CMI Technologies with Alloys

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CMI researchers have created many invention disclosures and filed dozens of patent applications. This page lists technologies related to alloys, which also are on the complete list of CMI invention disclosures. These are available for licensing. For CMI technology transfer, licensing or commercial inquiries, please contact Stacy Joiner at the Ames Laboratory 515-294-5932 or CMIaffiliates@ameslab.gov.

  • Castable High-Temperature Ce-Modified Al Alloys
    Patent issued May 2018 #9,963,770 | Exclusive license issued
    The invention comprises castable Ce-modified Al alloys that have the ability to fill a vacant spot in the aluminum alloys family. The alloy maintains its mechanical properties to a higher temperature than currently available alloys and thus creates a high temperature aluminum alloy with mechanical characteristic improvements upwards of 30 percent over other Al alloys in similar high temperature applications. Cerium modification of aluminum alloys will serve to create an as of yet unseen opportunity for aluminum alloys to be utilized in high temperature applications; where before, such an application was limited to much denser and thus heavier alloys.
     
  • Eutectic Alloy Compositions to Improve the Coercivity and Density of Binder Jet Printed Bonded Magnets
    Bonded magnets have experienced a rapid increased usage in automobiles owing to their superior advantages such as complex shape, light weight, cost effective, etc. In this invention, a binder jetting Additive Manufacturing technique is employed to fabricate bonded magnets, followed by a process with eutectic alloys in an attempt to enhance the mechanical and magnetic strength of the magnet product.
     
  • Surface-Hardened Al-Ce Alloys and Methods of Making the Same
    Patent issued March 2020 #10,584,403 | link to licensing information
    Aluminum-cerium alloys that can be surface treated are important for certain applications where wear resistance is important. Through novel surface refining techniques it is possible to create a very hard surface morphology while maintaining a ductile bulk system. In addition, the surface morphology is stable during long term high-temperature exposure; an important property for materials which will be exposed to high wear scenarios. This invention includes surface-hardened aluminum-cerium alloys and methods of making the same.
     
  • Al-Ce Alloy for Additive Manufacturing
    Patent issued September 2020 #10,760,148link to licensing information
    This invention comprises a range of Al-Ce alloys for use in laser additive manufacturing. Additive manufacturing processes produce fine alloy microstructures due to the characteristic high cooling rates. These fine structures improve mechanical properties relative to cast structure. In other Al alloy systems however, these structures are inherently unstable. Al-Ce alloys on the other hand show good thermal stability and an ability to retain these fine structures during long periods of time at elevated temperatures, such as though experienced during additive manufacturing due to the layer-by-layer nature of the process. Furthermore, the alloys are designed specifically for additive manufacturing in order to enable local microstructure selection via the manipulation of process parameters allowing for the tailoring of properties at specific locations within a component.
     
  • Die-Cast Aluminum-Cerium Alloy
    Patent application filed | link to licensing information
    The purpose-formulated alloy includes a REE coproduct that is co-located with critical materials in domestic REE mines. Increased demand for the coproduct would improve profitability of REE mining and processing operations.  Additionally, compared to existing technologies, use of the alloy may result in significant cost, energy, and emissions reductions by eliminating or reducing required post-casting processing. The alloy may also have increased heat tolerance and corrosion resistance when compared to current technologies. The alloy includes REE coproducts combined with traditional aluminum alloying elements to improve mechanical properties of die-cast parts.
     
  • Cerium, Cobalt and Copper Alloy doped with Tantalum and/or Iron as a Permanent Magnet Material
    Provisional Patent Application Filed
    A series of 1:5-type cerium, cobalt and copper alloys doped with Iron and Ta which retain or/and improve magnetic characteristics of typical 1 :5-type isotropic permanent magnets and represent a more economical and more favorable alternative to Sm-based magnets with respect to both material and processing costs.  The purpose of this invention is to develop a "GAP MAGNET" that utilizes widely available and inexpensive Ce, which is a more affordable alternative to critical rare-earths, which makes the magnet significantly cheaper and less supply dependent, and yet successfully performs within the niche of energy products that exists between present-day low-flux and high-flux magnets. 
     
  • Cerium - Cerium-rich – Rare Earth, Cobalt and Magnesium Alloy doped with Iron as a Permanent Magnet Material
    Patent application filed
    A series of 1:3-type cerium, cerium-rich rare earth cobalt and magnesium alloys doped with iron that retain and/or improve magnetic characteristics of typical commercial high-flux isotropic permanent magnets and represent economically more favorable alternative to rare-earth-based magnets with respect to both material and processing costs.  The purpose of this invention is to develop a Co-lean “GAP MAGNET” that also utilizes widely available and inexpensive Ce as a more affordable alternative to critical rare-earths, making the magnet significantly cheaper and less supply dependent.
     
  • High-performance Al-Ce Alloys Synthesized via Consolidation of Powder/particulate Precursors
    This invention comprises a range of Al-Ce alloys that have been consolidated by different techniques using powders or particulates as the precursor material. The combination of good processability combined with excellent mechanical properties without the need for post heat treatments makes these Al-Ce alloys consolidated from powder/particulate precursors ideal for numerous engineering applications.
     
