Funding: European Union, Horizon 2020 Programme (Grant Agreement 689510)
Partners: National Technical University of Athens (Project Coordinator), Elastotec GmbH Elastomertechniken, Kochanek Entwicklungsgesellschaft, IMDEA Materials Institute, Technica Univerzita V Liberci, Access e.V., Open Source Management Limited, CES Operations AS, Freni BREMBO Spa, and Yunzhnoye Design Office named after Mikhail Yangel
Region: Europe
Project period: 2016 – 2019
Principal Investigator: Dr. Srdjan Milenkovic (srdjan.milenkovic@imdea.org)
Project website: http://equinox-project.eu/

There is a need to find solutions to replace Critical Raw Materials (CRMs) such as Chromium, Nickel, Molybdenium and Vanadium in high volume end consumer products. Steels and superalloys with considerable amounts of these CRMs are widely used in many industrial applications, particularly under extreme conditions where corrosion and wear resistance are needed. It is generally accepted, that intermetallics in particular low cost FeAl offer outstanding material properties. Unfortunately, it is difficult to translate their properties to real products, as intermetallics suffer from low ductility at ambient temperature and poor machinability. The impact of FeAl intermetallics as a low cost Cr-free alternative for stainless steel would therefore be much higher if a cost effective industrial process would be available, that allows to manufacture complex 3-D geometries of almost unlimited shapes from small grain size (0.1-5 microns) high ductility material.

The main objective of EQUINOX is to develop a novel process that allows to substitute Cr/Ni based (stainless) steel parts used in high volume end consumer products such as in the lock industry, electronics, process industry and automotive industry with a novel near net shape production technology for a new class of highly advanced ductile Fe-Al based intermetallics. Ductility at low to medium temperatures, while maintaining good tensile strength and optimum level of residual stress will be based on a radical new production process that use abundant raw material Fe3O4 and Al2O3.

IMDEA Materials Institute’s main role in EQUINOX will be to develop a reactive infiltration process with and without the application of pressure. Presureless infiltration will be performed by drop casting and immersion method; while pressure assisted methods will include suction and centrifugal casting.

Funded by