Conventional materials‘ development is based on empirically driven iterative synthesis and analysis of samples, similar in size to those of industrial practice, with merely adapted methods regarding processing and synthesis. Such, more established, strategies allow for a precise and reproducible determination and comparison of parameters directly relevant to mechanical and microstructural properties of industrial production and refinement. On this large scale foundations has the state of the art been constructed and only on these scales are empirical models and relationships valid without limitations.
In contrast, the significantly scaled-down and speed-up processes of solidification during the envisaged droplet synthesis and thin film alloys are difficult to gauge systematically, especially in regard to the impact on microstructures and mechanical properties and their underlying thermo-mechanical history. Furthermore, the micro-scaled samples generated by the high through-put methods allow only for limited and localised testing of mechanical parameters such that no normed tensile, toughness, or hardness tests can be realised.
For these reasons, this sub-project is focused on the systematic synthesis and evaluation of a scalable connection between both fields of interest with the goal of identifying and explaining the microstructural causes for possible differences, thus contributing to the development of a model that allows a scalable transfer of cause and effect, and extending the horizon of high through-put approaches. This goal is poses an essential scientific question as presently there is no good understanding on how to connect the microstructural relationships found in different high through-put methods.
To enable such a transfer, in tandem with the high through-put investigation, strategically chosen nodes within composition space are evaluated, which allow for comparative testing and form waypoints in the generation of experimental planning and in further calibrating the testing methods for a variety of sample geometries. Conversely, particularly interesting results obtained micro-scale investigations are also validated by reproducing them on an close-to industrial scale.
This is done in the framework of a quasi-conventional synthesis, processing and characterisation, using tried and tested methods of increased through-put, which have already been developed and successfully applied to several steels at MPIE. The vast composition and parameter space, as it can only be afforded by the high through-put droplet synthesis method, is thereby probed and reproduced on a much coarser grid to provide, in combination with literature and industry know-how, a solid basis for developing the method further. Lastly, targeted and detailed microstructural characterisation tools are standing ready to help illuminate, explain, and help to optimise any interesting phenomena found in the course of the high through-put screening.