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Innovative nano Carbon Infused Metal High Performance Conductors

Award Information
Agency: Department of Energy
Branch: N/A
Contract: DE-SC0015115
Agency Tracking Number: 221249
Amount: $149,950.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: STTR
Solicitation Topic Code: 12b
Solicitation Number: N/A
Solicitation Year: 2016
Award Year: 2016
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2016-02-09
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2016-11-21
Small Business Information
1140 Centre Rd.
Auburn Hills, MI 48326
United States
DUNS: 603816588
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: No
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: No
Principal Investigator
 Susan Okray
 (248) 362-5110
Business Contact
 Sid Siddiqi
Title: Mr.
Phone: (248) 227-5665
Research Institution
 University of Illinois
1206 West Green Street 1206 West Green Street
Urbana, IL 61801-2906
United States

 (217) 333-9259
 Nonprofit College or University

Quest for ever lighter weight and higher efficiency occupies the power, aircraft, automobile, industries and government agencies (DOE, NSF, NASA, DOD), new materials are a major focus. Furthermore, there is an urgent national need to transfer power more efficiently and more reliably. In this STTR we propose novel high performance metallic conductors for superior voltage transfer. Our innovative and affordable materials, called covetics, involve nano carbon infused into the metal. We will study Aluminum and Copper covetics with aim to demonstrate improved (50%) power to weight ratio. These new materials should have significant national impact on industrial light weight electrical power systems and on DOE’s materials mission. We will leverage covetic research investments done by the Navy’s NSWCCD labs. Interdisciplinary fundamental and applied research, involving material modeling, will be performed for new nano technology Aluminum and Copper conductors with 2% - 10% Carbon (C) infused at nanoscale. The goal is to increase conductivity by 50% with potential manufacturing costs reductions (no expensive C nanotubes needed) of 25% versus conventional Al and Cu. The research approach for Phase I covers: 1. Characterization and modeling of innovative nano Carbon (C) infused covetic Al and Cu for tailoring conductivity, mechanical properties, and joinability. 2. Carbon content quantification of covetics using proton bombardment and other techniques. 3. Scalable and affordable manufacturing model development for covetic conductors using a lean manufacturing approach. In Phase II we will tailor covetic materials for performance enhancement and develop a scaled up covetic wire manufacturing with lab demonstration setup. The proposed innovative nano Carbon infused Copper and Aluminum covetic wires have high promise to yield 50% improvement in electrical conductivities at affordable costs. This fits DOE’s mission while meeting the National Materials Genome Initiative goals. Covetics should improve global competitiveness for US industries in power, motors/generators, aircraft and automotive manufacturing.

Commercial Applications and Other Benefits: The aircraft, automobile, electrical power and motor/generator industries will directly benefit from the 50% power to weight ratio improvement potential gained in lighter weight machines, vehicles and power wiring compared to the current state. The potential direct national economic impact is estimated to exceed $1 Billion/year in Phase III.

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

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