USA flag logo/image

An Official Website of the United States Government

Enhanced Performance Carbon Foam Heat Exchanger for Power Plant Cooling

Award Information

Department of Energy
Award ID:
Program Year/Program:
2003 / SBIR
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
Solicitation Topic Code:
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
Ceramic Composites, Inc.
133 Defense Highway, Suite 212 Annapolis, MD 21401-8907
View profile »
Woman-Owned: Yes
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No
Phase 1
Fiscal Year: 2003
Title: Enhanced Performance Carbon Foam Heat Exchanger for Power Plant Cooling
Agency: DOE
Contract: DE-FG02-03ER83627
Award Amount: $99,725.00


72731S03-I A new high-thermal-conductivity carbon foam, with thermal transfer properties superior to those of aluminum and copper, has been developed at Oak Ridge National Laboratory for application to heat exchangers in power plants. Although this foam provides up to 3.5 times the heat rejection efficiency, it is structurally weak and friable. This project will improve the mechanical strength of the foam using a low-cost SiC infiltration process, which will double the foam modulus and reduce dusting and erosion without a significant reduction in thermal performance. Phase I will evaluate existing silicon carbide precursors, optimize their processing conditions, and establish the relationship between the infiltrant/processing parameters and the resultant material property enhancement of the carbon foam. Flexural and compressive strengths will be measured, the thermal conductivity will be determined, and the effect of the SiC coating on the thermal performance of the foam in a wet heat exchanger environment will be established. In Phase II, the enhanced foams will be integrated into active power plant cooling systems, addressing such issues as design, bonding, and thermal management. Commercial Applications and Other Benefits as described by awardee: Applications for the technology include heat exchangers for power plants, electronic cooling, heat pipes, automobiles, catalyst supports, rocket engines, aircraft, spacecraft, and industrial cooling.

Principal Investigator:

Christopher Duston

Business Contact:

Sharon Fehrenbacher
Small Business Information at Submission:

Ceramic Composites, Inc.
133 Defense Highway Suite 212 Annapolis, MD 21401

Number of Employees: N/A
Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No