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Ferro boron master alloys


Development and obtaining of low-carbonaceous Ferro boron master alloys on the basis of stable isotopes of boron 10B and 11B by SHS technology – metallurgy

Tech Area / Field

  • MAT-ALL/High Performance Metals and Alloys/Materials
  • MAT-SYN/Materials Synthesis and Processing/Materials

3 Approved without Funding

Registration date

Leading Institute
Institute of Metallurgy, Georgia, Tbilisi


  • Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, USA, CA, Livermore\nUniversity of Patras, Greece, Patras\nThe City University of New York / New York City College of Technology, USA, New York\nUniversity of Texas at El Paso, USA, TX, El Paso

Project summary

Project purpose. Development of the technology of obtaining of the low-carbonaceous iron-boron cast master alloys (ligatures) on the basis of isotopes 10B and 11B using the technology of SHS- metallurgy, providing high yield of the target product.
Current status in the research area. Boron takes a special position among the “reactor” materials. Its uniqueness consists in the simultaneous presence of two stable isotopes (10В and 11В) in the natural boron. Boron-10 is characterized by a big cross-section of absorption of thermal and fast neutrons, while Boron-11 effectively slows down and reflects the neutrons. In nuclear technology materials on the basis of isotope Boron-10 are mostly widespread (boron carbide, boron steels and alloys, compounds of boron and metals of IV-VI and boric acid H3BO3).
The boron steels contain up to 2 % weigh. Despite of the complicated technology and rather low nuclear efficiency the boron steels are widely applied in the control units of boiling nuclear reactors. They are also widely used for absorption of the secondary neutrons in containers for storage and transportation of the solid radioactive waste and the spent nuclear fuel.
Dispersive iron-boron-10 powders (Fe210B containing up to 9% of Boron) can be used for creating backup passive emergency safety systems of fast neutron reactors.
The master alloy (ligature) enriched with boron-11 isotope (Fe11B) can be used for micro-alloying (micro-doping) of austenitic steels which are widely used in nuclear power systems as construction materials (such as steels 304 and 316 (USA) and EI-846, EI-847 (Russia)). The boron-11 isotope prevents formation of helium as a by-product of isotope formation during the nuclear reaction 10B5+1n07Li3+4He2+2.87МэВ
Two principal requirements – minimization of losses of the expensive isotopic materials and extremely low content of carbon in the produced master alloys (C ≤ 0.01 % weigh.) - cannot be provided utilizing the convenient methods (carbon-thermal and metal-thermal) used for production of ligatures.
The targeted goals can be achieved through implementation of SHS-metallurgy methods, performing the reduction stage under considerable centrifugal forces. According to the proposed project the following topics will be studied:
- Regularities of synthesis of the cast ligatures (Fe10B, Fe11B) under centrifugal forces;
- Mechanisms of formation of structure and properties of SHS-products;
- Chemical, X-ray structural and emission spectral analysis of the obtained materials.
Impact of the results of the proposed project on the development of the given field of Science and Technology. The proposed technology will be implemented by using the SHS-metallurgy technology which is characterized by simple and small-sized equipment, high efficiency and purity of the obtained product, environmental safety of the process. In case of successful implementation of the research experimental samples of boron steel will be fabricated utilizing experimental samples of Ferro-boron ligatures, as well as materials enriched both with boron of natural isotope structure and isotope 10B.
Competence of the project in the specified area. All experimental works will be carried out by highly qualified specialists using the hi-tech equipment of SHS technology. All main participants of the project have long-term experience in the field of SHS and obtaining of enriched 10B utilizing the following technological chain: BF3 KBF4 H3BO3 B2O3. Competence and qualification of participants of the project are confirmed by the list of references, which are available in the field of SHS-metallurgy, publications and presentations at the international conferences (see 12 "Additional Information" of the present project”).
The expected results and their application. The technological advantages of SHS are based on the very principles of the phenomenon – utilizing of exothermic chemical reaction instead of heating of the substances using the external energy source.
SHS-metallurgy can successfully compete with the powder-metallurgy technology, as both the material and the targeted product can be during only one stage of the technological process.
Due to the main parameters of the project, such as low energy consumption, minimal cost of the initial components (excluding 10B and 11B), the simple and small-sized equipment, high capacity and productivity, high quality of the final products and the environmental safety of processing operations, the methods of the proposed project belong to high-technologies. The performance of innovative achievements of the SHS will be provided by the hhigh-qualified and high-experienced scientific and engineering staff of the institute.
Compliance of the project to the purposes of ISTC. Experts having excellent knowledge and wide experience in the field of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) are involved in the project, and the project has exclusively peaceful focus and aim. Thus, it directly corresponds to the ISTC goals. At the same time, compliance to these purposes is also provided due to the planned broad involvement of the scientists-researchers (representing the participating organizations) in the world scientific community and presentation of information and results obtained in the frame of the project at the international conferences and seminars.
Data on amount of works. All experimental works will be carried out using the hi-tech equipment, by experts in the field of SHS-metallurgy and isotope separation.
The following main works will be performed within the frame of project:
    - impact of technological parameters (such as phase pision, dispersion of reactionary weight, composition and dispersion of components, density of initial mix) on regularity of synthesis of cast ligatures in Fe-B system will be studied;
    - impact of overloads on the regularities of synthesis of cast ligatures in Fe-B system and mechanisms of structure formation of SHS products will be studied;
    - the advanced technological chain (BF3 →KBF4 →H3BO3 →B2O3) will be used for minimization of losses in the process of obtaining materials enriched with10B or 11B;
    - experimental samples of Ferro-boron ligatures on the basis of materials enriched with isotope 10B and 11B will be obtained in sufficient amounts for producing the experimental samples of boron steel.
    - the boron steel samples which meet the special requirements for the products applied in the nuclear industry will be manufactured;
    - working drawings of the new centrifugal machine will be developed; recommendations of the possible organization of small-scale production of ligatures will be issued on the basis of the obtained results;
    - certification of the obtained materials and samples confirmed by the corresponding test reports will be carried out;
    - all important scientific and technical results will be presented in the form of the project reports, publications, patents and presentations at the international conferences.


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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