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Application of Nano-Sized Powders


Synthesis and Application of Nano-Sized Powders in Combustion Synthesis and Surface Engineering Technologies

Tech Area / Field

  • MAT-SYN/Materials Synthesis and Processing/Materials
  • CHE-SYN/Basic and Synthetic Chemistry/Chemistry
  • MAT-COM/Composites/Materials

3 Approved without Funding

Registration date

Leading Institute
MISIS (Steel and Alloys), Russia, Moscow

Supporting institutes

  • Siberian Chemical Combine, Russia, Tomsk reg., Seversk\nSamara State Aerospace University, Russia, Samara reg., Samara


  • Helsinki University of Technology / Laboratory of Materials Processing and Powder Metallurgy, Finland, Helsinki\nUniversity of Illinois At Urbana-Champaign / Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, USA, IL, Urbana\nOsaka University / Joining & Welding Research Institute, Japan, Osaka\nSouth Dakota School of Mines and Technology / College of Material Science and Engineering, USA, SD, Rapid City\nRyukoku University / Department of Materials Chemistry, Japan, Ohtsu\nThe University of Hull, UK, Hull\nNational Institute for Materials Science, Japan, Tsukuba\nAirbus Deutschland GmbH, Germany, Munich\nColorado School of Mines, USA, CO, Golden\nNagoya University, Japan, Nagoya\nUniversity of Notre Dame / Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, USA, IN, Notre Dame\nUS Air Force Reserch Laboratory, USA, OH, Wright-Patterson\nEuropean Commission / Joint Research Center / Institute for Health and Consumer Protection, Italy, Ispra

Project summary

The application of nano-sized powders in materials science and surface engineering is getting more and more important. This can clearly been seen in the development of new materials with multifunctional properties suitable to fulfill specific technical requirements of practical using. Various properties can be met by a proper choice of the type of nanoparticles (from metallic to nonmetallic ones with different features including shape, size and density etc.) added either in row or final products. Since recent years, new nanomaterials (nanostructured thin films, dispersion coatings, hard alloys and ceramics strengthened by nano-sized particles, etc.) have been obtained for a wide variety of applications in aerospace, medicine, mechanical engineering, etc. In the present project between Moscow State Institute of Steel and Alloys (MSISA), Siberian Chemical Complex (SCC) and Samara State Aerospace University (SSAU) nanopowders and nanoparticles will be synthesized and used in a number of advanced technological processes such as Self-Propagating High-Temperature Synthesis (SHS), Electro-Spark Alloying (ESA), Thermo-Reactive Electro-Spark Surface Strengthening (TRESS), Magnetron Sputtering (MS), Thermal Spraying (TS) and Pulsed Laser Evaporation (PLE). In the present project nanocomponents (powders, particles, chemical elements) will be added in varying amount to the well developed systems and the influence of the composition on the structure and properties will be evaluated.

Why with nanoparticle-doped materials?

- Nanotechnology represents a key and cross-cut technology influencing nearly all industrial branches;

- Doping of nanopowders in a green mixture affect combustion wave and structure of SHS materials;

- Introduction of nanosized powder into electrode material can modify the material structure favorably affecting the quality of produced coatings;

- Nanopowders provide high strength and crack resistance needed for composite PVD target materials;

- The incorporation of nanoparticles leads to a dispersion strengthening effect in the composite materials and coatings, which raises the hardness and resistance against plastic deformation accompanied by improved wear and shock resistance;

- Addition of a small amount of alloying elements provides a unique combination of physical, chemical and mechanical properties. The wear behavior is often characterized by a long elastic strain to failure, which can be described as a ratio H/E. The addition of alloying element provides scope for lowering the elastic modulus of the coating with very similar hardness;

- Protective coatings for applications in tribology should combine high hardness, high toughness, low friction coefficient, corrosion and oxidation resistance, high-temperature strength and stability. The film surface should also have a low tendency to chemical interaction with a counterpart material. In attempt to combine desirable properties additions of alloying elements will be made. Thus multicomponent (four components and more) thin and thick coatings based on the system X-Y-Z (X=Ti, Cr; Y=Al, Si, Cu, Zr, Cr; Z=C, B, N, O) will be deposited and evaluated;

- There is no simple monolithic material which fulfills the complex requirements as far as biomaterials for medicine are concerned. Instead, very complex material combinations are to be favored. Doping nano-powders in SHS green mixture allows producing various multicomponent target materials for PVD. For instance it is expected that addition of ZrO2, SiO2 and CaO in multicomponent thin films will greatly affect various biomedical characteristics. ZrO2 – does not form any chemical bonding with living tissue; SiO2 – forms links with proteins, CaO – is a source of calcium ions that stimulate the formation of new bone tissue.

The project is focused on:

- the basic research to understand the influence of nanopowders and nanoparticles;

- the basic research to understand the phenomena of nanostructures;

- the identification of the potential of such nanopowders and nanoparticles in advanced combustion synthesis and surface engineering technologies;

- the identification of the role of various nanostructures for new or improved products;

- the application of nanopowders to the optimization of coatings (high-temperature oxidation resistant and thermal barrier coatings, self-lubricating coatings, biocompatible coatings etc.) and bulk shock-resistant materials;

- the adaptation of the thin films and coatings systems to the demands of various product concepts;

- testing of films and new materials under service conditions. Particular attention will be paid to tribological, high-temperature tribological and medical applications.

The present project is interdisciplinary and it is expected that it will lead to new knowledge in various scientific areas: powder metallurgy, materials science of ceramic and composite materials, mechanical engineering, physical chemistry, surface engineering and biomedicine.

