Field effects in processing lightweight materials with superior mechanical properties and microstructures
Award last edited on: 11/25/2015

Sponsored Program
Awarding Agency
DOD : Army
Total Award Amount
Award Phase
Solicitation Topic Code
Principal Investigator
Bhanumathi "Bhanu" Chelluri

Company Information

IAP Research Inc (AKA: Iap)

2763 Culver Avenue
Dayton, OH 45429
   (937) 296-1806
Location: Single
Congr. District: 10
County: Montgomery

Phase I

Contract Number: ----------
Start Date: ----    Completed: ----
Phase I year
Phase I Amount
The application of magnetic fields in processing metals and alloys has shown the potential to alter grain boundary kinetics, modify phase diagrams, as well as lower sintering and heat treat temperatures. The resulting property improvements have not been realized with current conventional methods. However, detailed studies to understand the mechanisms underlying the improvements and implementation as well as production scale up of such processes are only beginning to emerge. The proposed project develops the execution and understanding of the use of pulse magnetic fields to compact lightweight powder materials coupled with field sintering to enhance their mechanical and microstructural properties. The resulting improvements in mechanical properties via pulse field compaction combined with electric and magnetic field sintering will be evaluated for aluminum metal powders. Such powder material parts with optimal processing conditions will be developed for suitable DOD and commercial applications. Lightweight metals and alloys with superior strength and microstructure could substitute for steel in numerous transportation, energy and military applications such as in automotive /aerospace parts, lightweight armor, and projectiles.

Phase II

Contract Number: ----------
Start Date: ----    Completed: ----
Phase II year
Phase II Amount
Innovative methods are required for the processing of aluminum alloys with ultra-high strength and ductility for wide usage in energy savings and light weighting in many DOD and commercial applications. Conventional techniques for achieving the range of chemical and physical material properties have reached a plateau and are producing only incremental improvements. This SBIR Phase II project, proposes an innovative processing approach of powder compaction and sintering with fields to process ultra-high strength aluminum alloys with strength properties that are double that of wrought materials. The method involves blending aluminum powder alloys with alnico (magnetic particles) as reinforcement, powder alignment during green body forming, and subsequent field assisted sintering approaches for full densification and grain boundary engineering for higher strength, ductility, and texture. The project also establishes commercial viability for production at the conclusion of Phase II. The Phase I results have demonstrated that aluminum alloys processed via this route have 50 % higher strength than conventional press and sintered alloys of the same base composition. The processing approach can be suitably developed for other light-weight alloys such as magnesium and titanium.