The objective of RMC is to create efficient platform for actors from private, public and non-governmental sectors including academia. A large number of commitments cover the entire raw material value chain carrying out actions according to the objectives of the EIP SIP, namely to boost the innovation capacity of the EU raw materials-related sectors. Individual projects alone or research institutes cannot fulfil these objectives. In RMC the partners jointly commit to co-operate and take actions enabling the full potential of primary and secondary materials.Technological objective is to substitute or reduce raw materials that are crucial for a strong European industrial base. In this commitment especially energy, aerospace and mining industries are identified industry areas were scarce elements are widely used in materials.
The Consortium will identify and develop substitutes for CRMs in energy, aerospace and mining industries. Materials used in these industries at this moment are heat resistant alloys, stainless steels and hard materials. The whole value chain is present in this RMC, covering research/development, manufacturing and end-users.
The main approach is to increase the use of suitable methods and tools for substitution research and development applied to industrial applications, such as combinatorial approaches to materials research – the consortium are aiming to develop a combinatorial workflow for systematic and efficient materials screening and development, modelling approaches and assessments such as LCA. The second approach is to combine the value chain of the actors in the raw material substitution under extreme condition, the discussion between academia and industry will be beneficial, and the added value of the networking will be boosted. Advanced development of substitutes and developing substitutes from waste can be route to develop new materials for wear applications. Activities can be divided into two main work packages firstly (work package 1) substituting or reducing the use of scarce elements in stainless steel and heat resistant superalloys used for high-performance structural elements for aerospace and energy industries and secondly (work package 2) substituting or reducing scarce elements in hard materials used for cutting tools, wear parts or in mining applications.
Work package 1: Sustainable substitution of CRMs in metal alloys (WP leader University of Burgos, Spain)
For the stainless steel and heat resistant alloys activities are targeting reduced levels of CRMs through metallurgical development including combinatorial synthesis of new alloys and demonstrate new and emerging alloys or at high temperatures thermal barrier coatings.
Work package 2: Sustainable substitution of CRMs in hard materials (WP leader VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland, Finland, task leaders Uppsala University, Sweden and University of Oulu, Finland)
Hard materials used in cutting tools and wear parts contain scarce elements such as W, Co, Ta and Nb, also less amount Cr, V and Ru. In hard materials substitutes for CRMs are developed with the value chain aspects highly evaluated, starting from manufacturing, involving verification of end users and considering recycling. The toxicity aspect of Co used as binder in hardmetals is identified and its necessity to be substituted is high. It also is expected that even new materials (such as geopolymer composites) can be developed and be substitutes for present hard materials especially in wear resistant applications. The utilisation of ash in geopolymer materials and composites and products can offer a sustainable solution. Another low energy route is direct reduction of suitable waste materials into metallic matrix composites.
In this RMC the partners jointly commit to co-operate and take actions enabling the full potential of primary and secondary raw materials in order to find the best solutions for primary CRM substitution. Through this platform intensive networking is possible which helps to mobilise a substantial part of European raw materials community. This Consortium enables multitechnological and systematic approach to materials research, and further helps to develop efficient tools and methods for substitution research.
The readiness level for new heat resistant alloys containing reduced levels of CRM’s is expected to reach TRL4-6, where new alloys may be proved technically feasible and where emerging solutions can be demonstrated at a component or system level. The development of new thermal barrier coatings, to enable the use of lower performing alloys in higher temperature environments, is expected to reach TRL3-4, where technologies can be proved feasible and enable further development and investment.
REACH has classified Co as very toxic for human health. Also, the U.S. National Toxicology program, NTP, states that the tungsten carbide-cobalt hard metal dust has been shown to be toxic. Furthermore, Europe’s hard metal industry is vulnerable due to the dominance of China who holds 85% of the W mines in the world. The Ammonium Para Tungstanate prices have doubled five times in the past 5 years. The proposed substitutions will 1) lead to less toxic substances in the environment which can affect the human health in particular and the environment in general. 2) Increase the competitiveness for Europe´s industry. The TRL as well as the number of WC/Co substitutes is estimated to increase to tolerated level in near future, including increasing the degree of sustainability.
Finding substitutes or reducing scarce element utilization in these industrial areas will have positive impacts in European level. Work package 1 will focus on industry within aerospace, turbine manufacturing, power industries, oil and gas industries will benefit the substituting solutions and will be more competitive through less dependence of CRMs. Work package 2 will focus on tooling and rock drilling industry, mining industry and wear part industry, having ultimate target on reducing wear with sustainable solutions. The commitment and the project will cover the players covering the material value chain, the concrete outcome will be new products to the market (industry), new processes and new technologies (development institutes and academia, implementation industry) and new ideas to the market (all including end-users).
OTHER: Financinal contribution (in partner profile) consists on existing contribution (national and EU) and expected EU contribution.
Coordination of EIP. Sustainable material desing and modeling, ecodesign, powder technology expertise and facilities, powder production, consolidation and coating facilities. Material performance testing and characterisation, wear, friction, corrosion, tribocorrosion, fatique.