Nanosized diamond used to create super strong aluminum alloy

Photo from Tomsk State University website.

Scientists with London’s Brunel University and Tomsk State University ran a successful experiment that allowed them to introduce nanoscale diamond into an aluminum melt using ultrasonic treatment.

In a media statement, the researchers said the result of their trial will be used to create new materials, mainly for maritime transport.

Prior to their lab test, no one had synthesized alloys with nanodiamonds. In order to achieve this, the team led by Dmitry Eskin used special ligatures with nanoscale diamond, which were obtained by a method called shock-wave compaction.

“Nanoscale diamond is a powder of diamonds, with a particle size of several nanometers. Master alloys are auxiliary alloys used to introduce other elements into the liquid metal. In this experiment, they are rods that will later be quite convenient and technologically advanced for use in production,” the press brief reads.

According to those involved, this experiment showed that the resulting alloy is of high quality, without pores or defects. This means that the parameters chosen made it possible to introduce nanoparticles into the alloy without degrading the quality of the starting material.

“The production of new light alloys based on aluminum with enhanced characteristics is an urgent task for materials science. The introduction of even a small amount of nanoparticles (less than 1%) can lead to a significant increase in the physical and mechanical properties of inexpensive aluminum alloys. Such compounds will have a lower cost compared to the analogs currently used, where the expensive scandium is used for ligatures”,” the experts said.

Besides the maritime industry, the researchers believe the materials can be used in the aircraft, automotive, and space industries for the manufacture of shells, interior decoration, and other elements not related to the engines or gearboxes. In their view, they will reduce the weight and improve vehicle safety parameters.

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