75 New Superalloys

It could revolutionize the way metals are used

Excellent mechanical properties at high temperatures.


75 new superalloys ID: 2015-063 Principal Investigator: Gus Hart BYU has developed 75 new superalloys which could revolutionize the way metals are used. Superalloys are special type of metal that have excellent mechanical properties at high temperatures. Because of this they are commonly used to build components of jet engines. The hotter these components can operate, the more efficient the engines become. Sadly, the discovery of new metals has been historically slow and tedious, with researchers trying one new metal at a time. With recent advances in supercomputing, we are able to explore hundreds of new alloys at a time. Using BYU’s Mary-Lou supercomputer, we are able to model how materials behave at an atomic level. This has enabled us to explore new alloys. Typically, superalloys are based in one of 3 metals, (Nickel, Iron, Cobalt) with the majority of the commercially used alloys containing Nickel. In 2006 scientists in Japan developed a Cobalt based metal that performs on the level of the contemporary commercial Nickel alloys. This atypical metal composition inspired us to study what makes it better than existing commercial superalloys. Using the atomic structure of this metal as a template, we performed quantum mechanical calculations over 2224 different systems looking for candidates for new superalloys. Of the 2224 alloys we explored, we found that 174 of these metals are better than the 2006 Cobalt alloy that we based our study on. Of the 174, we found that 75 of these superalloys are completely new, with no reference in scientific literature. About the Market: The aviation and power generation industries are the largest consumers of superalloys. BYU's new advances. In superalloys will directly benefit these industries and any other industries where metals require excellent mechanical properties at high temperatures.    

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