FIEP Has Supported the Training of Specialists in the Synthesis of Metal Powders for Additive Technologies

24 November 2020

Two pilot groups are completing their professional retraining program in the field of synthesis technologies of metal single- and multicomponent powders for powder metallurgy and additive technologies. It was developed by the Baykov Metallurgy and Materials Institute (IMET RAS) of the Russian Academy of Sciences (subordinate organization of the Ministry of Science and Higher Education of the Russian Federation) at the request of the RUSNANO’s Fund for Infrastructure and Educational Programs (FIEP). The new program was initiated by Severstal PJSC.

FIEP Has Supported the Training of Specialists in the Synthesis of Metal Powders for Additive Technologies

The fields of application of powder metallurgy around the world are rapidly expanding, covering the most science-intensive and high-tech areas. Now, this technology is used to produce ship propellers, sliding bearings, implants, heat-resistant alloys, superconductors, photovoltaic materials, alloys for soldering, special tools and tooling, wear-resistant mill bearings, transformer cores, magnetic components, fuel cells, and other precision MIM-technology products. Even broader prospects are opening up for additive manufacturing.

Severstal produces raw materials for powder metallurgy and additive technologies, but the product range is still narrow. The company’s development strategy includes the expansion of the powder business, including for 3D printing. Production of dozens of metal powders with different compositions is expected. This is why the company needs advanced training of engineers capable of developing new materials, including for the needs of specific customers.

For the first time, an academic institute under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Science and Higher Education of the Russian Federation has been involved in the development of an industry-specific educational program with the participation of the Fund. However, in this case, such a choice is fully justified: IMET RAS is the cradle of powder metallurgy in our country. “This is the first professional retraining program for the industry made by our institute from idea to educational product. It should be noted that our scientists and specialists had previously participated in the development of educational programs of the Fund on superhard composite materials,” the Director of IMET RAS, Corresponding Member of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Vladimir Sergeyevich Komlev commented.

Most of the researchers at the institute are engaged in fundamental and applied research and the development of new materials and products. “The Institute was created 82 years ago for classical metallurgy, then the development of technologies in the field of powder metallurgy actively began. Many heads of laboratories were at the origins of their fields, and therefore their scientific and technical level was much higher than in universities,” said Aleksander Anokhin, the head of the program’s author team and Deputy Director for Scientific Work at IMET RAS.

IMET RAS intends to replicate the experience gained in the development of this program by developing new training courses for practitioners in all four main areas of its research: both on non-ferrous and ferrous metallurgy, and also on ceramics (oxygen-free and oxygen), composites, and biomaterials. “We have schools that are thoroughly familiar with all the processes involved in creating these materials. It would be right for this experience to be useful in the real production sector,” Deputy Director of IMET RAS said. He said that in the long term there were plans to create an open engineering university, which would train specialists: researchers, developers, technologists, designers, and programmers, focused on creating new products and technologies. At the same time, there would be a focus on modern technical solutions, allowing the creation of new industry technology chains for the production of globally competitive products.

The educational program is designed for 500 hours of training for two target groups: design engineers in metal powder synthesis technology and manufacturing engineers in powder products. The lecture workshop is conducted online, and a recording is kept to allow for repetition of the material. About half of the training time is devoted to research and development (R&D) in Severstal’s priority areas. Aleksander Anokhin is sure that the results of these studies will be used for implementation at the enterprise, and definitely will not lie on the shelf.

Specialists from the country’s leading institutions of higher education were involved in the development of the educational program: Petrozavodsk State University (Karelia), Cherepovets State University (Vologda region), Moscow Polytechnic University, Baltic State Technical University “Voenmeh” D.F. Ustinov (St. Petersburg), STANKIN Moscow State Technological University, and other partners. The research base of the Moscow Polytechnic University, the Cherepovets State University (CSU), and others were used for internships and practicums.

Another feature of the program was the training of two pilot groups of specialists. The first consists of the Severstal employees enrolled at the Moscow Polytechnic University, and the other is made up of polytechnic students sent to the Cherepovets State University, who are future interns or the Severstal employees.

There are plans to scale the program at Voenmeh, the Petrozavodsk and the Vladimir State Universities, as well as other universities so that in addition to the master’s degree to provide their students with the opportunity to obtain an additional engineering specialty.

In the expert review of the educational program prepared by Kompozit JSC from the city of Korolev near Moscow stands out the ability of the graduates of the training course to test technologies for obtaining nano- and fine-dispersed metallic materials for powder metallurgy and additive technologies, as well as to optimize and modernize the production of products from them to reduce labor intensity and cost.

Anatoly Kasimtsev, Director of Tula Metsintez LLC noted that the professional competencies formed by the program “were absolutely new for this sphere and met the current demands of companies,” and therefore “the program has high relevance.” “A distinctive feature of the program is its high degree of practical orientation, which is achieved by performing research and development, and active internships,” says Konstantin Ivanov, Rector of Voenmeh.

IMET RAS Director Vladimir Komlev notes that “we have shown in practice the possibility of building an educational horizon from the basic research stage to industrial production in such an innovative field as additive technologies. I do not exclude that this educational product or its modules can be the basis of individual educational trajectories of the master’s degree students with a focus on the real economy.”

Reference

The Fund for Infrastructure and Educational Programs was established in 2010 in accordance with Federal Law No. 211-FZ “On reorganization of the Russian Corporation of Nanotechnologies.” The Fund aims to develop the innovative infrastructure in the sphere of nanotechnology and implement the educational and infrastructure programs already started by RUSNANO.

The supreme collegial management body of the Fund is the Supervisory Board. Under the Fund’s Charter, the competence of the Supervisory Council, in particular, includes the issues of determining the priority directions of the Fund’s activity, as well as its strategy and budget. The Chairman of the Fund’s Executive Board, the collegial management body, is the Chairman of the Board of Management Company RUSNANO LLC Sergey Kulikov.