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SBIR Phase II: Reactive Additive Manufacturing of Advanced Superalloys for Turbine Engines

Award Information
Agency: National Science Foundation
Branch: N/A
Contract: 1758865
Agency Tracking Number: 1758865
Amount: $744,247.00
Phase: Phase II
Program: SBIR
Solicitation Topic Code: MN
Solicitation Number: N/A
Solicitation Year: 2016
Award Year: 2018
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2018-03-01
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2020-02-29
Small Business Information
405 Young Ct Unit 100C
Erie, CO 80516
United States
DUNS: 079973429
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: No
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: No
Principal Investigator
 Jacob Nuechterlein
 (720) 545-9013
Business Contact
 Jacob Nuechterlein
Phone: (720) 545-9013
Research Institution

This SBIR Phase II project will address the lack of high application temperature materials available for additive manufacturing. Additive manufacturing, often called 3D printing, provides increased design freedom and complex features such as part consolidation and conformal cooling channels. The performance and efficiency of gas turbines and other applications can be increased by combining design improvements enabled by additive manufacturing with a suitable high temperature material. Unfortunately, existing materials either do not have sufficient high temperature performance or are not compatible with high quality printing methods. This project will develop new nickel superalloy composite additive manufacturing materials for use with high temperature gas turbine components. Successful completion of this project will result in more efficient turbines to reduce energy costs, transportation costs, and carbon emissions. The manufacturing, power generation, and aerospace industries are expected to be impacted from this project. In addition, history has demonstrated that new materials and manufacturing technologies often lead to additional unexpected innovations. This project will help the country lead in the innovation of high performance materials technology to address the needs of the $86 billion gas turbine market and to grow advanced manufacturing jobs in the US. This project will utilize innovative reactive additive manufacturing materials technology to develop 3D printable advanced high temperature superalloys. During additive fabrication, high melting temperature product phases will be synthesized in-situ within a superalloy matrix to significantly improve high temperature performance and improve printability. This innovative reactive additive manufacturing technology has been shown to be applicable to a wide range of materials systems including nickel superalloys in an NSF Phase I project. Metal matrix composites produced using this technology have demonstrated greatly increased strength, wear resistance, and high temperature performance relative to comparable traditional alloys. In addition, this technology has demonstrated the ability to eliminate micro and macro cracking problems with alloys that had previously been considered unprintable. This project aims to further develop one or more high temperature superalloys compatible with laser powder bed fusion additive manufacturing for use in the hot sections of gas turbines. The scope of the project includes theoretical and experimental development and evaluation of novel material feedstocks, additive manufacturing processing conditions, and heat treatments. Evaluation of printed components will include measurement of density, hardness, standard and high temperature tensile properties, creep, and microstructure and phase analysis. Turbine components will be additively fabricated for pilot studies. This award reflects NSF's statutory mission and has been deemed worthy of support through evaluation using the Foundation's intellectual merit and broader impacts review criteria.

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

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