UCLA research team develops energy-saving technique for melting and solidification

January 19, 2017
Adding nanoscale particles of aluminum oxide increases the depth of the melting zone (MZ) in nickel and decreases the size of the heat-affected zone (HAZ). The bottom right image shows how even at higher temperatures the heat affected zone doesn’t grow very large.
Credit: UCLA Engineering

A research team led by Xiaochun Li, a professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering at UCLA, has found that adding nanoparticles to metals used in welding and 3-D printing allows manufacturers better control over the melting and solidification process. This finding has profound implications for energy storage and efficient materials design, both of which will experience increased energy efficiency as a result of this technique.

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