Sandia National Lab develops superalloy; aids to cut carbon emissions from power plants
March 11, 2023 | Metallurgical Lab
In a collaboration by Sandia National Laboratories in New Mexico, Ames National Laboratory in Iowa State University, and Bruker Corp, a new superalloy was found to potentially lower carbon emissions while maintaining power plants to generate more electricity.
The superalloy is stronger and lighter compared to the currently used materials in gas turbine machinery. Sandia’s new superalloy is made up of:
and 4% tantalum.
It was found to be stronger at 800ºC than many other high-performance alloys, including those currently used in turbine parts, and still stronger when it was brought back down to room temperature.
The experiment was done using an Additive Manufacturing machine that quickly melts powdered metals and then immediately manufactures a sample of the alloy.
“Iron and a pinch of carbon changed the world—we have a lot of examples of where we have combined two or three elements to make a useful engineering alloy. Now, we’re starting to go into four or five or beyond within a single material. And that’s when it really starts to get interesting and challenging from materials science and metallurgical perspectives.”, said Andrew Kustas, a scientist from Sandia.
The development is said to benefit the energy industry alongside aerospace in terms of future exploration of how the superalloy or alloys, in general, may be developed for use in the automotive industry.