The NoStraDAMUS Project

(Novel Strategies for Designing Alloyed Metals; University of Sheffield)

Metallic alloys have been developed for centuries, even millennia, with some discovered by chance and others formulated by design. The NoStraDAMUS project will develop a systematic and theoretical approach to discovering new alloy systems, with practical significance to a broad range of industries.

The approach investigates the ability of different element combinations to mix, highlighting 'hot-spots' where there may be a strong possibility of forming binary alloys. Avoiding regions with limited miscibility, or where it does not occur, can greatly reduce the number of combinations to consider for further investigation.

Dr Russell Goodall has compiled data from hundreds of sources to develop a database of solid solubilities of the first 83 elements in the periodic table (this data has been published as Data in Brief).

Solid Solubilities Chart

Preview of Solid Solubilities Chart

Click here to see the interactive chart that shows these elements, by period, and how well they mix with each other - by clicking on, or hovering over, the different elements you can see how well different elements will dissolve into that element. 

Many alloy systems have been well researched and are in common use, but many more combinations have never been attempted. Considering the possibilities of ternary, quaternary and quinary alloy systems, the number of possible combinations becomes mind-boggling. Untested alloys are an unknown quantity - we should be able to predict the properties we would expect (strength, ductility, corrosion resistance, etc), but until we try, we won't know for certain. The purpose of the NoStraDAMUS project is to develop a process whereby untested alloy systems can be identified and further researched.

Why are new alloy systems important?

The drive to identify new alloy systems is the possibility of discovering a step-change in performance. While experimenting with existing alloy may bring about the potential for iterative improvements, we are walking into the unknown when it comes to untested alloys. We should be able to predict the types of properties (strength, ductility, corrosion resistance, etc) we would expect, but until we try, we will not know for certain.

Once potential alloy systems are identified, researchers within our department use computational modelling to simulate alloy development. Alloy formulations are modelled to determine a theoretical outcome, and any promising alloy systems can then be prototyped.

The work of the fellowship and future research activities will look beyond physical prototype alloy development, to working with industrial partners to investigate applications where alloys could address issues that they face within their industry. This has already attracted interest from organisations within the aerospace, automotive, energy and precision engineering sectors, and work is underway to look at alternatives to the high-performance materials in general use today.

The NoStraDAMUS Project is run by Dr Russell Goodall, and relates to his Leverhulme Research Fellowship - one of Dr Goodall's research interests is the development of High Entropy Alloys, to which the NoStraDAMUS project will contribute greatly.

The research group comprises a number of PhD researchers:

Liam Hardwick
Shaiful Ismail
Piyanut Muanftong
Dhinisa Patel
Paul Stavroulakis
Matthew Way

Research projects

The development of brazing filler metals for innovative applications

Researcher: Matt Way
Industrial Sponsor: Johnson Matthey
Description: My PhD focuses on the development of brazing filler metals for innovative applications such as the joining of thermoelectrics. A brazing filler metal is a sort of high-temperature metal glue which when heated above its melting point will become molten, flow between two pieces of material and then, when allowed to solidify, will join them together (similar to soldering). Thermoelectric devices can convert heat into electricity and as such hold promise for improving the fuel efficiency of cars by recycling waste heat from exhaust gases into electricity which can be used within the car. My PhD focuses on the development of brazing filler metals for innovative applications such as the joining of thermoelectrics.

Corrosion behaviour and mechanical properties of high entropy alloys

Researcher: Piyanut Muangtong
Description: Ms Piyanut Muangtong is exploring the corrosion behaviour and mechanical properties of high entropy alloys in CoCrFeNi-X system for operation in corrosive environments.

Development of novel nickel-based brazing alloys

Researcher: Liam Hardwick (co-supervisor Ed Pickering, Manchester University)
Industrial Sponsor: VBC Group
Description: My project is focused on the development of novel nickel-based brazing alloys, primarily for the joining of nickel-based superalloys. Current nickel-based brazing alloys often contain boron, silicon or phosphorus in order to achieve a desired melting point. However, these elements can lead to the formation of brittle phases in the joint, potentially compromising the mechanical performance. This project is looking at potential replacement elements to avoid such phases, and novel compositions using concepts such as High Entropy Alloys, a class of alloys containing roughly equiatomic amounts of 5 or more elements.

Design of lightweight high-stiffness alloys

Researcher: Paul Stavroulakis (cosupervisor Colin Freeman)
Industrial Sponsor: VW Group
Description: High Entropy Alloys (HEA) are multicomponent alloys which typically consist of at least four or five principal alloying elements; allowing for extensive tailor-made alloy design for a wide range of applications. My project looks to utilise the property flexibility of HEAs towards the design of lightweight high-stiffness alloys through first-principles simulations, for application within the automotive sector.

