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Development of Nuclear Quality Components Using Metal Additive Manufacturing

Award Information
Agency: Department of Energy
Branch: N/A
Contract: DE-SC0011826
Agency Tracking Number: 219299
Amount: $999,579.00
Phase: Phase II
Program: STTR
Solicitation Topic Code: 19f
Solicitation Number: DE-FOA-0001258
Solicitation Year: 2015
Award Year: 2015
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2015-07-27
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2017-07-26
Small Business Information
1713 Stewart Street
Santa Monica, CA 90404-4021
United States
DUNS: 078618369
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: No
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: No
Principal Investigator
 Pedro Frigola
 (310) 822-5845
Business Contact
 Salime Boucher
Title: Dr.
Phone: (310) 822-5845
Research Institution
 University of Texas at El Paso
500 W University Ave
El Paso, TX 79968
United States

 () -
 Nonprofit College or University

A major problem with nuclear fission reactors is the welding of components of dissimilar metals, where the filler is usually of an additional metal alloy that is not necessarily the same as the two parts to be joined. Welding of metals will often have a heat affected zone (HAZ) and a thermo- mechanically affected zone (TMAZ), which need to be post-weld heat treated to minimize precipitation or segregation. Electron beam-based additive manufacturing may realize mechanical, thermal, and radiation- management optimized materials and geometries without the usual complexity and expense of current fabrication techniques. RadiaBeam Systems in collaboration with the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP) proposes to develop an electron beam-based additive manufacturing process for the joining of dissimilar metals for use in the nuclear power industry. Specifically this work proposes to optimized additive manufacturing parameters guided by thermodynamic simulations, as well as implement hardware improvements to efficiently process ferritic alloys of direct interest to the nuclear energy industry.

Upon development, the proposed electron beam-based additive manufacturing process can be licensed to large volume manufacturers, for fabrication of small modular reactors (SMRs) components as well as other high-temperature energy conversion and combustion systems. The proposed technology can make the direct fabrication of reactor core components, as well as the repair of existing high value components in a variety of industry that currently rely on dissimilar metal welding. The method would offer a significant improvement to the cost of production and energy consumption compared with conventional joining-fabrication processes.

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

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