Expected results and their application:

(i) Development and wide application of nanosized powders in a number of key material production technologies;

(ii) Development of new composite targets for PVD and nanopowder-doped row materials for ESA and TRESS technologies;

(iii) Development of advanced thin films and coatings using MS, PLD, ESA, TRESS and TS methods for civilian air force and space industry, medicine and mechanical engineering, those have potential commercial value in the marketplace;

(iv) Intensify the already existing interactions between the MSISA and other Universities and Industrial Companies in Europe and America. Organization of a fruitful scientific cooperation and exchange of scientists;

(v) Assist in the solution of industrial (new innovative materials) and societal (improvement of the health of civilians) problems.

Project teams:

MSISA For over fifteen years MSISA has been specializing in the development and synthesis of new composite targets and electrode materials using SHS techniques and in their application in developing novel composite thin films using PVD, ESA and TRESS technologies. Various nano-sized powders were produced using sol-gel synthesis and mechanical activation for systems with low exothermal effects was applied. The research has included the development of multi-component, nano-structured films, cubic BN, and diamond-contained coatings for various tribological and medical applications. Researchers at MSISA have a wealth of experience in the thorough characterization of nano-crystalline, multiphase thin films based on the systems Ti-(Al, Si, Cr, Mo)-(B, C, N, O) using X-ray diffraction, conventional and high-resolution TEM, SEM, EELS, AES, and XPS methods. The MSISA is a headquarter of Russian coordination centre of Surface Engineering within the framework of the European Program of Scientific Integration (EPSI) “Eureka” and a current member of the Advanced Coating and Surface Engineering Laboratory (ACSEL) at the Colorado School of Mines. MSISA has been awarded by a number of international grants: the Grant of the U.S Civilian Research and Development Foundation (CRDF) (No. RE1-167), 1996 - 1998; the Grant within the EPSI “Eureka”, (EU 1525), 1996-1998; the Collaborative Linkage Grant NATO-Russia JSTC (JSTC.CLG.978220), 2002-2003; the Grant of the International Science and Technology Center (ISTC) “New Composite Multifunctional Coatings Produced Using SHS-Electrodes” (No. 1852), 2002-2003; the Grant of INTAS (No. 2274), 2002-2003.

SCC Siberian Chemical Complex is one of the largest nuclear centers in the world. For fifty years SCC has been accumulating a great experience on the production and reprocessing of fissile materials. SCC products include: enriched uranium and its compounds, high-energy magnets, inorganic fluorides of high purity and stable isotopes. At the SCC a plasma-chemical technology of synthesis of nanopowders based on metals and their oxides has been developed and introduced in self-industrial and industrial scales. Composite powders with perovskite structure were synthesized and used in the technology of piezoceramic production. Catalysts of organic synthesis were manufactured. The present project focuses on the extension of nanopowders application in the advanced technologies.

SSAU specializes in the development and manufacturing of flying machines and aircraft engines. The works on the investigation and application of thermal spraying for air space industry has been started more than 30 years ago. During this period of time more than ten models of plasmatrons, powder supply units and plasmatron automatic control systems have been developed. The research has included the development of gasket coatings (Ni-BN, NiCr-BN, NiCr-CaF), tribological and high-temperature coatings (Ni-TiC, Ni-(Ti, Cr)C, Ni-CrC) and thermal barrier coatings (Al2O3, ZrO2, Y2O3, Ni-Cr-Co-Al-Y), etc. using granular and cladding powders. These coatings are widely used in air force and space industry.

Each of the research teams has the necessary laboratory facilities and complementary research skills and experience to ensure the success of the project, confirmed by the list of facilities, publications and worldwide recognition.

Role of foreign collaborators:

Foreign collaborators are leading scientific teams in the field of Materials Science and Surface Engineering with pronounced scope of activities: Colorado School of Mines, US (SHS, PVD, coating for tribological and medical applications, porous materials for bone), Air Force Research Laboratory, US (PVD, thermal barrier coatings and coatings for high-temperature tribological applications), Joint Research Centre, Institute for Health and Consumer Protection (IHCP), Italy (PVD, biocompatible thin films), The University of Hull, UK (coatings for tribological applications) and EADS, Germany (shock-resistant materials, coatings for low-temperature tribological applications).

The scope of cooperation with foreign collaborators include:

- information and scientists exchange in the course of project implementation;
- test sample materials;
- cross-checks of results obtained;
- conduction of joint seminars and workshops;
- writing joint publications and preparation of patents.

Meeting ISTC goals:

- Project provides weapon scientists and engineers in Russia from Moscow State Institute of Steel and Alloys (MSISA), Siberian Chemical Complex (SCC) and Samarian State Aerospace University (SSAU) opportunities to redirect their talents to peaceful activities;

- Project promotes the preservation of scientific teams and high-educated personnel in Russia under market conditions;

- The proposal does not contain any information of a national security;

- Project deals with the most perspective class of materials – nanopowders and multicomponent nanostructured thin films, and advanced technologies - MS, PLD, ESA, TRESS and TS; it means that the project promotes integration of scientists of Russia into the international scientific community;

- Scientific area of project: basic and applied research in Materials Science and Surface Engineering for peaceful purposes;

- The project has a big potential producing products that meet commercial needs (nanopowders, coatings, alloys and ceramics) for their application in civilian air-force and space industries, mechanical engineering and medicine;

- One of the main project purposes is a wide use of nanopowders in advanced material production technologies; it decreases the prime cost of products and improves their quality. That means that project reinforces the transition to market-based economics responsive to civil needs.


The International Science and Technology Center (ISTC) is an intergovernmental organization connecting scientists from Kazakhstan, Armenia, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Georgia with their peers and research organizations in the EU, Japan, Republic of Korea, Norway and the United States.


ISTC facilitates international science projects and assists the global scientific and business community to source and engage with CIS and Georgian institutes that develop or possess an excellence of scientific know-how.

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