Novel High Entropy Alloys for high temperature nuclear fusion reactor structural components

Researcher: Dhinisa Patel (second supervisor with Amy Gandy)
Industrial Sponsor: Culham Centre for Fusion Energy
Description: The focus of this research is to design and fabricate novel High Entropy Alloys (HEAs) for high temperature structural components for the first wall of a nuclear fusion reactor. A relatively new class of alloys, HEAs comprise several elements (often 5 or more) in similar amounts, as opposed to conventional alloys which are based around one or two principal metals. This can lead to a number of interesting and attractive material properties, including high strength and temperature stability. The aim of this work is to investigate their response to radiation damage and to determine their thermal stability and hence their suitability as candidate materials

Fabricating porous copper for heatsink applications

Researcher: Shaiful Ismail
Description: My research is about fabricating porous copper for heatsink applications. The manufacturing process is metal injection combined with a “space holder” to create the pore structure. Copper powder is blended together with potassium chloride (KCl) and the mixture is injected into a mould to form a specific shape (normally a cylinder in this work). The KCl powder is then removed by dissolving in water before sintering the samples in order to strengthen the structure. The pores reproduce the shape and size of the KCl particles used.

 Relevant publications

Links to publications
Russell Goodall (2019), Data of the maximum solid solubility limits of binary systems of elements, Data in Brief,
Matthew Way, Jack Willingham & Russell Goodall (2019) "Brazing filler metals", International Materials Reviews, DOI: 10.1080/09506608.2019.1613311
Alexander J.Mackie, Julian S.Dean, Russell Goodall, “Material and magnetic properties of Sm2(Co, Fe, Cu, Zr)17 permanent magnets processed by Spark Plasma Sintering”, Journal of Alloys and Compounds, 770 (2019) 765-770 (Open Access)
Marco G Poletti, Conor M. McCaughey, Gianluca Fiore, Russell Goodall, Livio Battezzati “Refractory high entropy alloys: CrMoNbTiVWZr and AlxCryNbMoTiVzZry (x = 0,0.6;y = 0.3,z = 0,0.6)” International Journal of Refractory Metals & Hard Materials 76 (2018) 128–133
Zhaoyuan Leong, Iain Todd, and Russell Goodall, “Structural dependency of some multiple principal component alloys with the Thomas-Fermi-Dirac electron density”, Scripta Materialia, 146 (2018) 95-99
Zhaoyuan Leong, Yuhe Huang, Russell Goodall, Iain Todd “Electronegativity and enthalpy of mixing biplots for High Entropy Alloy solid solution prediction”, Materials Chemistry and Physics, 210 (2018) 259-268
Zhaoyuan Leong, Jan S. Wróbel, Sergei L. Dudarev, Russell Goodall, Iain Todd, Duc Nguyen-Manh “The Effect of Electronic Structure on the Phases Present in High Entropy Alloys”, Scientific Reports 7 (2017) 39803
G Anand, R Goodall, CL Freeman, “Role of configurational entropy in body-centred cubic or face-centred cubic phase formation in high entropy alloys”, Scripta Materialia, 124 (2016) 90-94
U. Dahlborg, J. Cornide, M. Calvo-Dahlborg, T.C. Hansen, A. Fitch, Z. Leong, S. Chambreland, R. Goodall, “Structure of some CoCrFeNi and CoCrFeNiPd multicomponent HEA alloys by diffraction techniques” Journal of Alloys and Compounds 681 (2016) 330-341
Alexander J. Mackie, Gareth D. Hatton, Hugh G.C. Hamilton, Julian S. Dean, Russell Goodall, “Carbon uptake in Spark Plasma Sintering (SPS) processed Sm(Co, Fe, Cu, Zr)z”, Materials Letters 171 (2016) 14-17 (Open Access)
U. Dahlborg, J. Cornide, M. Calvo-Dahlborg, T.C. Hansen, Z. Leong, L. Asensio Dominguez, S. Chambreland, A. Cunliffe, R. Goodall, I. Todd “Crystalline Structures of Some High Entropy Alloys Obtained by Neutron and X-Ray Diffraction” Acta Physica Polonica 128(4) (2015) 552-557
J. Cornide, M. Calvo-Dahlborg, S. Chambreland, L. Asensio Dominguez, Z. Leong, U. Dahlborg, A. Cunliffe, R. Goodall, I. Todd “Combined Atom Probe Tomography and TEM Investigations of CoCrFeNi, CoCrFeNi-Pd x (x=0.5, 1.0, 1.5) and CoCrFeNi-Sn” Acta Physica Polonica 128(4) (2015) 557-561.
L Asensio Dominguez, R Goodall, I Todd, “Prediction and validation of quaternary High-Entropy Alloys using statistical approaches”, Materials Science and Technology, 31(10) (2015) 1201-1206


M Way & R Goodall, Patent application number GB 1819832.5, filing date 5th December 2018

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