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Direct Casting of Er-Alloys for High-performance Cryocooler Regenerators

Award Information

Department of Defense
Missile Defense Agency
Award ID:
Program Year/Program:
2004 / SBIR
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
Solicitation Topic Code:
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
International Mezzo Technologies, Inc
7167 Florda Blvd Baton Rouge, LA -
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Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No
Phase 2
Fiscal Year: 2004
Title: Direct Casting of Er-Alloys for High-performance Cryocooler Regenerators
Agency / Branch: DOD / MDA
Contract: FA9453-04-C-0018
Award Amount: $748,415.00


The goal of this program is to develop manufacturing technologies/methods that will allow for the fabrication of advanced regenerators made from erbium-based, intermetallic compounds for application in space-based cryocoolers. These regenerators, when used as a replacement for Pb-powder regenerators, will result in an increase in efficiency of cryocoolers by a factor of 3-4. When used as a replacement for Er-based powder regenerators for the 4¿K cryocoolers, an increase in efficiency by factors of 10-20 can be expected. Thus, the Er-based micro-channel regenerators are expected to reduce power requirements as well as the overall size and weight of cryocoolers. In addition, the Er-alloys are harder than lead making them easier to handle, less prone to cold welding, and removing problems of toxicity. Mezzo initially evaluated three fabrication methods under this program: high aspect ratio LIGA molds being used to simultaneously electro discharge machine (EDM) tens of thousands of holes (LIGA-EDM), direct molding using LIGA molds, and molding using a binder/ErPr system followed by a burnout and sintering process. Tests carried out under this program have shown the feasibility of fabrication of high performance regenerators using various micromanufacturing methods. With further development, this program should lead to substantial improvements in cryocooler performance.

Principal Investigator:

Dean J. Guidry
Design Engineer

Business Contact:

Andrew B. McCandless
Small Business Information at Submission:

LBTC, Rm D-104 South Stadium Dr. Baton Rouge, LA 70803

EIN/Tax ID: 721477348
Number of Employees:
Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No