TSU scientists have developed an analog of slippery ceramics
17.10.2019

TSU scientists have developed a synthesis technology for the domestic analog of slippery ceramics AlMgB14 (aluminum-magnesium-boron). In the samples obtained, with 97% of AlMgB14 compound and 3% of impurities, the hardness of the alloy obtained is 32 GPa. Devices with accessories from this material, for example, refrigerators and pumps, will make less noise, as the friction of the parts will decrease.

The initiator of the project is Ilya Zhukov, a senior researcher at the Laboratory of High-Energy and Special Materials at TSU.

- In graduate school, my work was devoted to ceramic materials, then at a scientific conference I heard about the AlMgB14 compound, which no one does in Russia, and I became interested in synthesizing it. It has a unique property: it is self-lubricating because its friction coefficient is 2 times less than that of Teflon. Moreover, it has an abnormal hardness of 32 GPa, - said Ilya Zhukov. - We made samples with 97% AlMgB14 and 3% impurities. This was quite repeatable, and we checked the hardness - it turned out to be 32 GPa, as the international authors have obtained, and the coefficient of friction was less than 0.07.

According to the scientist, they confirmed in practice what American groups demonstrate in publications and developed their methodology and unique powders that serve as sources for the synthesis of AlMgB14. Physicists produce Al and Mg powders, which helps to achieve a minimum of impurities.

- We will check the mechanical properties of the alloy, the coefficient of friction, and reduce porosity, -said Ilya Zhukov. - The problem with all ceramics is that they are porous. It is very difficult to make them nonporous, but this will increase the physical and mechanical characteristics of ceramics (increase hardness and reduce the coefficient of friction). We also will use spark plasma sintering methods. In theory, this should give nonporous slippery ceramics.

Ilya Zhukov said that the new material can be used in many industries: engineering, aircraft manufacturing, household appliances, and others. For example, by reducing friction, slippery ceramics can reduce the noise level of any pump. Refrigerators, air conditioners, and other equipment will become not only quieter and more durable, but also energy efficient: energy consumption can decrease by several times, while the wear resistance of pump parts will increase.