materials and coatings
Oxide Dispersion Strengthened Medium Entropy Alloy
NASA's ODS-MEA maintains properties up to 1100°C and is not susceptible to deleterious phase changes when exposed to extreme temperatures, an issue ubiquitous to Ni- based superalloys such as Inconel-625 and Inconel-718. Yttria particles are dispersed throughout the alloy to maximize strength and creep resistance at high temperatures using a novel fabrication technique. This technique employs an acoustic mixer to stir nano-scale Yttria oxide powder within a metallic matrix powder, creating a film of Yttria surrounding the larger metallic powder particles. Solid components are then produced from this mixture via SLM, during which the laser disperses the Yttria particles throughout the microstructure. Ultimately, the process eliminates the many expensive and time-consuming steps in the production of ODS alloys via traditional mechanical alloying. NASA's process has been shown to fabricate components with 10x improvement in creep rupture life at 1100°C and provides a 30% increase in strength over what is currently possible with 3D printed parts. The new ODS-MEA composition may find applications where ODS alloys are currently used (e.g., those involving extreme thermal environments). Applications may also include areas where such properties are desirable but the resource-intensive nature and/or inability to produce highly complex geometries via conventional processes ultimately renders their use uneconomical or infeasible. Such uses include gas turbine components (for which increasing inlet temperature enables improved efficiency) for power generation, propulsion (rockets, jet engines, etc.), industrial processes, nuclear energy applications, and sample preparation equipment in the mining and cement production industries, among many others.
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