  • Method for Synthesizing High Performance Mg Alloys
    A method to synthesize high performance Mg-based alloys (e.g., excellent elevated temperature mechanical behavior) using recycled rare earth extracted from scrap material. The method provides a low-cost method to control the structure and properties of Mg-based alloys through the addition of certain elements.
     
  • Integranular Corrosion Reduction in Al Alloys
    Patent application filed
    Impact of additions on integranular corrosion of Al alloys, most especially those containing Cu. The addition is pushed during solidification of these alloys, disrupting mechanisms that causes integranular corrosion. This invention has significant implications for the development of high strength Al alloys that are used in corrosive and aqueous environments.
     
  • One Step Synthesis Process for the Preparation of Samarium-Cobalt Alloy Powder and Nickel-Cobalt Alloy Powder
    Patent application filed
    An new manufacturing process to prepare samarium-cobalt and nickel-cobalt alloy powders for a variety of purposes. The processes uses the electrochemical co-reduction of mixed oxides in a molten salt electrolytic bath. The alloy powder, after removal of the adherent salt, can be directly used for the fabrication of magnets into desired shapes. The actual experimental process involves (i) soaking the mixed oxides in molten calcium chloride salt and (ii) initiating the subsequent reduction of the oxide(s) by applying a suitable potential.
     
  • Al-Light Rare Earth Coatings for Oxidation and Corrosion Resistance
    Patent application filed
    This invention comprises the use of Light Rare Earth (LRE = Ce, La, mischmetal) elements to modify commercial Al alloys (e.g., Cu containing) for enhanced corrosion resistance. It also includes produce monolithic Al-LRE-based alloys for use as protective coatings to inhibit corrosion of underlying substrate. This technology has the potential to greatly improve the corrosion resistance of exiting Al alloys, but also improve the economics of Al recycling by enabling higher tolerances to alloying additions that would normally be detrimental to corrosion.
     
  • Al-Ce-Based Metal-Matrix Composites
    We have developed a series of aluminum-light rare earth-based metal-matrix-composites (MMCs) that can be processed by multiple techniques including casting (e.g., sand or die), additive manufacturing (e.g., laser powder bed) or thermomechanical consolidation (e.g., extrusion, hipping and forging). The composites use Ce, La, Sm or Mischmetal, and exhibit a strong and ductile matrix phase consisting of multiple phases, along with other possible metastable phases. 
     
  • High Performance Al-Ce Alloys Synthesized via Consolidation of Powder/Particulate
    Patent application filed
    This invention comprises a range of Al-Ce alloys that have been consolidated. The cooling rate of the synthesis techniques yields a fine microstructure in the powder or particulate, which can be readily retained during consolidation due to the exceptional thermal stability of the alloys. The consolidation techniques utilize varying amounts of thermal and/or mechanical energy to produce highly dense structures with second-phase particles distributed within an Aluminum-rich matrix.
     
  • Production of Castable Light Rare Earth Rich Light Metal Alloys from Direct Reduction Processes
    Patent application filed
    Much of the aluminum alloy market is highly cost sensitive and many application choose to use lower cost heavier materials rather than adopting aluminum. Additionally, rare earth mining operations result in the abundant production of waste materials rich in light rare earth elements, but which are no economical to refine further. These precursor materials can be used in combination with light metals to directly reduce the precursor creating a light metal, rare earth alloy. Also these alloys, because of the extreme low cost of the precursor compounds, can be produced for less than the cost of scrap recycled or primary aluminum.
     
  • Method to Fabricate High-Density and Strength Magnetic Alloy 
    Patent application filed
    Proposed concept to design, develop, and implement a scalable manufacturing process to fabricate Fe with 6 percent Si steel with high magnetization, high electrical resistivity, high permeability and low coercivity. The proposed process uses manufacturing methods to print near net-shape Fe-Si magnets.
     
  • Al-Ce Alloy Compositions with Improved Physical Properties Designed Using CALPHAD
    Based on thermodynamic informed modeling using CALPHAD method (CALculation of PHAse Diagrams), identified Al-Ce alloys of specific compositions intended to optimize properties for advanced manufacturing. Mechanical testing shows that these alloys exhibit increased strength and improvements in ductility for high-temperature and light-weight materials applications. 
     
  • High Temperature Al Alloys Containing Recycled Rare Earth Metals
    Method to synthesize high performance Al-based alloys (e.g., excellent elevated temperature mechanical behavior) using recycled rare earths extracted from scrap material. Provides a low-cost method to control the structure and properties of Al-based alloys through the addition of RE elements.
     
  • Thermodynamically Informed Design of Rare-Earth Aluminum Casting Alloys with Additive Manufacturing Applications
    Al-Ce alloys of specific compositions intended to optimize properties for advanced manufacturing are based on thermodynamic informed modeling using CALPHAD method (CALculation of PHAse Diagrams). Mechanical testing shows that these alloys exhibit increased strength and improvements in ductility for high-temperature and light-weight materials applications.