The European Ceramic Society


May 30, 2022

YCN Newsletter 13 : ACerS Winter Workshop Satisfaction and Research Progress on Surface Modification of Refractory Multi-Principal Element Alloys by Brady Bresnahan

The ACerS Winter Workshop took place virtually February 17 and 18 and was the first professional society workshop I attended. Going into the workshop I was nervous, like most people are when meeting new people, and was particularly skeptical about the online format.

However, within the first few minutes my nerves were relieved as we went into a few icebreaker rounds in small breakout rooms of 3-4 people. I really appreciated and enjoyed the workshop’s use of small breakout rooms during icebreaker and social sessions. They facilitated natural conversation and better interaction between participants. The variety of speakers and topics was also engaging with a good mix of technical and professional development presentations. Despite being a virtual workshop, it was insightful, engaging, and enjoyable. It was a pleasure to meet and connect with fellow ceramics researchers and I look forward to meeting some of them at the Materials Science & Technology (MS&T) conference this fall.

At the conference, I will be presenting on a novel composition gradient sintering technique for high-throughput exploration of multi-principal element alloys (MPEAs). Refractory MPEAs are of particular interest for aerospace applications, such as the leading edge of hypersonic vehicles or the interior of scam jet engines, due to their stability and high strength at elevated temperatures. However, their composition space is vast and requires high-throughput methods of exploration. Existing methods use spark plasma sintering (SPS) to form composition gradients along the shortest dimension (5 mm) of a bulk sample. The novel technique fabricates a gradient along the longest dimension of the sample (20 mm), allowing for more compositions. Additionally, SPS is a widely applicable densification process so this gradient technique could be useful for a variety of material systems.

Despite having good mechanical properties at high temperature, refractory MPEAs are prone to oxidation and require surface modifications to promote the growth of protective oxides. Another research thrust aims to explore the microstructural evolution of refractory MPEAs upon surface modification and oxidation to understand which modified layer and MPEA compositions will be the most oxidation resistant. Due to porosity issues in the gradient samples after annealing to form solid solutions, arc melting was used to fabricate samples for initial microstructural evolution studies. Hopefully, this study will conclude by MS&T so I can discuss the results and insights with my comrades from the ACerS Winter Workshop.



Brady Bresnahan,

Chemical Engineering and Materials Science Department of the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minnesota

Last news

Oct 6, 2023
YCN Newsletter 18 - New YCN Representative call

You can now apply to the YCN Representative position here! Deadline for applications is October 31st 2023.

Oct 6, 2023
Next Deadline to apply to the JECS Trust is 30th November 2023!

Please note that the decisions of the JECS Trust board will not be known before end of February 2024. Activities submitted for the deadline of 30th November 2023 for support from the JECS Trust should then not begin before mid-March 2024.


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