ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Sandia National Laboratories says scientists have created a new superalloy that could help cut carbon emissions. They say one of the issues with power plants is that they rely on heat to turn turbines that generate electricity.
Sandia Labs says their scientists, along with researchers at Ames National Laboratory, Iowa State University, and Bruker Corp., used a 3D printer to make the high-performance metal alloy. “We’re showing that this material can access previously unobtainable combinations of high strength, low weight, and high-temperature resiliency,” said Sandia scientist Andrew Kustas in a press release. “We think part of the reason we achieved this is because of the additive manufacturing approach.”
The new alloy was stronger at higher temperatures which allow power plants to operate more efficiently. It could also be used in aerospace and the car industry. They say it could be difficult to create the alloy at a large scale without microscopic cracks and that it is expensive to make.