Novel Coating Technologies for Neutrino Focusing Horns

Novel Coating Technologies for Neutrino Focusing Horns

Award Information
Agency: Department of Energy
Branch: N/A
Contract: DE-SC0017751
Agency Tracking Number: 240657
Amount: $1,010,000.00
Phase: Phase II
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2018
Solicitation Year: 2018
Solicitation Topic Code: 23c
Solicitation Number: DE-FOA-0001795
Small Business Information
315 Huls Drive, Englewood, OH, 45315-8983
DUNS: 793274747
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Jing Xu
 (937) 836-7749
 jingxu@faradaytechnology.com
Business Contact
 E. Jennings Taylor
Phone: (937) 836-7749
Email: jenningstaylor@faradaytechnology.com
Research Institution
N/A
Abstract
This technology addresses the need for a cost effective, simple and environmentally benign process to replace the current electroless nickel coating on Neutrino Focusing Horns, which are made of aluminum. One big challenge for depositing a coating on aluminum is that a special pretreatment is required owing to aluminum’s highly reactive nature. Even though the electroless nickel coating has been the most successful thus far for Neutrino Focusing Horns, the complexity and environmental concerns regarding the large amounts of hazard chemical usage for pretreatment have triggered the need for a different process. This program is developing a simple, electrochemical approach that consists of sequential pretreatment and electrodeposition process steps to clean and prepare the aluminum surface and subsequently directly electrodeposit a hard nickel coating on the aluminum horn surface. The coating process is more cost effective, less complex and uses a smaller volume of chemicals than the electroless nickel coating for aluminum Neutrino Focusing Horns. Phase I demonstrated the feasibility of pulse reverse electrochemical pretreatment followed by direct electrodeposition of nickel onto aluminum. The entire process comprised 5 steps in comparison to the 16 steps required for electroless nickel deposition. The potential was shown to meet the required properties for adhesion, hardness, and corrosion. Preliminary estimates show the potential for at least a 50% cost saving compared to electroless nickel for a sub-scale component, with more significant savings anticipated for full-size parts. The Phase II project will further develop and validate an electrodeposited nickel coating with similar or better performance than the current electroless nickel coating. Phase II will optimize the pretreatment process to facilitate low-cost manufacturing, optimize the electrodeposition process to achieve the desired wear and corrosion resistance and hardness, design racking and tooling and build alpha-scale electrochemical cells to achieve the desired coating uniformity across the part and process prototype-size components, and finalize the economics and transition plan.Commercial Applications and Other Benefits Direct electroplating on aluminum alloys is of critical importance to industry. The proposed electrodeposition technology has the potential to positively impact society by reducing hazard chemical usage, and enhance the usage of the aluminum in various applications. The technology will be adapted to other applications that require electrodeposited coatings on passive metals such as aluminum, titanium and stainless steels.

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

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