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Enabling Technology Project

Innovative Light-Weight Materials for the Forward Energy-Saving Society

Outline of the area

Kohmei Halada
Honarable Researcher,
National Institute for
Materials Science

Under the globalization trend of the economy, transporting equipment has started to occupy a larger position. A weight saving design for components such as pistons and the like can largely improve the energy efficiency, and also contribute to the reduction of CO2 emission, as well as reduce the weight of the mobile body in automobiles and aircrafts etc. The largest factor resulting in such a weight saving design is to employ a light-weight material. However, many of materials which are expected to be lightweight material have a relatively short history, and such material is greatly inferior to conventional material, in a comprehensive view not only of properties under a severe use environment as the mobile body and the driving portion, but also of those including cost performance and workability.
Focusing on the technological bottlenecks for the development of the future lightweight material, this present project is aiming at disseminating the developed lightweight material and greatly contributing to the reduction of CO2 emission caused by the use of products and elucidating the technology basis for problem solution. More specifically, the project encompasses strong and ductile Mg alloys compatible for Al; a new smelting process of Ti which is expensive because of its refi ning process cost while largely surpassing the specific strength and the corrosion resistance of steel; and a self-healing function for fracture-crack propagation which is unavoidable for ceramic material. In order to make the paths to solutions clear and socially implement the light-weight material and its manufacturing technology around 2030, we promote the research and development for creating their basis, while strengthening the partnership with the industry.


Innovative Development of Strong and Formable Wrought Magnesium Alloys for Light-Weight Structural Applications

Shigeharu Kamado
Professor, Nagaoka University of Technology

Innovative development of strong and formable wrought magnesium alloys for light-weight structural applications

Shinkansen model structure which is extruded with high speed using a newly developed Mg-Al-Ca-Mn based dilute alloy

In order to reduce CO2 emission from transportation vehicles by the weight reduction, strong, formable and low cost wrought Mg alloy is developed. To make it truly applicable to transportation vehicles, the developed alloy needs to have comparable room temperature formability and high strength with Al alloys. Using precipitation hardenable alloy, randomly oriented grain structure is formed to achieve the excellent formability, and nano-scale precipitates are dispersed to strengthen the final product. By establishing techniques to form such ideal microstructure based on the simulation studies and experiments, innovative wrought Mg alloys which can be used like Al alloy is developed.


Development of the Novel Ceramics Having Self-Healing Function for Turbine Blade

Wataru Nakao
Professor, Yokohama National University

We develop a self-healing ceramic with high mechanical reliability which can be applied as a jet engine member. Further, we propose and establish a new design standard utilizing damage tolerance due to the self-healing property which is the largest characteristic of the present material. By developing the unique-to-Japan light-weight and heat resistant new material, we contribute to the reduction of CO2 emission by about 15% in the world aircraft industry.

Development of the novel ceramics having self-healing function for turbine blade

Comparison between the photographs (surface photograph) prior to and after the self-healing


Advanced Heat Shielding Technology through Thermal Radiation Reflection Coating

Yutaka Kagawa
Professor, RCAST, The University of Tokyo

The goal of this project is to develop high temperature thermal radiation energy reflection coatings with extremely stable under water vapor atmosphere materials. The coating is expected to apply SiC/SiC heat resistance lightweight components in aero-engine applications. Design of multilayer coatings using interference theory between electromagnetic wave and oxide ceramic multilayer has been carried out to obtain maximum reflectance of thermal radiation energy. Potential of the designed coatings will be proved using newly developed oxide materials.


New Continuous Titanium Production Process for Utilization as Light Vehicle and High Corrosion Resistance Materials

Tetsuya Uda
Professor, Kyoto University

New continuous titanium production process for utilization as light vehicle and high corrosion resistance materials

Titanium is reduced as Bi alloy and continuously tapped out from reduction vessel. This experimental demonstration is a key point for the new continuous titanium production.

Titanium is superior in corrosive resistance and specifi c strength, and it is free of resource restriction. To establish a new production process for low cost titanium, we conduct research on a continuous process. Until now, we succeeded to obtain titanium through Bi-Ti alloy which is reduced from titanium tetrachlorides by magnesium. According to the phase diagram of Bi-Ti, solubility of Ti in Bi is 30 mol % at reduction temperature but it decreases dramatically at segregation temperature. With this unique features, we propose a new process consisting of reduction, segregation and distillation cells. At present, practical research is being conducted.

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