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High entropy alloys (HEAs) for targeted additive manufacturing aerospace applications

The HEAT-AM project aims to develop computer-assisted alloy design approaches in additive manufacturing (AM), to significantly reduce cost and lead-time for new alloy development.  The new approaches are intended to replace current, conventional, trial and error methods of design, which can result in alloys being susceptible to cracking  and detrimental processes such as porosity formation and oxidation, all of which prevent practical implementation in AM.

HEAs are defined as alloys containing five or more principal elements with random occupation.  When used in aerospace applications, it is essential that HEAs are lightweight with low thermal conductivity and radiation resistance.  This makes it imperative to exploit feasible alloying systems, to address the bottleneck of material constraints that currently exists when seeking to advance the technological aspects AM for aerospace.  Therefore, HEAT-AM will look at novel, conceptual, HEAs as a possible solution to the issue, utilising CALPHAD (CALculation of PHAse Diagrams) and machine learning to achieve its objectives.

Partners: Metal Powder Emergence Limited (MPE), who is also the Lead Partner, LSN Diffusion (LSN) and the Materials Innovation Centre (University of Leicester).

HEAT-AM secured funding through the ‘NATEP helping SMEs innovate in aerospace’ competition which is held approximately every 6 months.  Funding is awarded through Innovate UK, working with the Aerospace Technology Institute (ATI) and the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS).  NATEP looks for innovative technologies such as zero-carbon emission and ultra-efficient aircraft, and cross-cutting enabling technologies in the civil aerospace sector.

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