To make super-durable and strong details it is necessary to use so-called diamond composites, i.e. materials (matrixes) with incorporated tiny diamonds. The matrix is to be durable, strong, wear-proof as well as monolithic by structure ensuring chemical interaction with diamonds. To avoid internal tension this matrix must have physical characteristics close to diamond ones. In other case the detail will collapse under load.
Carbide materials fit all these requirements because they are strong, wear-proof, thermostable and with high thermal conductivity. High thermal conductivity prevents the detail cracking at a temperature drop (as a glass can crack when filling with boiling water). It is impossible to make such materials by sintering diamonds with silicon carbide, because the required temperatures are so high that diamond just will turn into graphite. The sintering diamond grains with carbide at lower temperature and high pressure (about 8.5 GPa) is a rather expensive process and it can be applied only for manufacturing small details of a simple shape.
The scientists from the Saint-Petersburg-based Central Research Institute of Materials and their colleagues from the Royal Institute of Technology (Stockholm) have invented a new method. They have proposed to press half-finished details (blanks) from the powder made of micron-sized diamonds. Then they heated the details in a vacuum oven and saturated them with liquid silicon. During this procedure the diamond surface turns into graphite-like carbon which interacts with liquid silicon. As a result the finished detail represents a monolith of the required shape which consists from small diamonds soldered one with another by silicon carbide, and silicon itself.
Olga Maksimenko | Informnauka
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Heavy construction machinery is the focus of Oak Ridge National Laboratory’s latest advance in additive manufacturing research. With industry partners and university students, ORNL researchers are designing and producing the world’s first 3D printed excavator, a prototype that will leverage large-scale AM technologies and explore the feasibility of printing with metal alloys.
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Technologie-Lizenz-Büro (TLB) GmbH supports the University of Stuttgart in patenting and marketing its innovations.
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With the help of artificial intelligence, chemists from the University of Basel in Switzerland have computed the characteristics of about two million crystals made up of four chemical elements. The researchers were able to identify 90 previously unknown thermodynamically stable crystals that can be regarded as new materials. They report on their findings in the scientific journal Physical Review Letters.
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