundation | Branch: | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 149.87K | Year: 2014

This Small Business Innovation Research Phase I project involves development of a new class of lightweight aluminum superalloys to replace much heavier cast iron in automobile brake rotors. There is a large market for brake rotors, estimated worldwide at $10 billion. Replacing four cast iron brake rotors in a typical sedan will reduce its weight by about 80 pounds, which translates into significant improvements in gas mileage and reductions in tailpipe emissions. These advantages are anticipated to be compelling to automakers, because of the new U.S. Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) rules. If successful, the new aluminum superalloys can capture a 2.5% share of the brake-rotor market, equivalent to 25 million brake rotors per year, during the replacement cycle. Other benefits of the switch to aluminum alloy brake rotors include: (a) rapid heat dissipation from the brake surface; (b) faster stopping and acceleration, and better automobile handling; (c) much higher corrosion resistance due to the usage of aluminum; and (d) the elimination of corrosion products (rust which forms on cast iron rotors leads to inhomogeneous heat distribution during braking). Current commercial lightweight age-hardenable aluminum alloys are not useable above 220 degrees C because the strengthening precipitates dissolve. Thus, there is no widespread commercial usage of aluminum alloys for applications that involve elevated temperatures; e.g., automotive brake rotors. A first alternative is aluminum alloys containing 0.15-0.30% by weight of scandium (which contains heat- and coarsening-resistant Al3Sc precipitates). Another alternative is aluminum-matrix composites with ceramic particles or fibers. The former contain, however, an expensive element (scandium is comparable to gold in price) and the latter involve complicated and expensive processing routes, respectively, severely limiting their usage. The goal of Phase I is to develop successfully and patent new proprietary alloy compositions and heat treatment procedures to produce Sc-free aluminum superalloys able to sustain months of exposure at 400 degrees C and above, without a significant loss of strength. We will also manufacture a prototype brake rotor, in order to further prove out this material.


Grant
Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: | Award Amount: 149.87K | Year: 2014

This Small Business Innovation Research Phase I project involves development of a new class of lightweight aluminum superalloys to replace much heavier cast iron in automobile brake rotors. There is a large market for brake rotors, estimated worldwide at $10 billion. Replacing four cast iron brake rotors in a typical sedan will reduce its weight by about 80 pounds, which translates into significant improvements in gas mileage and reductions in tailpipe emissions. These advantages are anticipated to be compelling to automakers, because of the new U.S. Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) rules. If successful, the new aluminum superalloys can capture a 2.5% share of the brake-rotor market, equivalent to 25 million brake rotors per year, during the replacement cycle. Other benefits of the switch to aluminum alloy brake rotors include: (a) rapid heat dissipation from the brake surface; (b) faster stopping and acceleration, and better automobile handling; (c) much higher corrosion resistance due to the usage of aluminum; and (d) the elimination of corrosion products (rust which forms on cast iron rotors leads to inhomogeneous heat distribution during braking).

Current commercial lightweight age-hardenable aluminum alloys are not useable above 220 degrees C because the strengthening precipitates dissolve. Thus, there is no widespread commercial usage of aluminum alloys for applications that involve elevated temperatures; e.g., automotive brake rotors. A first alternative is aluminum alloys containing 0.15-0.30% by weight of scandium (which contains heat- and coarsening-resistant Al3Sc precipitates). Another alternative is aluminum-matrix composites with ceramic particles or fibers. The former contain, however, an expensive element (scandium is comparable to gold in price) and the latter involve complicated and expensive processing routes, respectively, severely limiting their usage. The goal of Phase I is to develop successfully and patent new proprietary alloy compositions and heat treatment procedures to produce Sc-free aluminum superalloys able to sustain months of exposure at 400 degrees C and above, without a significant loss of strength. We will also manufacture a prototype brake rotor, in order to further prove out this material.


Grant
Agency: Department of Energy | Branch: | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 155.00K | Year: 2016

During high-voltage electrical power transmission, energy is lost due to the resistance of the conductors, which is converted mainly to heat. Energy loss in transmission and distribution systems currently costs U.S. economy billions of dollars annually. This drives many efforts for development of a higher efficiency of the power transmission and distribution systems, in which development of advanced and high performance electrical conductors play a key role. The current commercial aluminum alloys utilized in high-voltage power transmission either have high electrical conductivity and low breaking strength or vice versa. Additionally, these alloys have low mechanical thermal stability, which limits their usage at higher operating temperatures. Several prior efforts had been conducted to improve these properties, including utilizing severe plastic deformation processing route and carbon nanotube reinforced aluminum composites. These approaches, however, involve complex processing steps and expensive materials, which severely limit their large-scale production. In this program, development of a new type of economical and scalable aluminum alloy that has simultaneously high electrical conductivity, high breaking strength and high mechanical thermal stability is proposed. The goals of Phase I are to successfully develop and patent the new proprietary alloy compositions and heat treatment procedures to produce the advanced aluminum alloy for high- voltage transmission conductor application. Additionally, prototype commercial-size wire will be fabricated and tested. Improving energy efficiency in high-voltage electrical power transmission can lead to savings up of many billions of dollars for the U.S. economy annually as well as supplying electricity to more customers. High breaking strength in the newly developed lightweight aluminum high-voltage conductor alloys potentially reduces the number of towers needed for a given line distance, thus drastically reducing installation cost of new lines. The higher mechanical thermal stability of the newly developed aluminum alloy potentially increases the operating temperature and the resistance against break-down of the transmission lines, thereby increasing their current-carrying capacity and reliability. Lastly, improving the efficiency in the powder transmission and distribution systems also means reducing CO2 emissions and other greenhouse gases at the power plants. Energy loss in high-voltage transmission systems currently costs U.S. economy billions of dollars annually, thus development of advanced and high performance electrical conductors is crucial. In this program, development of a new type of economical and scalable aluminum alloy that has high electrical conductivity, breaking-strength and mechanical thermal stability is proposed to address this problem.


Patent
NanoAl LLC | Date: 2016-03-05

This invention relates to a series of castable aluminum alloys with excellent creep and aging resistance, high electrical conductivity and thermal conductivity at elevated temperatures. The cast article comprises 0.4 to 2% by weight iron, 0 to 4% by weight nickel, 0.1 to 0.6 or about 0.1 to 0.8% by weight zirconium, optional 0.1 to 0.6% by weight vanadium, optional 0.1 to 2% by weight titanium, at least one inoculant such as 0.07-0.15% by weight tin, or 0.07-0.15% by weight indium, or 0.07-0.15% by weight antimony, or 0.02-0.2% by weight silicon, and aluminum as the remainder. The aluminum alloys contain a simultaneous dispersion of A1_(6)Fe, A1_(3)X (X=Fe, Ni) and/or A1_(9)FeNi intermetallic in the eutectic regions and a dispersion of nano-precipitates of Al_(3)Zr_(x)V_(y)Ti_(1xy )(0x1, 0y1 and 0x+y1) having L1_(2 )crystal structure in the aluminum matrix in between the eutectic regions. The processing condition for producing cast article of the present invention is disclosed in detail.

Loading NanoAl LLC collaborators
Loading NanoAl LLC collaborators