Projects / Programmes source: ARIS

Technologies of metastable materials

Research activity

Code Science Field Subfield
2.04.00  Engineering sciences and technologies  Materials science and technology   
2.10.00  Engineering sciences and technologies  Manufacturing technologies and systems   

Code Science Field
2.05  Engineering and Technology  Materials engineering 
2.03  Engineering and Technology  Mechanical engineering 
Metastability; Nanostructural Materials; Precious metals; High Entropy Alloys; High-Strength Al Alloys; Ultrasonic Spray Pyrolysis; Rapid Solidification; Severe Plastic Deformation; Aditive manufacturing; Friction Stir Processing/Welding (FSP, FSW); Catalysis;
Evaluation (rules)
source: COBISS
Data for the last 5 years (citations for the last 10 years) on February 26, 2024; A3 for period 2018-2022
Data for ARIS tenders ( 04.04.2019 – Programme tender , archive )
Database Linked records Citations Pure citations Average pure citations
WoS  410  4,094  3,357  8.19 
Scopus  435  4,829  4,025  9.25 
Researchers (15)
no. Code Name and surname Research area Role Period No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  10369  PhD Ivan Anžel  Materials science and technology  Head  2022 - 2024  712 
2.  14334  PhD Tonica Bončina  Materials science and technology  Researcher  2022 - 2024  400 
3.  20229  PhD Mihael Brunčko  Materials science and technology  Researcher  2022 - 2024  250 
4.  16185  PhD Leo Gusel  Manufacturing technologies and systems  Researcher  2022 - 2024  153 
5.  56136  Lara Hočuršćak  Materials science and technology  Junior researcher  2022 - 2024  10 
6.  51003  Žiga Jelen  Chemical engineering  Junior researcher  2022 - 2024  45 
7.  11951  PhD Gorazd Lojen  Materials science and technology  Researcher  2022  253 
8.  35509  PhD Peter Majerič  Manufacturing technologies and systems  Researcher  2022 - 2024  189 
9.  31506  Lidija Rozman Zorko  Materials science and technology  Technical associate  2022 - 2024  53 
10.  14335  PhD Rebeka Rudolf  Manufacturing technologies and systems  Researcher  2022 - 2024  1,085 
11.  17123  Rok Šulek    Technical associate  2023 - 2024  71 
12.  54802  Lidija Terzić  Materials science and technology  Junior researcher  2022 - 2024 
13.  53051  PhD Hanuma Reddy Tiyyagura  Manufacturing technologies and systems  Researcher  2022  33 
14.  15682  PhD Tomaž Vuherer  Manufacturing technologies and systems  Researcher  2022 - 2024  512 
15.  12295  PhD Franc Zupanič  Materials science and technology  Researcher  2022 - 2024  483 
Organisations (1)
no. Code Research organisation City Registration number No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  0795  University ob Maribor, Faculty of mechanical engineering  Maribor  5089638010  23,886 
The Research Programme P2-0120 entitled Technologies of metastable materials in the period 2022-2027 will focus on understanding metastable states and scientific discoveries in metastability studies of selected noble metals, complex concentrated alloys of noble metals and high-strength Al alloys. Research will be carried out in three areas: (1) Development and set up of a new pilot plant for the synthesis of noble metal micro/nanoparticles (Ag, Pd, Pt), noble metal alloys and nanocomposites composed of noble metals and rare earth oxides by Ultrasonic Spray Pyrolysis (USP); (2) Study of metastable states in complex concentrated noble metal alloys (CCNA) and development of CCNA micro/nanoparticle synthesis process using USP technology; (3) Development of high-strength Al alloys with improved thermal stability. Different technologies will be investigated for achieving metastable states and their impact on properties. Existing or developed new methods of materialographic sample preparation and adapted analytical techniques will be modified for the needs of microstructural characterisation of metastable states. The main achievements of the Program Group research work will be contributions for which there are no data in the scientific literature, and discoveries about: - Mechanisms that take place in the formation of metastable microstructures in CCNA alloys; - Indicators for achieving metastable states in CCNA; - Synthesis of micro/nanoparticles of noble metals and CCNA alloys using USP technology; - Formation of metastable states in CCNA using additive technologies; - Catalytic activities of CCNA nanostructured layers; - A combination of double multilayer precipitates in aluminium alloys consisting of shell icosahedral quasicrystalline precipitates and shell precipitates L12-Al3X (X = Sc, Zr, Y or V); - The influence of applying hard coatings on Al-alloys by magnetron sputtering at elevated temperatures; on the influence of FSP and FSW on the properties of alloys from the Al-Mn-Cu and AA 6086 systems; - The influence of FSP and FSW on the properties of Al-Mn-Cu and AA 6086 alloys. The impact of the Research Programme on the economy will be in raising awareness of the professional public about the importance of metastable states and Nanotechnology, for the development of new materials and technologies and technological solutions in the creation of new products. Through research work, members of the Research Programme will contribute to raising industrial competitiveness, environmental improvements and improving the quality of life of society. Informing the public about the goals and achieved results of the work will take place through a well-organised and efficient flow of information. With the research results, in-depth knowledge in the field of Metastable Materials and the mastery of modern technologies for achieving these conditions, the Programme Group will offer the Slovenian metal industry new materials and technological solutions.
Significance for science
Metastable structures, or configuration-frozen states, are not new in the field of Engineering Materials. Since the late nineteenth century, when Willard Gibbs set up the fundamentals of Materials Thermodynamic, science has been concerned primarily with finding thermodynamically stable states and synthesising equilibrium materials. However, it was soon revealed that the microstructures of most engineering materials are structurally, morphologically, and/or chemically metastable. The fact that materials in the metastable state have different mechanical, physical and chemical properties, that it is possible to hold materials in many metastable states for a very long time and that the number of metastable states in materials is practically infinite, have led to the realisation that metastable materials represent an endless source of new engineering materials. Since its establishment, the P2-0120 programme group has been studying the technologies for achieving metastable states and their microstructural characterisation. The programme group develops new materials by studying metastable states in materials that are relevant and crucial for economic entities that collaborate closely with the members of the programme group (precious metals and their alloys; materials based on rare earth