By Academician Leopold LEONTIEV, Director of the Institute of Metallurgy (IMET), RAS Urals Branch; Yevgeny SELIVANOV, Dr. Sc. (Tech.), senior researcher of the same Institute; Yevgeny BEILIN, Cand. Sc. (Tech.), Director, Akademichesky Center of Innovative Technologies
One central problem before this country's economy is a transition to what we call an innovative mode of development-something that cannot be achieved without close ties between science and industries. The solution of the problem depends to a large extent on the establishment of what we call innovative- technological centers and one such center was recently set up in the Urals Region.
The Akademichesky Center of Innovative Technologies (ITC) was set up in 1998 by a decision of the RF Ministry of Industry, Science and Technologies, Presidium of the Urals Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences and the Governor of the Sverdlovsk Region. The idea of establishing the Center was to help researchers of the region to find partners in putting to commercial application the results of their fundamental research. It took a year and a half for shaping the structure of the Center and the building of its experimental R&D facilities. Some of the money for the project, which is federal property, was obtained from the budget and the rest was received as a credit from the Fund for the promotion of minor enterprises.
As a result the first stage of the Experimental Project was finished and put into operation on the balance of IMET. The second stage of the Center was completed with the financial support (investments) of firms participating in the project on the basis of non-commercial partnership. Today the Center structure includes six investor enterprises and 3 lessee firms.
Enterprises belonging to the Center are pursuing R&D activities in several main fields. The joint-stock company "High-Dispersion Metal Powders" (HMP) is producing highly dispersed metal powders and also anti-corrosion materials, equipment for zink coatings, protective-decorative coatings and a range of wear- resistant materials.
All of these products, which are in good demand on the market, have been developed on the basis of ultra- and highly dispersed metal powders introduced by IMET experts in the late 1980s. And the method of coatings named "cold zink-plating of steel" has become a practical alternative to the traditional techniques. It is being used for long- life anti-corrosion plating of metal structures. Its advantages include increased resistance to corrosion and, consequently, increased service life of coatings at lesser costs (hot zink plating is 1.5 times more expensive on the average), and lesser impact on the environment.
Today more than 500 industrial enterprises of Russia, CIS and some other countries are using zink-based coatings, designed and produced by the HMP enterprise. These are used as coatings for the metal bridge structures of the Moscow Ring Highway, the bridge across the Chubuk River in Turkey, for the oil pipelines of Zhigulevskneft, oil storage tanks in Nizhnevartovsk, the STAN-2000 rolling mills of the Magnitogorsk Metallurgical Works and also in the storage reservoirs of the thermal power plants of Novokuibyshevsk, Ulianovsk, Krasnoyarsk and Jambul and on hydro-structures in China, Korea and Morocco.
Russian automobile fans are well familiar with the RiMET used for the "on-site" repairs and protection of car engines of any type. The preparation helps car users to deals, without turning to professional mechanics, with engine problems of major complexity. The principle of action of this powder rests on the fact that, thanks to its special properties and being mixed with motor oil, it forms a wear-resistant coating on engine parts, restoring them to their original dimensions. This restores engine compression and helps save motor oil and reduce engine noise.
On July 1, 2002, the design, technology and manufacture of the
HMP products were certified in accordance with the standard of ISO 9001:2000 AeroCert AG, Germany.
Another member of the association-GRANTMET, working in conjunction with the IMET Lab or powder metallurgy, have updated and improved machinery for the production of crushers of any required chemical materials and granulometric compositions.
The REZONANS firm, working in conjunction with the IMET Lab of Electrothermal Restorative Processes, have designed and built a test unit for roasting of molybdenum concentrates. It can produce high-quality molybdenum oxide with the separation of the accompanying rare metal impurities.
The SON AT R&D firm, working in conjunction with the Urals State Technical University, is developing advanced construction materials. They have designed a SILAT unit which makes it possible to conduct building operations using welding fillers and surfacing alloys and the unique carboplast heat-insulator. The same firm and IMET have designed and built what they call an experimental press module that produces peat briquettes from raw peat which can be used for fuel and also what they call reducer agents for metallurgical processes.
Joint-stock companies ELECTRUM and "Regeneration of Secondary Silver" have developed units for noble metals waste reprocessing.
Their equipment of the new generation can effectively regenerate metals like silver, gold, platinum and palladium.
The Center of Electroplasma Technologies, working together with the IMET Lab of Powder Metallurgy, have designed and built a test-bed for spray-coating of powders on mechanical parts of different configurations. They are also working on an HF unit for coating of metal parts and surfaces.
And the list of the achievements and experiments of specialists of the Akademichesky Center can be continued. But it really goes without saying that with the support of ITC a whole range of theoretical projects of IMET and other research organizations have been brought up to the stage of industrial applications. This has been achieved with outside financial backing because at the present stage the per-unit costs of most such products are quite high. In future, however, the profitability of new technologies will grow rapidly in step with the growing scale of production.
Taking into account the successful experience of the Akademichesky Center, its participants have brought up a proposal to the management of the Institute of Metallurgy of the RAS Urals Branch that the Center be further expanded at the expense of investments of its member-firms.
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Leopold LEONTIEV, Yevgeny SELIVANOV, Yevgeny BEILIN, AKADEMICHESKY CENTER OF INNOVATIVE TECHNOLOGIES // New-York: Libmonster (LIBMONSTER.COM). Updated: 08.09.2018. URL: https://libmonster.com/m/articles/view/AKADEMICHESKY-CENTER-OF-INNOVATIVE-TECHNOLOGIES (date of access: 04.03.2024).
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