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S. Korea launches project to establish demonstration base for materials used in extreme environment

By Lim Chang-won Posted : August 22, 2022, 15:17 Updated : August 22, 2022, 15:17

[Courtesy of the Ministry of Science and ICT]

SEOUL -- In a bid to secure technology sovereignty and reduce a technology gap with leading countries, South Korea embarked on a costly national project to establish a one-stop demonstration and research base for the development of materials and manufacturing techniques for use in extreme and harsh environments.

The six-year project that requires the injection of 309.6 billion won ($231 million) from 2023 is aimed at securing original core technologies by creating a foundation for empirical research on strategic materials used in extreme environments such as ultra-high temperature, ultra-low temperature, ultra-high pressure, the Ministry of Science and ICT said.
Such materials are used for space, liquid hydrogen storage, and ultra-high temperature gas turbines. However, South Korea has no basis for commercialization through empirical research, forcing companies to mainly rely on imports and overseas test and evaluation institutions. To overcome such difficulties, the government will create a foundation for empirical research that can be used by companies and researchers.

"We hope that this project will be a bridgehead for South Korea to secure high-value-added materials used in future industries such as aerospace, hydrogen and energy," Koo Hyuk-chae, a ministry official in charge of basic source research policy, said in a statement on August 22. He said that the project has passed a preliminary feasibility study.

Three facilities and equipment for demonstration will be established near the state-run Korea Institute of Materials Science (KIMS) in the southern city of Changwon.

Koo's office presented the goal of securing 10 world-class materials such as metal powder materials based on 3D printing of aviation engine parts and insulation materials for liquid hydrogen storage containers and of deriving the prototypes of materials that have been demonstrated. 

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