E-MRS Fall Meeting (Symposium I): Solutions for critical raw materials under extreme conditions

Difficulties in the access to critical raw materials (CRMs) are expected to depress industries based in Europe. If direct substitution of CRMs represents one viable solution (not easy to achieve), a more realistic approach would be to realise innovative ways of synthesizing, rational use, and enhanced recycling of the CRMs.


Global and local crises have clearly shown that life in a modern society ultimately depends on readily available, continuous and affordable material supply. The supply of critical raw materials (CRMs) like tungsten, chromium, cobalt, niobium and many others which is vital for EU industries is becoming hindered due to import restrictions posed by the foreign countries. This ties in with the fact that the CRMs are imported at extremely volatile prices due to geopolitical reasons. In this scenario, a clear goal is to reduce the dependence of industrial sectors on CRMs and it is crucial to work with a well-defined focus i.e. to find alternative solutions for the materials meant to be used under extreme conditions of temperature, wear, friction, loading, and corrosion, for a wide range of applications

This symposium aims to provide a unique platform to a wide range of researchers from across the globe who are engaged in performing cutting edge multidisciplinary research on strategic CRMs substitution, new materials design, Life Cycle Assessment (LCA), recycling, circular economy, either experimentally or by using simulations or any other techniques, that is expanding and consolidating around few initial catalytic nucleus of growth leading to innovations in the field of CRM. This symposium is organized jointly by complementary networks in the area of CRMs who are aiming to find sustainable solutions for materials in extreme conditions i.e.: the COST Action CRM-EXTREME, the network EXTREME under the KIC EIT RawMaterials and EIP Raw Materials commitment SUBST-EXTREME. With an aim of bringing together substantial expertise from a critical mass of researchers from within and outside EU, this symposium is aiming to benefit the interested stakeholders (universities, research institutions, industries and SMEs) and, at the same time is more appealing for the industrial engagement which might well result in improved financial support. The topics of the symposium are divided in two main sections, focusing on WHY and HOW, i.e.: why CRMs are important in some industrial applications, and how their use can be reduced or suppressed.

Hot topics to be covered by the symposium:

  1. Understanding the role of CRMs: their importance in different applications
  • Co and W in WC/Co cemented carbide wear resistant tool materials
  • Cr and other CRMs in surface coatings and steel alloys
  • Nb in high-strength low-alloy (HSLA) steel
  • Co and other CRMs in high-temperature Ni-based superalloys
  • Precious metals (PGMs) in extreme applications

2. CRMs alternatives: design, recovery, recycling and innovative technologies for materials under extreme
condition in industrial sectors (but not limited to) such as:

  • Machinery manufacturing
  • Transportation
  • Energy
  • Constructions
More information about the Congress available here

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