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An Innovative Approach to Synthesis to Porous Intermetallic Matrix Composites for Regenerative Cooling Below 20K

Award Information
Agency: Department of Energy
Branch: N/A
Contract: DE-FG03-96ER82205
Agency Tracking Number: 34666
Amount: $75,000.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Solicitation Topic Code: N/A
Solicitation Number: N/A
Solicitation Year: N/A
Award Year: 1996
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): N/A
Award End Date (Contract End Date): N/A
Small Business Information
7960 South Kolb
Tucson, AZ 85706
United States
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: No
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: No
Principal Investigator
 Dr. Abuagelah Rashed
 (520) 574-1980
Business Contact
 Dr. J. C. Withers
Title: CEO
Phone: (520) 574-1980
Research Institution

40997 November 19, 1996

Chlorofluorocarbons (Freon) are being phased out of use for refrigeration. This project will develop a processing technology for active magnetic refrigeration devices which are being considered as candidates for replacements. Brittle intermetallics will be processed into a "tubular channels in solid block" geometry. Because the synthesis of such composites is extremely difficult, given their brittle nature, the conventional approach is to use a bed of intermetallic powders. However, numerical calculations indicate that alternate bed geometries, such as a solid block consisting of ~50-60 ¿m diameter channels or a series of stacked porous plates, hold promise for a 25% enhancement in operating efficiency. In this new approach, individual fibers are coated with the intermetallic and densified. The thickness of the matrix coating on individual fibers affords a convenient means to control the matrix volume fraction, and hence the porosity in the composite. Then, the fibers are removed to yield continuous channels of constant pore size throughout a solid block. Alternately, the solid blocks can be sliced into thin porous plates which can be stacked appropriately for the highest efficiency.

Anticipated Results/Potential Commercial Applications as described by the awardee: Magnetic refrigeration systems have been proposed for several applications from production of superfluid helium to comfort air conditioning. Other applications include refrigerators for cooling high temperature superconductor devices such as magnetic energy systems, motors, generators, etc. and one-ton per day high efficiency hydrogen liquefier.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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