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Physical processing of molten light alloys under the influence of external fields


Project timeline
June 2012
50 months
July 2016
General Information
The EXOMET proposal revolves around innovative liquid metal engineering and the application of external physical fields, in order to significantly influence the microstructures and properties of light alloys, such as aluminium and magnesium. Three types of external fields will be explored, namely: electromagnetic, ultrasonic and intensive mechanical shearing.
To meet the future EU challenges of lightweighting and pollution reduction, especially relevant in transportation, it is necessary to improve the castability of light alloys, to enhance grain and eutectic refinement in monolithic alloys, and to develop new high-strength nanocomposites using nano-reinforcers which have only recently become available. Significant mechanical property improvements are foreseen in ExoMet - including a 50% increase in tensile strength and ductility, as well as creep resistance up to 300-350 degC (currently limited to about 200 degC in Al and Mg alloys). This applies to both shape castings and wrought products like extruded profiles, bar, cable, sheet and plate.
Manufacturing scale-up will be tackled in EXOMET, using a variety of techniques such as low and high-pressure die casting, sand casting, investment casting, differential-presssure casting, twin-roll casting, ultrasound-assisted casting and twin-shear casting. The application of external fields to these industrial techniques is novel and would bring about major savings in energy, scrap and processing cost. Having developed the field-enabled processes and produced high-quality light alloys and nanocomposites, the next stage of EXOMET will be prototypying and the assessment of industrial applications in four selected commercial sectors: (i) automotive powertrain and chassis, (ii) aircraft and aero-engine structures, (iii) space satellite and rockets, and (iv) high-strength high-conductivity Al electrical cabling. Computer modelling, rig-testing, standardisation, life-cycle analysis and patenting will also be undertaken.
EU-Programme Acronym and Subprogramme AreaNMP-2011-LARGE-5; NMP.2011.4.0-1
Project TypeLarge-Scale Integrating Collaborative Project
Contract NumberGrant Agreement 280421
Co-ordinatorEuropean Space Agency (FR)
Total Eligible Costs (€) Hereon Eligible Costs (€) EC Funding for Hereon (€)
Contact Person at Hereon Dr. Hajo Dieringa, Institute of Material and Process Design, Phone: +49 4152 87 1955
E-mail contact
Worldwide Europe

ALD Vacuum Technologies GmbH (DE), AVIO S.p.A (IT), Brabant Alucast International B.V. (NL), Brunel University (UK), Calcom ESI (CH), Centro Ricerche Fiat S.C.p.A. (IT), EADS Deutschland GmbH (DE), European SPace Agency - Physical Science Unit (NL), GIE EADS CCR (FR), Grenoble Institute of Technology (FR), IMDEA-Materials (ES), INASMET Tecnalia San Sebastián (ES), London & Scandinavian Metallurgical Co. Ltd. (UK), Norsk Hydro ASA (NO), Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NO), Politecnico di Torino (IT), PRECER AB (SE), Research Institute for Solid State Physics and Optics of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences (HU), Steinbeis-Transferzentrum Advanced Risk Technologies (R-Tech) (DE), The University of Queensland (AU), Tomsk State University (RU), Université de Rouen, Sciences et Techniques (FR), University of Birmingham (UK), University of Greenwich (UK), University of Manchester (UK), Volvo Technology Corporation (SE)
Last Update: 11. December 2023