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STTR Phase I: Novel Deposition Rate Sensors for Real-Time Thickness Control of Plasma Spray

Award Information
Agency: National Science Foundation
Branch: N/A
Contract: 0539622
Agency Tracking Number: 0539622
Amount: $99,994.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: STTR
Solicitation Topic Code: EL
Solicitation Number: NSF 05-557
Solicitation Year: 2005
Award Year: 2006
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): N/A
Award End Date (Contract End Date): N/A
Small Business Information
166 Melrose Street
Auburndale, MA 02466
United States
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: No
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: No
Principal Investigator
 George Reimann
 (617) 372-5804
Business Contact
 Michael Gevelber
Phone: (617) 964-7515
Research Institution
 Boston University
 Donald E Wroblewski
881 Commonwealth Avenue
Boston, MA 02215
United States

 (617) 353-9739
 Nonprofit college or university

This Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Phase I project will develop prototypes of two novel, fast deposition rate sensors that will enable implementation of real-time deposition rate control for plasma spray. Plasma spray is currently run open loop with respect to the actual particle states and is characterized by large variations which affect yield and quality. Preliminary research reveals that currently available sensors, which measure average particle temperature and velocity, are not well correlated to deposition rate. The new sensor concepts measure particle flux using a high speed CCD array and molten flux using spectral deconvolution, both of which have been shown to correlate well to deposition rate. These new high speed sensors will provide the basis for implementing real time control that can significantly reduce coating thickness variation, a primary plasma spray performance metric. Plasma spray is a high-throughput, economical, low environmental impact process that can be used to custom engineer coating microstructure to meet specific performance requirements. It is used extensively to coat turbine components with thermal barrier coatings (world wide market of $2.5 B where US has a 35% market share) as well as emerging applications such as the electrolyte coating for fuel cells. The sensor technology proposed in this project, enabling real-time control, will enhance the process capability of plasma spray to achieve greater than 2 sigma capability, enhancing coating quality, reliability and relieving some of the cost pressures faced by domestic manufacturers.

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

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