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Center for Advanced Non-Ferrous Structural Alloys (CANFSA)

Colorado School of Mines

Iowa State University

Last Reviewed: 09/18/2018

An NSF Industry/University Cooperative Research Center Addressing the Physical Metallurgy Needs of Industries Working with Non-Ferrous Structural Alloys.

Center Mission and Rationale

The Center for Advanced Non-Ferrous Structural Alloys (CANFSA) is coordinating the faculty expertise at the Colorado School of Mines and the Iowa State University to address the physical metallurgy of non-ferrous alloys (i.e., alloying and processing effects on microstructure, properties and performance) with an emphasis on the needs of the industries that develop, manufacture and use these alloys.  The motivation for a center of this type stems from a historical decline in funding for physical metallurgy research, and the consequent and significant negative impact on these industries due to the fact that

(1) there are only a few universities that educate students in the relevant areas of physical metallurgy of non-ferrous alloys and

(2) there are significantly fewer academic research projects that are focused on non-ferrous alloy R&D. These trends have greatly reduced the synergies that existed previously between faculty, students, and the relevant industries; this, in turn, has weakened the dominance of US industries that rely heavily on these materials.

CANFSA will conduct critical basic and applied physical metallurgy research of direct relevance to the industries that develop, manufacture and use advanced non-ferrous structural alloys. The focus of the proposed center will be on research projects that are relevant to its industrial constituents as well as intellectually and scientifically challenging and stimulating to the research teams involved.  This will insure that the undergraduate and graduate students will have the opportunity to work on interesting, state-of-the-art projects of considerable interest and relevance to the member industries.  In addition, the opportunity to be mentored by both experimental and modeling experts, while interacting with industrial sponsors will ensure that the students receive the sort of education that is becoming increasingly desirable to manufacturing industries where modeling tools are increasingly used in conjunction with processing to design, manufacture and/or use non-ferrous alloys. 

More information about CANFSA can be found at

Research program

Lightweight Alloys

The Lightweight Alloys thrust area is focused on the development, production, processing and characterization of Al alloys, Mg alloys and their composites.  One of the initial projects in this thrust area is focused on understanding and developing novel aging treatments in heat treatable Al alloys.

Advanced Alloys and Processes

The Advanced Alloys and Processes thrust area is focused on structural or functional alloys not captured in the first two thrusts as well as advanced or novel processing approaches including advanced coating technologies such as Modulated Pulsed Power (MPP) Magnetron Sputtering of multi-functional tribological coatings.

High-Performance Alloys

The High-Performance Alloys thrust area is focused on the development, production, processing and characterization of higher temperature or higher specific strength alloys including Ti-base, Ni-base and Co-base alloys.  For example, the early projects are focused on high strength Ti alloys, high temperature Ti alloys, and Ni-base superalloy single crystals and bicrystals.

Facilities and Laboratory

The facilities available to this Center are considerable.  Many (but not all) of the equipment are described at the following websites:





Colorado School of Mines

Dept. of Metallurgical and Materials Engineering
1500 Illinois St.

Golden, Colorado, 80401

United States

(303) 273-3009-Kaufman; (303)273-3893-Clarke

Iowa State University

Dept of Materials Science and Engineering
2220W Hoover, 528 Bissell Rd.

Ames, Iowa, 50011

United States

(515) 294-5127