Jody Victor: OSU Researchers’ Improve High Temp Properties of “Super” Alloys

At the Ohio State University have made a discovery that could change jet engine technology making it more powerful, efficient and environmentally friendly. A problem with these so called super alloys is that microscopic defects grow inside the alloys and weakening them. The Ohio State researchers, in the journal Nature Communications, describe how a process in which they can tailor make an alloy for conditions like a jet engine would produce. Tailoring an alloy involves exposing it to high heat and pressure. This process not only prevents the forming of the micro defects, it also increases the strength of the alloy.

The engineers at OSU have called the process “phase transformation strengthening.” The process decreased alloy deformation by half in their study.

Strong, heat-resistant alloys enable turbine engines to run cleanly and efficiently. When an engine can run at very high temperatures, it consumes its fuel more thoroughly and produces lower emissions. Most modern alloys are designed at the atomic level and this research sought to fill a gap in knowledge of how exotic metal based materials deform under high stress.