(Durango - Spain)

FUNDACIÓN AZTERLAN (AZT) is a private non-profit Technological Centre specialized in metallurgical research with more than 40 years of experience providing value to metal-mechanical industries through its basic and applied research. It is a member of BRTA (Basque Research and Technology Alliance) and its activity is focused on three main lines: the improvement of the competitiveness and technological level of the industrial framework, the development of innovative and sustainable solutions for the industry and the transference of knowledge regarding metallurgy and casting processes.

The researchers and technicians work in close cooperation with different companies from the metal-mechanical industry, mainly casting and steel sector, providing value in the field of (1) materials, (2) manufacturing processes, (3) artificial intelligence and advanced technological solutions, (4) sustainability and environment and (5) other materials and processes.

AZT has a wide experience when it comes to testing mechanical properties and measuring long-term mechanical stability of different materials. Its testing portfolio includes performing thermomechanical testing at temperatures ranging from -80 ºC to 1200ºC, and strain rates ranging from 10-5 s-1 to 10 s-1, loads up to 1200 kN, fatigue frequencies up to 100 Hz and oxidation and ageing studies in laboratory and in field, both working on specimens, prototypes and components in real service.

One of the most relevant aspects of the packed bed Thermal Energy Storage (TES) systems is the durability of the filler materials to mechanical and thermal fatigue. In this context, within HIS4 LIFE project, AZT will test the long-term mechanical stability of the black steel slag under mechanical fatigue and heating/cooling cycles to assess its performance as TES material. For this purpose, different hydraulic presses will be used, with a press capacity from 10t to 130t at variable axial load cycles and an ad-hoc heating/cooling system.