elements; aluminium and aluminium alloys). In the field of Precious Metals and their alloys, the research work of the programme group is focused on the development of Ultrasonic Spray Pyrolysis (USP) technology for the production of gold, silver, platinum and palladium nanoparticles, as well as nanoparticles of precious metal alloys. The programme group is developing a modified USP technology, with which the synthesis of gold nanoparticles with target morphology, unimodal size distribution, and specific surface properties has been performed successfully. For the study of the properties and behaviour of such metastable structures, the programme group investigates them in applications in various fields (Medicine, Biology, Cosmetics, Optics). Thus, the programme group used gold nanoparticles successfully to prepare an Au-conjugate, and produced the first Slovenian LFIA antigen test for the detection of SARS-COV2 virus antibodies. In addition to the synthesis of precious metal nanoparticles, research work in the field of USP technology is aimed at upgrading an already modified USP device into a device for the synthesis of nanocomposites. Research work is in the direction of the synthesis of nanocomposites composed of rare earth oxides and precious metals. The case of Y2O3 - Ag is current, where we expect to confirm the luminescent phenomenon in nanostructured composite particles from this system made with USP technology. In the field of Noble Alloys, the research work of the programme group members is focused on the study of metastable states in complex concentrated nobel metal alloys, with the aim of achieving thermodynamically metastable microstructures corresponding to the concept of microstructures in high entropy alloys. These represent a relatively new group of potentially high-performance construction, as well as functional materials. For achieving these states, modern methods of rapid solidification and rapid cooling in solids, technologies of severe plastic deformations and various thermomechanical processing are used. By using modified USP technology the programme group intends to produce the nanoparticles also from this group of complex noble alloys and research their properties (for instance catalytical abilities). By studying complex concentrated alloys, the programme group is carrying out pioneering work in the field of development of new multicomponent alloys with chemical compositions from the central part of phase diagrams. According to their microstructure these alloys are usually multiphase, and, in specific cases, these alloys can form metastable multicomponent solid solutions with high concentrations of each of the components. The increased number of possibilities or randomness of filling the crystal lattice site with the atom of one of the components generates a high configuration entropy. Alloys with such a microstructure are known as high entropy alloys. In the field of aluminium alloys with improved high-temperature stability the programe group will be involved in development of new aluminium alloys from the Al-Mn-Cu and Al-Mg-Si systems to improve their resistance at elevated temperatures. Suitability for machining and joining by mixing and friction and the possibilities for applying thin coatings to these alloys by magnetron sputtering will be investigated. Using microstructural and mechanical characterisation methods, the processes during their fabrication and processing will be studied and the relationship between processing parameters, microstructure, and mechanical properties will be defined.
Significance for the country
The added value of the Research Programme P2-0120 will be in promoting the exchange of knowledge and raising the competence of the professional public in the fields of Metastable conditions in materials, Nanomaterials and Nanotechnologies, and achieving greater visibility and understanding of issues in this scientific field. As such, the members of the Research Programme will be focused on achieving joint research results that will not only exist, but will also yield dividends in terms of academic excellence, industrial competitiveness, environmental improvements and improving the quality of life for all. The efficient flow of information and publicity on the objectives and results of the research work conducted, contributions to national, as well as European knowledge and scientific excellence, the value of pan-European cooperation and the benefits for EU citizens, will be implemented through different approaches. Informing the general public with news and messages about the achieved results will be done through the use of various communication channels as the Faculty website, Facebook, instagram profiles and through the use of other information support such as printed publications, CDs, etc. Together with the industrial partner Zlatarna Celje d.o.o. we anticipate strengthening "innovation capability" in the development of new USP technologies for various nanoparticles. This will be the basis for conducting industrial research, increasing research efforts and capacities, expanding the network to make better use of research results and gaining technological know-how, thus filling the gap between research and innovation. As part of the Research Programme, we will continue to set up a procedure for the production of rapid serological (LFIA) tests based on Au and Ag nanoparticles for the diagnosis of other viruses and bacteria, with which we want to start the development and expansion of the medical equipment industry in Slovenia based on nanotechnology. In this way, we want to ensure the domestic production of diagnostic tests, and ensure the self-sufficiency of the Republic of Slovenia in rapid testing of people. This will raise the social significance of the research work of the programme group. Many successful companies in Slovenia are engaged in the production and processing of various metals. These companies have a grasp on established alloy technology, but many achieve relatively little added value to their products. If they want to remain competitive in the future, they will have to train themselves to produce more technologically demanding materials and products. The proposed Research Programme is focused on the basic knowledge that will mature or develop in the next period to be useful for this industry. From this point of view, we believe that, by deepening the theoretical knowledge about metastable materials and technologies and the development and mastery of modern materials technologies, we will be able to offer a strong support to the Slovenian metal industry. With the acquired knowledge and with the use of complex analyses of metastable materials, which will be performed within the Research Programme, we will discover the useful values of different materials and technologies, and try to find connections with materials from different historical periods. This could represent a new contribution to the cultural heritage of Slovenia, as its preservation is crucial.
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