M1-M6 Progress

Project progress, March 2017 (M6)

WP1: Ethics requirements – WP2: Management and Coordination

With the first six months of operations under its belt, the ICARUS project has passed a number of important milestones. Most importantly, the usually very difficult launch and ramp-up phase of such an ambitious project was completed successfully. Ιn particular, within WPs 1 & 2, the ethics requirements were defined and work towards ensuring the proper management of day-to-day project activities as described in the Grant Agreement (GA) was performed. Also, the ICARUS project is considered to be well on track as revealed by the timely delivery of all due deliverables, the applied IPR and scientific management, as well as the coordination activities and well organized meetings.The Kick-off Meeting of the project took place in Burgos (Spain) between September 8th and 9th, 2016. It was organised and hosted by the Project Coordinator, the University of Burgos-ICCRAM (UBU-ICCRAM).Additionally, different call conferences have been organised to track the progress of certain activities and to define specific action plans for all Work Packages. All in all, the overall progress of the project is fully meeting expectations.

WP3: Development of a new thermodynamic materials by design approach for designing new stable multicomponent nc metal alloys

ICARUS aims at developing a new thermodynamic methodology for identifying the elements and the relative chemical composition that allow a nanocrystalline alloy to occupy a relative minimum of the Gibbs free energy, which stabilizes the nanostructure against coarsening. Within this context, WP3 involves the crucial activities addressing the definition of a suitable conceptual framework for designing new nanostructured alloys with enhanced thermal, mechanical and irradiation damage self-healing properties. To this aim, classical thermodynamics, Nano-Calphad and multiscale modelling methods are combined into a unique predictive tool.

The milestones at month 6 mark the research activity during the first six months of the ICARUS lifetime. Specifically, it is connected with the Implementation of new theoretical design platform (nano-Calphad, thermodynamical model). Five tasks are associated with the progressive development of activities, namely:

3.1. Development of the thermodynamic mathematical model and characterization of the multi-dimensional Gibbs free energy surface ( CSGI; M1-12)

3.2. Nano-Calphad approach. Integration into the HTS tool ( UniMi; M1-12)

3.3. Systematic thermodynamic exploration of the phase space for a precise selection of families of alloys and high-throughput screening (HTS) (UBU, ENEA, UniMi, CSGI; M1-15)

3.4. Prediction of stability by computational observation of GB dynamics ( UBU, CSGI; M1-15)

3.5. Experimental refinement of the proposed theoretical approach ( CSGI, UBU, ENEA; M1-24).

Remarkably, considerable progress in theoretical and modelling activities has been recorded since the very beginning of the project thanks to the intense collaboration and fruitful discussions within the Consortium, and particularly between directly involved units. This enabled anticipating parameter space exploration and candidate alloys identification, which, in turn, allowed starting experimental activities in advance with respect to initially foreseen time schedule. Thus, UniMi joined the group of experimentalists in Task 3.5. with the aim of further accelerating the achievement of breakthrough in empirical evidence.

Theoretical and experimental activities have started regularly and met no significant criticality. All the different research duties are actively pursued and a relatively broad spectrum of binary alloys is currently under experimental scrutiny, while possible improvements of theoretical and modelling issues are under investigation.

WP4: Fabrication and processing optimization of binary and multinary alloys as radically new materials solution for extreme conditions aerospace applications

The activities in WP4 are planned to start in project month 12 (August 2017). However, trial tests have been performed with a specific modeled system as it was thoroughly investigated as a candidate nanocrystalline binary alloy, while physical vapor deposition (PVD) and high energy ball milling plus sintering has been used for the first synthesis trials during experiments.

WP5: Physicochemical, structural and mechanical characterization of the alloys. Specific performance tests under extreme operating conditions

This work package has not yet officially initiated its activities although a series of actions have been performed. A dedicated study has been realized focusing on the radiation fundamentals and the radiation environment in space missions. Due to the lack of protection of atmosphere, the chance of material degradation is significantly increasing in space. Thus, specific materials are required.

Furthermore, during this first semester an extensive literature survey has been performed concerning the classical aeronautical materials. In particular, tests commonly applicable for aeronautical materials and the respective specimens’ dimensions have been gathered and reported to the ICARUS Consortium.

WP6: Exploitation, dissemination, communication

Within this period an exploitation and dissemination plan was developed enabling the monitoring and successful implementation of the project’s dissemination and exploitation activities. With regards to the exploitation activities interviews with project partners in the aviation and space sector were conducted, drawing valuable information about the potential application fields and sectors of the ICARUS results as well as for the relevant stakeholders and the potential funding schemes. Additionally, a matrix comprising relevant properties of materials used both in space and aviation sector was developed in order to act as a basis for interviews with relevant stakeholders and to provide guidance for project partners for the selection of new materials.  

In the frame of the ICARUS dissemination strategy the visual identity of the project was defined as well as the official website and social media pages (LinkedIn, Twitter). More specifically, the ICARUS official logo, leaflet, poster, presentation and deliverable templates and banner were designed and implemented within the first six months of the project in order to boost recognition and to increase uniformity of the information presented either internally or externally by the consortium.

Additionally, an important dissemination event of the project organised within this period is the International Spring School on Forefront Alloys and Advanced Materials for Extreme Conditions taking place from May 15th -17th, 2017 at Chia Laguna Resort in Sardinia, Italy. The 3-day event is supported by ICARUS and SUPERMAT H2020 Consortia and includes 19 lectures of project partners as well as a best poster award. In order to enhance visibility of this event, a dedicated mini website incorporated into the ICARUS official website was established. The creation of the mini website supports the communication of the Spring school to a wider audience providing all the significant information and details to the visitor as well as the opportunity to register.

Last but not least, the portals of the European Aeronautics Science Network (EASN Association Newsletter, EASN Association Portal, EASN-TIS Corporate Website) as well as the ESA social media campaign were extensively used in order to distribute ICARUS related information to a broad spectrum of scientists and professionals throughout Europe.


This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 713514.

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