The Croatian team did not have the facilities to produce the new alloy, but the EUREKA grant allowed them to grow an existing collaboration with colleagues from the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Maribor, Slovenia who helped to produce the alloys, which were then tested and examined for their characteristics in Croatia. They also collaborated with colleagues from Montanuniversitt Leoben in Austria, and the Faculty of Natural Science and Engineering, University of Ljubljana in Slovenia.
'It is difficult to know exactly how much cheaper the final product will be it is an important economic parameter to evaluate the success of the project and it depends partly on techniques used to produce the alloy, but it would certainly be a cost-effective alternative, as titanium and nickel are far more expensive raw materials than copper and aluminium.' Besides the economic requirements, materials used in the production of alloys also have to comply with a certain level of purity and hold specific properties in order to be worthwhile for the industry. 'Tests so far have shown that we are on the right way and we should be able to enter soon in the production phase', Gojic says.
"We have successfully reached the final stages of the research and testing, notably in setting up a process of 'continuous casting', which is crucial for commercial production," he says. "It is important because it allows you to get an important quantity of semi-product, you can make it without interruptions, allowing for mass production, as it is done with other common metallic materials, such as steel."
The road ahead
The next step will be to pursue research, aiming to have a finalised product within the next one and a half years, followed by the construction
|Contact: Piotr Pogorzelski|