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ORNL's alumina-forming austenitic alloy licensed to Carpenter Technology Corp.

April 7, 2011 — Metal alloy manufacturer Carpenter Technology Corp. has licensed an alumina-forming austenitic stainless steel alloy developed at the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

The new alloy, developed at ORNL by Michael Brady, Yukinori Yamamoto, Phil Maziasz, Michael Santella, Bruce Pint, Chain T Liu and Zhaoping Lu, is unique in that the composition allows for alumina scales to form on the exterior of the steel, providing significant oxidation resistance.

The alloy displays excellent creep strength at high temperatures (700-800 Celsius). While some of these characteristics may be found in existing alloys, this new alloy can be produced at a lower price than other existing alloys, which require high amounts of nickel.

"Any application in which high temperatures or corrosive environments are encountered could be a potential application of this technology," said Tim Armstrong, Carpenter Technology vice president for research and development.

Potential applications include recuperators and heat exchangers, down-hole drilling and chemical processing equipment and materials.

The agreement with Carpenter allows for the sale of the alloy in a variety of bulk forms that have been vacuum melted.

Carpenter Technology Corporation, based in Wyomissing, Pa., develops, manufactures and distributes cast-wrought and powder metal stainless steels and specialty alloys including high temperature (iron-nickel-cobalt base), stainless, corrosion resistant, controlled expansion alloys, ultra high-strength and implantable alloys, tool and die steels and other specialty metals, as well as cast-wrought titanium alloys.

The ORNL research was supported by DOE's Fossil Advanced Research Materials program and ORNL's SEED program. The scale-up and commercialization efforts have been funded by the DOE Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) Industrial Technologies Program and the EERE Commercialization and Deployment program.

ORNL is managed by UT-Battelle for the Department of Energy's Office of Science.