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Investigation of the Environmental Durability of a Powder Metallurgy MaterialPM304 is a NASA-developed composite powder metallurgy material that is being developed for high temperature applications such as bushings in high temperature industrial furnace conveyor systems. My goal this summer was to analyze and evaluate the effects that heat exposure had on the PM304 material at 500 C and 650 C. The material is composed of Ni-Cr, Ag, Cr2O3, and eutectic BaF2-CaF2. PM304 is designed to eliminate the need for oil based lubricants in high temperature applications, while reducing friction and wear. However, further investigation was needed to thoroughly examine the properties of PM304. The effects of heat exposure on PM304 bushings were investigated. This investigation was necessary due to the high temperatures that the material would be exposed to in a typical application. Each bushing was cut into eight sections. The specimens were heated to 500 C or 650 C for time intervals from 1 hr to 5,000 hrs. Control specimens were kept at room temperature. Weight and thickness measurements were taken before and after the bushing sections were exposed to heat. Then the heat treated specimens were mounted and polished side by side with the control specimens. This enabled optical examination of the material's microstructure using a metallograph. The specimens were also examined with a scanning electron microscope (SEM). The microstructures were compared to observe the effects of the heat exposure. Chemical analysis was done to investigate the interactions between Ni-Cr and BaF2-CaF2 and between Cr2O3 and BaF2-CaF2 at high temperature. To observe this, the two compounds that were being analyzed were mixed in a crucible in varied weight percentages and heated to 1100 C in a furnace for approximately two hours. Then the product was allowed to cool and was then analyzed by X-ray diffraction. Interpretation of the results is in progress.
Document ID
Acquisition Source
Document Type
Ward, LaNita D.
(Spelman Coll. Atlanta, GA, United States)
Date Acquired
August 23, 2013
Publication Date
January 1, 2004
Publication Information
Publication: Research Symposium I
Subject Category
Composite Materials
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.

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