Next generation Metallic materials and Alloy with higher energy devices, low cost, long lifetime, and reduced rare earth content or rare earth free, require the investigation of unknown alloy systems and a vast amount of experiments. High throughput and combinatorial experimental technologies are finding their applications in novel amorphous materials and alloy research. MTI Corporation’s effort on developing a high throughput bulk materials production line for novel metallic material and alloy research are reviewed and discussed.
MTI Corporation’s high throughput bulk materials production line is designed for novel amorphous materials and alloy research with 32 samples up to 10 gram in one automatic run. The first step is an automatic dispensing of solid powders. Four or more powder dispensing heads and balances, with one dispensing head for each material component, is integrated with a carousel-type sample changer for automatic powder dispensing with varying ratios between different material components. The second step is the ball milling of the as-dispensed powder samples. With 4 sets of 4 cavity milling jars, totally 16 parallel ball milling experiments of 10 g samples can be carried out in a planetary ball mill machine. The mixed powder samples are then pellet pressed by a 10-ton electric hydraulic press with a carrousel type sample changer. Next, there are 3 different methods for the melting processing: Melt Spinning, Arc Melting, and Induction Heating. In the melt spinning, metal ingots are melted via induction heating method and then propelled by over pressurizing the crucible. A thin stream of molten is then dropped onto a fast moving surface of a cold copper drum. This causes rapid quenching & solidification of the molten and thus form the liquid metal alloy. For Arc melting, the pellet samples are loaded onto the 32-cavity copper crucible of an automatic high throughput arc melting system integrated with a glove box for preparing the bulk alloy samples. However, induction melting is slower. The pellet samples are loaded onto the sixteen 6 mm diameter gravities high purity graphite crucible. Three-layer special design refractory liner could withstand the 2200°C high temperature. Then, a compact 16-channel tube furnace up to 1100 °C is employed for sintering, annealing, or quenching. Later on, the high precision diamond wire saw with the swing rotary sample fixture and microscope monitor provides the low-stress cut and the 16 samples automatic polishing machine is used for lapping and polishing. Finally, the elemental compositions of bulk samples are high throughput analyzed by an X-ray fluorescence (XRF) scanning system for providing instant feedback to the synthesis/processing steps
High-throughput experimental solutions increase productivity by 16 times.
Existing experimental techniques are modified for high-throughput application.
Novel melt spinning and arc melting processes enable reduced processing time and low production cost.