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Institute of Material Science

Frantsevich Institute of Problems of Materials Science (IPMS) Kyiv

Technical Area: Material Sciences
Keywords: material science and advanced technology of metal, ceramic and composite materials

General Information

The Institute for Problems in Materials Science (IPMS) is a leading Ukrainian center of advanced scientific and engineering services, technical consulting, and contract research and development in the field of material science and advanced technology and thermal shock resistance. In the temperature range 293–2273 К, the electroinsulating properties of boron carbonitride are higher that those of refractory oxygen-free compounds such as boron, aluminum and silicon nitrides and refractory oxides such as zirconium, aluminum and magnesium oxides. Boron carbonitride has a high corrosion resistance to the action of molten metals, alloys, slag and salts. It does not interact with molybdenum to 1573 К, with niobium to 1873 К and with tungsten to 1573 К. Boron carbonitride can be used to 1773 К in air and to 2773 K in vacuum, argon and nitrogen.
of metal, ceramic and composite materials.
The Institute was founded in 1955 on the base of the laboratory for special alloys of the Ukrainian Academy of Sciences. Since then it has progressively widened its fields of application and customer base.IPMS has no analogs among academic institutions in Ukraine due a great variety of technological processes, materials and products. IPMS employs about 1500 people, including 78 Dr.Sc. and around 300 Ph.D. IPMS is a large scientific and research complex, including over 40 R&D departments, two pilot production centers, pilot plant, computer center and branch in Chernovtsy city.


Institute Focus


One of the major focus points of the Institute in basic research – physical chemistry and physics of condensed systems – involves extensive research into electronic and crystal structures of matter, effect of pressure and temperature on phase transitions in metals, alloys, intermetallides, and high melting compounds of oxides, carbides, borides, nitrides etc. A significant role in the Institute's applied activity is played by research and development of metallic, ceramic and composite materials with a high level of structural and functional properties.


Valuable Technology Offerings

The Institute’s core competencies allow engaging in research related to:

Basic research in materials science and technology development with a focus on chemical thermodynamics, phase equilibria in the systems of metals, high melting compounds, inorganic compounds, condensed systems, nanostructures;
Technologies of powder metallurgy parts, protective coatings, composite materials, basalt- and carbon-based

materials, porous materials, wear-resistive components, electric contacts;

Physical metallurgy and Physics of strength. New metallic materials, their pilot production in view of particulate and massive alloys based on Al, Ti, Mg, Cr and others;

Nanostructured materials, thin films and nanoclusters, technology development of their synthesis and bulk nanoceramics manufacturing, biomaterials;

Technologies for production, treatment and joining of various materials (ceramic/metal joining and adhesion, consolidation of particles, rolling, laser treatment, casting, polymerization, heat treatment). Applied research is focused on industrially-relevant projects and commercialization opportunities in engineering, electro-technical, mining, electronic industries, energy and medicine. The main area of applied R&D at the Institute is development of advanced materials with predetermined performance characteristics and high-efficiency technological processes of their production on the basis of sound fundamental research. The Institute’s research agenda is very broad, ranging from metallurgical and ceramic processing to solid state physics of narrow-band gap semiconductors and unique nanostructures. IPMS is producing pilot batches of powders, several sorts of metal ceramics and ceramics, armored materials, single crystals, hear radiators. Products under development are fuel cells, nanopowders, thermal barrier coatings, hydroxyapatite, Ti alloys, Al foams, multilayer capacitors, supercapacitors etc.


Scientific Cooperation and Technology TransferScientific Cooperation and Technology Transfer


 All achievements in the development of new materials with their further commercial application are supported by basic researches. The Technology commercialization Office has been organized to improve protection of intellectual properties and facilitate technology transfer to industry.

IPMS' scientists are collaborating with many companies worldwide from the USA, United Kingdom, France, Germany, Yugoslavia, Poland, Hungary, Bulgaria, Austria, Switzerland, Mexico, India, Cuba, South Korea, Israel, Japan, China etc. The Institute has set up service centers operating on the basis of its detonation coating technology in Japan, China, India and Vietnam. IPMS has carried out around 100 international projects and contracts for last 7 years.


List of Proposed Projects


Thermometric Sensors of Increased Durability Made Using New Materials for Measuring Temperature of Molten Metals and Alloys by the Contact Method


Thermometric sensors of increased durability for measuring temperatures of molten metals and alloys by the contact method have been developed. A disadvantage of currently used thermometric sensors with a protecting quartz tube is the small number of repeated uses (1–10), which leads to a large consumption of thermocouple wire. The use of heat- and corrosion-resistant materials in the proposed design of transducers makes it possible to increase the number of repeated uses 10–15 time (depending on the type of the melt).

The high durability of the sensor is achieved due to the thermocouple sheath made of boron carbonitride, which has a high heat and corrosion resistance. In the end part of the sensor, an aluminum nitride insert, which contacts directly with the hot junction of the thermocouple, is located. Aluminum nitride has a high refractoriness and thermal conductivity. The use of the insert provides the low lag of the sensor.


Innovative Aspect and Main Advantages

The main advantage of the developed thermometric sensors is that boron carbonitride is used as a protective sheath in it. Boron carbonitride has high electroinsulating properties and thermal shock resistance. In the temperature range 293–2273 К, the electroinsulating properties of boron carbonitride are higher that those of refractory oxygen-free compounds such as boron, aluminum and silicon nitrides and refractory oxides such as zirconium, aluminum and magnesium oxides. Boron carbonitride has a high corrosion resistance to the action of molten metals, alloys, slag and salts. It does not interact with molybdenum to 1573 К, with niobium to 1873 К and with tungsten to 1573 К. Boron carbonitride can be used to 1773 К in air and to 2773 K in vacuum, argon and nitrogen.

