Structural Materials Development enables advanced technologies through the discovery, development, and demonstration of cost-effective advanced structural materials for use in extreme environments (high-temperature, high-stress, erosive, and corrosive environments, including the performance of materials in contact with molten slags and salts). Research includes materials design and discovery, materials processing and manufacturing, and service-life prediction of materials performance. Research is conducted from bench-scale through scale-up and field trials for proof-of-concept, with emphasis on high-temperature alloys, refractories, and structural ceramics. Specific capabilities include:
- Discovering timely and cost-effective methods to design and manufacture advanced alloys that are more energy efficient, ecologically benign, and long lasting compared to existing alloys.
- Utilizing computational materials methodologies as a guide to development.
- Fabricating alloys on a pre-production scale.
- Investigating all aspects of microstructure-processing-property relationships to demonstrate proof-of-concept.
- Discovering new and improve cost-effective refractories-and ceramics and structural ceramics for use in aggressive environments. Utilizing computational materials methodologies as a guide to development.
- Processing, fabricating, and evaluating their performance in specialized laboratory testing equipment (especially for characterizing in molten slags).
- Investigating and developing cost-effective materials and protection strategies to withstand extreme environments with the goal of improving materials service life, improving process efficiency, or developing/identifying new materials for enabling advanced technologies.
- Conducting fundamental studies that define the basic mechanisms of materials degradation in complex environments. Conducting laboratory-scale tests that can replicate real-world environments.
- Designing/deploying advanced materials and protection strategies with industrial partners in field trials.