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Radiation Modification of Materials


Development of Physical and Chemical Principles for Radiation Techniques of Material Modification by Electrons, Polyenergetic Ions and High Temperature Plasma Fluxes

Tech Area / Field

  • MAT-SYN/Materials Synthesis and Processing/Materials

3 Approved without Funding

Registration date

Leading Institute
MIFI, Russia, Moscow

Supporting institutes

  • TRINITI, Russia, Moscow reg., Troitsk\nVNIITF, Russia, Chelyabinsk reg., Snezhinsk


  • Korea Atomic Energy Research Institute, Korea, Yusung Taejon\nArgonne National Laboratory (ANL), USA, IL, Argonne\nNorth Star Researh Corporation, USA, NM, Albuquerque

Project summary

Introduction and overview

The aim of the Project is to develop the physical and chemical principles and block schemes for energy efficient, cost acceptable and environmentally appropriate technologies for improvement of the service properties (wear- and corrosion-resistance) and lifetime of steel articlesa therethrough combined (sequential) treatment of steel articles with different kinds of radiation, including high-power pulsed beams of electrons and polyenergetic ions, and high-temperature pulsed plasma fluxes to .

Plasma, electron-beam, laser, ion-beam and pulsed plasma (high-temperature) technologies are of considerable current use for the modification of surface layers in connection with the ecological harmfulness and high power-consuming of chemicothermal treatment of structural materials. The purpose of the technologies under development is modification of the structural-phase state and increasing the physical and mechanical properties of metal materials.

The following effects were promised after implementation of the proposed technology (Summary of the #746 First phase - "Marketing study"):

1. Strengthening the surface of articles and increasing the surface layers microhardness by the factor of 3-5;
2. Increasing the wear-resistance of rubbing details by the factor of 2-4;
3. Enhancing the working capacity (wear-resistance and treatment velocity) of the cutting tool by the factor of 2-5;
4. Significant decrease the number of defective articles and eliminate the harmful action of traditional methods of details treatment as a result of using environmentally appropriate and resources-economy radiation-beam technologies instead of the chemicothermal ones;
5. Using cheaper kinds of materials for the production of details on retention of their service properties.

The above-mentioned aim will be reached by solving the following problems.

1. Science and technical problems:

- Investigation of the physical and chemical regularities of changing the structural-phase state of the surface layers of different steels under the influence of high-power pulsed electron beams (HPPEB), high-temperature pulsed plasma fluxes (HTPPF) and polyenergetic ion beams (PEIB), using various combinations and sequences of these types of radiation;

- Study of the wear-resistance, friction coefficient and tribological characteristics of treated samples.

2. Technological problems:

- Investigation of the wear-resistance, friction coefficients and corrosion-resistance of treated steel articles of cylindrical (L 250 mm, 60 mm) and plane (F 0.15 m2) geometry;

- Development of optimal structure-technological schemes and choice the regimes for the treatment of industrial cylindrical and plain details with respect to their destination.

Depending on a problem to be solved, it is necessary to use, as a final treatment, a certain type of radiation for the bombardment of articles. It allows excluding such power-consuming and faulty technologies as chemicothermal saturation, applying of protective coatings and others.

The necessity of a combined radiation-beam treatment of steel articles is caused by the following factors:

1. The requirements, imposed upon the thickness of a modified layer, which depend on the destination of a detail. As to heavily loaded articles, a maximum (with respect to thickness) and uniformly strengthened surface layer is required. That can be attained by irradiation of the target with a powerful electron beam followed by the treatment with a high-temperature plasma flux. To increase the corrosion-resistance of high-precision instruments, it is necessary to use ion mixing as the finish treatment.

2. Electrons, ions and plasma give different penetration depths and energy-release in a solid, which determines certain advantages and deficiencies for each type of irradiation. High-energy (~MeV) electrons give a possibility to obtain the maximum depth (100 m) of energy-release. However, its maximum is shifted to the target depth. The release of energy for a plasma flux occurs in the region up to 20-30 m, and its maximum is close to the surface. As to a polyenergetic ion flux, its penetration depths are small, but it allows increasing the concentration of implanted atoms up to values more than 30 at.%.

The technologies, which are being developed under this project, of modifying articles with the use of high-power pulsed electron beams, high-temperature pulsed gas plasma fluxes and polyenergetic multicomponent ion beams, including sequential treatment, have the following advantages:

1. Possibility to modify (strengthen) a relatively big depth of materials:

Z(electron beam) » 2Z max(laser radiation);

2. There is no necessity of preliminary applying of coats on the surface of articles for increasing the absorbancy of a material;

3. These technologies allow treating rather big surface areas (up to 0.15 m2) or articles for a short time interval;

4. Simultaneous use of the working substance as a means for initial heating of the near-surface layers and alloying of a material;

5. Possibility of a comprehensive treatment of articles for a pulse.

The potential market of using these environmentally appropriate and resources-economy radiation-beam technologies of a combined treatment of articles can be different brunches of industry, in which it is necessary:

· To increase the wear-resistance and decrease the friction of different machine-building details, including cog-wheels and gears, arbors, rods, valves, bearings, details of swivels etc.;

· To increase the wear-resistance and resource of instruments for cutting (chisels, drilling tools, cutters etc.) and shaping (rolls for rolling, punches, details of stamps etc.)

· To enhance the corrosion- and erosion-resistance and the resource of wear-resistant details of highly stressed technique, for example, aviation and automobile engines (turbine blades, piston rings, bearings etc.), different pumps for pumping-over fluids and gases and for stop valves of pipelines;

· To increase the fatigue strength of details working under cyclic mechanical loading.

The following objects have been chosen, as a result of the marketing of using high technologies in the machine-building industry of Russia, for development of the technological principles for modification:

1. Punches of pressing tools with the purpose to increase the corrosion-stability (on retention of a high wear-resistance) of a contact surface and decrease "grip" during the molding of ceramics.

2. Rods and contact surfaces of locking arms for water pipes of heat power stations with the purpose to increase the erosion and corrosion-resistance of a surface.

The carbon steels and alloys are selected as a material for punches.

The technology being developed for a combined treatment of materials, which consists of a sequential action by a high-power pulsed electron beam, high-temperature pulsed plasma fluxes and a polyenergetic ion beam, is unrivalled among analogous ones.


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