ANSTO is participating in three federally funded grants that were announced late last year that will benefit advanced nuclear manufacturing and technologies.
ANSTO is collaborating on two successful Australian Research Council Linkage, Infrastructure, Equipment and Facilities projects to create a unique research infrastructure worth over $4.3 million to support the Australian scientific and industrial community. The Metallurgical Facility for Solid State Additive Manufacturing will radically improve Australia’s capability for additive manufacturing. A purpose built Scanning Electron Microscope Suite will be established, which will allow in situ imaging of samples during macroscopic assays with a second conventional microscope for high resolution analysis.
“Both grants will significantly strengthen Australia’s manufacturing capabilities with facilities that deliver state-of-the-art manufacturing processes and other critical technologies,” said Dr Jamie Schulz, head of Australia’s Neutron Scattering Centre. ‘ANSTO.
“The grants fuse the expertise and infrastructure of Australia’s best in their respective fields.”
Metallurgical plant for solid state additive manufacturing
Leading Australian researchers from ANSTO, University of Sydney, Monash University, Australian National University, University of Western Sydney and University of Newcastle and CSIRO team up to revolutionize manufacturing research in Australia by creating access and opportunity to develop new materials and procedures using friction-mix manufacturing.
The approach offers a dramatic reduction in manufacturing time and cost and enables the additive processing of alloy systems that are difficult or impossible to 3D print via other technologies.
This rapidly growing technology uses a hybrid capability that takes advantage of the geometric complexity of additive manufacturing and the high precision of subtractive manufacturing of conventional machine shops.
The facility will support national metallurgical process development efforts where there is a need for systematic research to create new processing approaches. It will also support advanced materials engineering where new materials with new properties are produced and where susceptibility to porosity, hot cracking or other common issues that affect fusion-based technologies are not not a problem.
The development and optimization of advanced manufacturing and maintenance technologies will benefit the civil, transportation, automotive, aerospace, mining, oil and gas, defense, recycling and medicine.
Professor Anna Paradowska, Head of Industry Engagement at ANSTO’s Australian Neutron Scattering Center and Joint Professor at the University of Sydney, is leading this exciting new project.
Scanning Electron Microscope Suite
Researchers from Monash University, University of Sydney, ANSTO, Deakin University, University of Adelaide, RMIT and University of Queensland join forces to create A specially designed scanning electron microscopy suite at the Monash Center for Advanced Microscopy for in-situ in-situ imaging of specimens subjected to macroscopic testing. A second high resolution conventional microscope will be used for the correlation.
Current modern digital image correlation techniques can measure 2D strain maps from large view/high magnification scanning electron microscopy (SEM) images. The unique in situ imaging capability being developed will support multi/mesoscale characterization of materials during mechanical loading, heating and/or chemical injection. This unique facility is expected to create new knowledge and understanding of the evolution of materials and devices during processing and performance.
It will support the development and better use of materials for a range of applications in the fields of physics, chemistry, geology, materials, mechanical, civil and chemical engineering and will have a societal impact for the sectors of environment, transport and energy.
Professor Anna Paradowska is among the chief investigators.
Self-healing materials for extreme environments
ANSTO’s expertise in nuclear technologies is at the center of a new collaborative grant from the Australian Department of Industry, Science and Resources to identify self-healing ceramics compatible with stainless steel and alloys. zirconium commonly used in the nuclear industry.
Nagaoka University of Technology, National Institute of Technology Kushiro College, National Institute of Technology Fukushima College, and the Japan Atomic Energy Agency also contribute funding for research that has potential application in Japanese nuclear reactors. .
Principal Investigator, Professor Gordon Thorogood, Principal Investigator, Nuclear Fuel, said: “One aspect of the study relates to the fuel and the stopping of hydrogen ingress into the zircalloy, which occurred with the sudden release of hydrogen at Fukushima reactor after earthquake and tsunami. .”
Once the self-healing alloys have been identified, they will be subjected to a corrosive chemical environment, as part of the characterization of the material, including the degradation of salts, high pressure steam and radiation.
The project is expected to produce new materials that can withstand extreme environments and potentially shared patents based on joint work by Australian and Japanese universities and ANSTO researchers.
Materials are being developed for low and high temperature applications.
ANSTO scientists continue their work on aluminum oxide (Al2O3) doped with nickel nanoparticles for less extreme operating conditions and silicon carbide-dispersed yttrium orthosilicate (Y2SiO5/Y2Yes2O7) composites for more extreme environments.
The composite is generally used as an environmental barrier coating.
Research will also be undertaken on silicon carbide matrix composites which are used as new fuel cladding to mitigate steam corrosion in severe events, but which are subject to severe steam corrosion in a coolant loss scenario.
ANSTO researchers also have expertise in understanding the residual stresses caused by the doping of ceramics that experience radiation damage.
“To determine the compatibility of ceramics with stainless steel and zirconium alloys, we have made a final selection of ceramics and will include tungsten metal as a compatible coating,” Prof Thorogood said.
“We are also determining whether materials with a self-healing coating can be produced on a large scale,” Professor Thorogood said.