Boron carbonitride products are made according to the following scheme: preparation of a mixture – cold pressing – reaction sintering.
The developed technology of pressing makes it possible to manufacture products in the form of plates, cylinders, disks and bushes of different sizes (with a maximum diameter of 100 mm and a maximum height of 100 mm). The extrusion compaction method allows the manufacture of rods and tubes with a diameter of 30 mm and a length of 300 mm. An advantage of boron carbonitride is its good machinability with any tools.


Field of Application

The sensors can be used for measuring temperature of melt in the metallurgical industry, foundry, etc. 

Stage of Development 

The manufacturing technology of sensors of increased durability has been developed.
It is proposed to establish joint production of sensors.


Cast Aluminium Alloys with Increased Mechanical Characteristics



The fundamental authors’ works in the fields of phase transformations are the physical base for creation of the new cast aluminum alloys, which according to their physical-mechanical properties exceed modern cast high strength aluminum alloys.


New cast alloys are created on a basis of the quasibinary (α-Al+Mg2X) section of the ternary system Al-Mg-X. Due to purposeful alloying the different systems of particles which should not interact with eutectic colonies and are stable in certain temperature intervals were created in the matrix of eutectic (α-Al+Mg2X) alloys. According to that, the two groups of alloys can be developed: for operating an ambient temperature (Type I or Type II) and for high-temperature application (Type III) as well.


Innovation Aspects and Main Advantages


The alloys, which are proposed ensure the exceptional complex of mechanical, tribological, corrosive and cast properties. The yield strength of new cast eutectic (α-Al+Mg2X) alloys in the temperature interval of 20-400 °C exceeds this characteristic for available cast eutectic aluminum alloy 356.0 (USA), and the specific strength of these alloys exceeds 4135 steel (USA) in 1.5 times. Corrosion rate (3 % solution NaCl) of suggested alloys on two orders is less than corrosion rate of pure aluminium. Due to good castability of new eutectic alloy the wall thickness of the cast parts can be reduced and the dimension accuracy of castings is also improved.


Areas of Application


The new (α-Al+Mg2X) alloys could be the potential candidate for replacing of the some of commercial alloys. The high mechanical and technological properties of the new alloy will enhance their service life and durability, and thereby ensure an increment of the performance attributes.


Stage of Development


Technical feasibility of development was shown. Ukrainian research team can make the whole research cycles from target setting up to market valid product due to the most modern ideas and available technology. The licensing of IP and investment of start-up company is considered preferable for IPMS team.


Moderate temperature processing of nanopowders





We develop technology of high melting point nanopow-ders in situ synthesis to obtain homogenious mixture of components and heat treatment of commercially avail-able nanopowders to activate and purify them before consolidation process.
Heat treatment could be processed in traditional gas furnace or microwave furnace. For example, oxygen content for Si3N4 nanopowder decrease from 4,6 wt.% in start nanopowder to 2,1 wt.% in treated powder. Effect of deagglomeration observed for some nanopowders.
Combination of low temperature heat treatment with chemical synthesis explore possibility in situ nanocomposite synthesis like nanopowder-nanopowder and nanowhiskers-nanoparticles. For example, in the system Si3N4 – TiN on the surface of silicon nitride nanowhiskers (d =50-100 nm, l =300-500 nm) in situ synthesized titanium nitride nanoparticles with size 5-15 nm using technology of wet chemical synthesis and heat treatment at the moderate temperatures. The powder mixtures prepared by the method could be successfully consolidated by up to date methods like Spark Plasma , Microwave or Rate-Controlled Sintering to bulk compos-ites with hardness around 26-27 GPa without oxide addi-tives.


Innovative Aspect and Main Advantages

Commercially available non-oxide nanopowders after operation of handling and storage needs in pre-treatment operation to eliminate contaminations (first of all oxygen) and activate nanopowders surface. Proposed method is no expensive and very effective: after heat treatment of non-oxide nanopowders at moderate temperatures oxy-gen content decrease in 2-3 times and effect of nanopowder deagglomeration observed.
Development of ceramic nanocomposites based on high melting point compounds reinforced with elongated nanostructures (nanorods, nanowires, nanotubes etc.), where matrix and reinforcing element consist of the same compounds open possibility to fine construction of nano-materials. In situ synthesis of nanocomposites help us to obtain homogenous mixtures compared with traditional mechanical mixing and avoid agglomeration of the nanopowders. Assembling of elongated nanostructures with nanoparticles in one bulk ceramics is expected to result in new generation of nanocomposites demonstrat-ing high-temperature stability, unique anisotropy of func-tional properties and enhanced combination of fracture toughness with strength and wear resistance.


Stage of Development


Technology of pre-processing treatment of nanopowders developed and tested for meterials of different origination H C Stark (Germany), Nano-amor (USA), PCT (Latvia).. For technology of ther-mochemical nanopowders treatment R&D stage fin-ished and ready for pilot production. Technology protected by patent.
Technology of in-situ synthesis is developed for the system TiN-Si3N4 (nanoparticles-nanorods) in laboratory scale butch and now tested for pilot production.





Areas of Application


The application fields for investigated nanocompo-sites in respect to automobile industry are:
- Ball bearings
-Ball valves and parts
- Corrosion resistant turbine
- Cutting tools for fine machining
- Grinding wheels
- Insulating parts
- Spray nozzles working at high temperatures in ag-gressive medium
- Spray pipe
- Strengthening materials (for Al etc.)
- Wear parts
- fillers for paint systems,
- coating systems based on nanocomposites.