The VII Symposium was held on July 6-9, 2003 in Cracow, Poland. It gathered above 300 participants and 150 presentations from 20 countries. Large delegations came from Russia (51 persons), the USA, Japan, Italy, Taiwan, Korea, Spain, and Israel. Represented were the centers of SHS research from Armenia, Georgia, and Belarus'. Experts from Chili took part in the Symposium for the first time, while Chinese scientists could not come because of SARS. The Symposium was attended by not only renowned but also young researchers. So, the French delegation consisted only of younger research workers.
The Symposium was organized by AGH University of Science and Technology, Cracow (Faculty of Materials Science and Ceramics) with participation of ISMAN. Great contribution to organization of the Symposium was provided by R. Pampuch, J. Lis, D. Kata (from the Polish side) and by A.E. Sytschev and A.G. Merzhanov (from the Russian side). The choice of a place for the Symposium was not accidental: the Polish group headed by Prof. R. Pampuch was the first who initiated SHS research in Poland. For this reason, the plenary lecture by R. Pampuch Impact of SHS on materials research in Cracow was met with great attention.
In his lecture, Prof. A.G. Merzhanov summarized the achievements of SHS research in two last years and presented a new book SHS: Concepts of Current SHS R & D that appeared in Russian. Among key lines of SHS research, Prof. Merzhanov mentioned 3D modeling of SHS processes, joint synthetico-kinetic modeling with account of positive and negative feedbacks, selective external influence on SHS and post-processes, in-line SHS production with utilization of released heat. Much attention was given to development of new SHS facilities (quasiadiabatic combustion chambers, SHS moulds with scheduled heating, mechanochemical reactors, etc). In conclusion, he mentioned two new applications of SHS: in the process engineering of gas-turbine engines (ISMAN-SALYUT, Russia) and multi-tonnage production of pipes with wear-resistant lining in China.
Key lectures were delivered by Prof. Z.A. Munir (USA), Prof. Y. Ìiyamoto (Japan), Prof. I. Borovinskaya (Russia), Prof. I. Gotman (Israel), Prof. V. Yukhvid (Russia), Prof. J. Lis, Prof. D. Kata (Poland). The invited lectures were delivered by Prof. J.P. Bonnet (France) and Prof. V.Ya. Shevchenko (Russia).
Prof. Z.A. Munir overviewed the regulation of SHS by external influences. Varying the frequency of applied field, one may carry out layer-by-layer heating of green material, which is especially important for synthesis of functionally graded materials. Prof. Y. Ìiyamoto talked about computer-aided design of intermetallic materials and items termed Reactive Rapid Prototyping.
Prof. I. Borovinskaya reported on new achievements of ISMAN that resulted in new practical implementations of SHS technology, such as the synthesis of nanopowders and nanomaterials.
Prof. I. Gotman reported on a new method that combines thermal explosion with subsequent hot pressing to obtain high-density products. This technique provides the means for controlling phase transformations and extent of conversion.
Prof. V. Yukhvid reviewed the state-of-art in experimental, theoretical, and applied research in the field of SHS metallurgy over a period of last 25 years, with special emphasis on the recent SALYUT-ISMAN program on the process engineering of gas turbines for aviation industry.
The lecture by J. Lis and D. Kata was devoted to synthesis of SHS composites with uniform distribution of SHS-produced nano-sized particles of complex Ti and Si carbides.
The invited lecture by Prof. V.Ya. Shevchenko was devoted to atomic modeling of nanomaterials responsible for their unusual physicomechanical properties.
Prof. J.P. Bonnet (France) analyzed the role of ceramics from both the academic and practical points of view and attempted to evaluate the position of SHS technology. Having recognized ever-increasing interest in and high potentialities of this technology, Prof. J.P. Bonnet expressed his doubt that producers of ceramics will readily add this technology to their arsenal.
In subsequent discussion, Prof. Merzhanov opposed this point of view and formulated his concept of industrial implementation for SHS technology taken as an example. He said:
"A success of implementation depends on market situation. When the market is saturated with a given product and the matter concerns the replacement of one technology by another, the requirements to a new technology are very strict. Our experience shows that the implementation of new technology requires that its product be of higher quality and lower cost. Besides, we have to find out an enthusiast strongly interested in a new technology. I know only one such an example: the implementation of SHS technology for manufacturing molybdenum disilicide for heating elements in Kirovakan, Armenia. Here, and important factor (besides good service parameters of SHS process) was a hot desire of the plant director to demonstrate his urge toward something new.
Another situation takes place when the demand for a given product is unsaturated and cannot be saturated without implementation of new production. In this case, the requirements to new technology are so strict, so that the implementation may turn out much easier. A good example here is the industrial implementation in China of SHS production of pipes with wear-resistant lining for transportation of abrasive media.
For successful industrialization of SHS, we have to seek for such situations and to exhibit personal activity in solution of manufacturing problems."
Besides the above lectures, 68 oral and 66 poster presentations have been made. These covered the main directions of SHS research, including theoretical background, processes, problems of materials science, environment health, safety rules, and applications.
The scientific program of the Symposium was recognized as successful. Below are some opinions expressed by participants.
The hosts of the previous Symposium, I. Gotman and E.Y. Gutmanas (Israel): Here there were more reports on industrial applications of SHS. The most interesting session was devoted to nanomaterials.
J. Puszynski (USA): The Symposium in Cracow was of a success. New lines of research, such as nanomaterials and fine-grained composites, have been presented and discussed.
B. Formanek (Poland): The Symposium is very useful for Poland. It will help us to specify the general approach to our applied and basic researche. It will also attract the investments from private companies.
The youngest participant (21 years old) S. Busurin (Russia): Everything at the symposium was unusual for me. I have got an opportunity to get acquainted with leading scientists and their results first-hand. I am full of impressions and understand that I need to improve my skills and my English. I was much interested in the regulation of SHS by external influences, such as electric current.