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Reliable Quench Crucibles for Materials Processing in Microgravity

Award Information

National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Award ID:
Program Year/Program:
2001 / SBIR
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
Solicitation Topic Code:
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
Plasma Processes, LLC
4914 Moores Mill Road Huntsville, AL 35811-1558
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Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No
Phase 2
Fiscal Year: 2001
Title: Reliable Quench Crucibles for Materials Processing in Microgravity
Agency: NASA
Contract: N/A
Award Amount: $600,000.00


With the completion of the International Space Station, access to microgravity for materials science experiments will increase significantly. Versatile sample containment fabrication techniques are needed to meet the science requirements of NASA's principle investigators. New quenching requirements have caused current ceramic crucibles to crack. Traditional ampoule/cartridge assemblies lack the ability to provide sufficient quench rates due to gaps between the cartridge and the ampoule. An innovative quench crucible comprised of an internal ceramic liner in direct contact with a reinforcing metal overlay is the needed solution. With proper selection, the ceramic liner will provide the chemical compatibility for processing the PI's sample, and the reinforcement metal overlay in direct contact with the liner will enable rapid quench rates and prevent cracking. During Phase I, two novel fabrication methods will be investigated which will allow the fabrication of reliable quench crucibles. The first technique will use preformed ceramic ampoules reinforced with a deposited metal overlay. The second technique will involve the spray forming of both a ceramic liner and metal reinforcement on a removable mandrel. With the development of these two crucible fabrication methods, essentially any principle investigators' sample containment requirements can be satisfied.

Principal Investigator:

Scott O'Dell
Materials Engineer

Business Contact:

Tim McKechnie
Small Business Information at Submission:

Plasma Processes, Inc.
4914 D Moores Mill Road Huntsville, AL 35811

Number of Employees:
Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No