Super-hard alloy developed for mining in the Arctic
NUST MISIS together with partners have developed a new generation of superhard alloys for mining equipment. The tools and machines made from them will be used for mining in extreme conditions of the Arctic, the project manager, professor at the university, Evgeny Levashov said.
It is noted that scientists, as part of the state program for the development of the Arctic, have developed fundamentally new coarse-grained hard alloys that doubled the strength and wear resistance of mining equipment. These materials have a special structure with several levels of hierarchy. This means that the material contains structural components with very different grain sizes - from 6-8 micrometers to 10 nanometers.
"The development is a technology for the production of a new generation of coarse-grained hard alloys with a uniform structure with rounded tungsten carbide grains and a nanomodified cobalt binder. Due to the introduction of functional alloying additives and optimization of manufacturing conditions, reinforcing plate-shaped nanoparticles with a characteristic size of 4-5 nanometers are released in a plastic cobalt bond. This provides a simultaneous increase in crack resistance, strength and wear resistance of the material", – Levashov explained.
Industrial tests of the new alloy were carried out at the end of November 2019 at the Polysaevskaya mine, developed by the SUEK coal mining company. During tests at a depth of 250 meters, more than 700 cubic meters of rock were processed. Mining tools made of new hard alloys showed a complete absence of chips, while their resource was 80-100% higher than the best domestic and foreign counterparts.
Consumers of mining tools from the developed alloys are enterprises specializing in mine mining of rocks of various strengths. In particular, the Siberian Coal Energy Company, Mechel, Alrosa, Apatit and others. It is expected that the introduction of the development will significantly increase the efficiency of mining in the fields of the Arctic region of the Russian Federation.