Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Researchers Developing New Material for Die-casting Molds

23.08.2004


Automotive manufacturers may soon benefit from a new breed of metals – known as functionally gradient materials – that can withstand the high temperatures of die casting without cracking under pressure, according to a researcher at the University of Missouri-Rolla.



UMR researchers, led by Dr. Frank Liou, director of the manufacturing engineering program and professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering, hope to build better die-casting molds by developing materials that are both durable and heat resistant.

Traditional die-casting molds, made from hardened steel and used to make engine blocks and other components, can cost about $500,000 each, are fairly large and take a long time to build. One of the greatest challenges for car manufacturers has been finding a die-cast metal that can take the heat while maintaining its durability. Now, thanks to Liou’s work, manufacturers are one step closer to having the best of both worlds.


“It is now possible to gradually transition from one material to another,” says Liou. “Potentially this can have a lot of applications. You can basically create a material that gradually transitions from being totally titanium to being totally copper.” These metals are known as functionally gradient materials.

Spartan Light Metal Products, an Illinois-based company that uses die-cast molds to create engine parts, has asked Liou and his research team to investigate whether functionally gradient materials could be used in its manufacturing process. The company produces engine blocks for major automotive companies, including Ford, General Motors, Honda and Toyota.

If the molds were properly created using functionally gradient materials, the cracking could be eliminated, extending the lifespan of these expensive components. “The mold is under a lot of thermal stress,” says Liou. “If it were composed of copper and tool steel, the copper could transfer the heat out, preventing the mold from cracking.”

Thermal barrier coatings, another class of functionally gradient materials, would be able to impede heat transfer where necessary, such as in turbine blades. “Having a smooth transition between the two metals is critical,” says Liou. “Without the gradual change, the mold would still break under the stress.”

The research team is developing gears and a variety of other prototypes using functionally gradient materials. “They are trying to make gears where the outside would be made of Carbide (hardened material) while the inside would be steel,” says Liou, “so the gear would have much stronger properties on the outside.”

Applications for functionally gradient materials are as diverse as the manufacturing field itself. For example, the Navy is interested in using the technology to embed sensors in components, allowing for early detection of a failing part, such as a submarine propeller. “It would be important to detect any problems so they could be fixed before returning to the sea,” says Liou. “In order to place a sensor there, you would need to use functionally gradient materials because the propeller may break away under the strong forces.”

Even researchers in UMR’s own High Pressure Waterjet Laboratory have asked Liou and his team to investigate whether the process could be used to combine diamond powder with steel. “The original steel nozzle for their waterjet lasted about one hour, then had to be thrown away,” says Liou. “Now what they are using is a diamond nozzle, which is very expensive. They would like us to develop a functionally gradient material so that the inside, which is in contact with the water, is made of diamond and the outside is steel.”

| newswise
Further information:
http://www.umr.edu

More articles from Materials Sciences:

nachricht An innovative high-performance material: biofibers made from green lacewing silk
20.01.2017 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Angewandte Polymerforschung IAP

nachricht Treated carbon pulls radioactive elements from water
20.01.2017 | Rice University

All articles from Materials Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Traffic jam in empty space

New success for Konstanz physicists in studying the quantum vacuum

An important step towards a completely new experimental access to quantum physics has been made at University of Konstanz. The team of scientists headed by...

Im Focus: How gut bacteria can make us ill

HZI researchers decipher infection mechanisms of Yersinia and immune responses of the host

Yersiniae cause severe intestinal infections. Studies using Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model organism aim to elucidate the infection mechanisms of these...

Im Focus: Interfacial Superconductivity: Magnetic and superconducting order revealed simultaneously

Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.

While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...

Im Focus: Studying fundamental particles in materials

Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales

Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...

Im Focus: Designing Architecture with Solar Building Envelopes

Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.

As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Sustainable Water use in Agriculture in Eastern Europe and Central Asia

19.01.2017 | Event News

12V, 48V, high-voltage – trends in E/E automotive architecture

10.01.2017 | Event News

2nd Conference on Non-Textual Information on 10 and 11 May 2017 in Hannover

09.01.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Helmholtz International Fellow Award for Sarah Amalia Teichmann

20.01.2017 | Awards Funding

An innovative high-performance material: biofibers made from green lacewing silk

20.01.2017 | Materials Sciences

Ion treatments for cardiac arrhythmia — Non-invasive alternative to catheter-based surgery

20.01.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>