CE06 - Polymères, composites, physique et chimie de la matière molle, procédés

Association of rigidity of Metal and UHMWPE impact resistance by flash sintering – ARMURES

Submission summary

A material with strong rigidity and huge ductility and impact energy resistance is some kind of “graal” in the material science. In this project we propose a path toward this objective by combing the ultra-high-molecular weight polyethylene (UHMWPE) outstanding properties of impact and wear resistance with the metal rigidity. Such composite approaches are often challenged by processing issues such as the process temperature. In ARMURES project we propose to overcome these difficulties by using rapid sintering approaches. The choice of UHMWPE is essentially driven by its exceptional resilience properties, but it exhibits a relatively low stiffness (less than 1 GPa) due to medium crystallinity which justifies a metallic reinforcement. The choice of a metal is driven by its strong rigidity but also by the fact that it enables plastic deformation.
The goal of the project is to develop new composites made of a double polymer/metal network, co-continuous or not by flash sintering, in order to explore a very broad ductility/rigidity spectrum. Moreover, the development of UHMWPE flash sintering is also linked to fundamental scientific questions such as the very long chain diffusion mechanisms, particularly by “melting explosion”.
The chosen strategy is to start from the two following extreme situations:
- Metal micro or nano particles dispersed in UHMWPE powder. Metallic particles (ferromagnetic) will allow induction heating, and so UHMWPE sintering in very short times and will strengthen the material. The relation process/microstructure/ properties will be preliminary evaluated at room temperature and then above UHMWPE’s melting temperature. This analysis, coupled with molecular dynamics modeling, will enable to advance in the understanding of the melting explosion mechanisms which are the main supposed mechanisms for UHMWPE nascent powder sintering.
- A preliminary fabrication of metallic architectured materials which will then be filled with UHMWPE powder. The metallic material will thus be the vector of the heating by Joules effect or induction of UHMWPE powder allowing the sintering. These composites will therefore be co-continuous with a relatively well-controlled microstructure. These composites will be widely analyzed in terms of structure properties relations.
In addition, the possibility of merging the advantages of the two previous strategies will be evaluated by trying a simultaneous sintering of low melting point metals and UHMWPE. This attempt, if it works, will be the first sintering metal/polymer material achieved in one step.
Finally, the best composites obtained will be evaluated especially in terms of hydrodynamic cavitation resistance in view of applications such as marine or pumps propeller blades.

Project coordination

Olivier LAME (Matériaux : Ingénierie et Science)

The author of this summary is the project coordinator, who is responsible for the content of this summary. The ANR declines any responsibility as for its contents.

Partner

MATEIS Matériaux : Ingénierie et Science
UMET Unité Matériaux et Transformations

Help of the ANR 402,640 euros
Beginning and duration of the scientific project: - 42 Months

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