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More Ductile Bulk Tungsten

Award Information
Agency: National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Branch: N/A
Contract: 80NSSC18P2172
Agency Tracking Number: 186443
Amount: $125,000.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Solicitation Topic Code: Z10
Solicitation Number: SBIR_18_P1
Solicitation Year: 2018
Award Year: 2018
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2018-07-27
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2019-02-15
Small Business Information
22775-B Savi Ranch Parkway
Yorba Linda, CA 92887-4622
United States
DUNS: 621604128
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: No
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: Yes
Principal Investigator
 Edward Chen
 (714) 283-2118
Business Contact
 Edward Chen
Phone: (714) 283-2118
Research Institution

This SBIR Phase I effort will develop and demonstrate a novel manufacturing process based on severe plastic deformation (SPD) to refine and enhance the microstructure-properties of bulk tungsten. Tungsten, with its many unique characteristics, plays an important role in nuclear reactors including for the nuclear thermal propulsion engine. The refractory metal, however, still has a number of shortcomings which still need to be addressed. These include a high ductile-to-brittle transition temperature, low ductility and poor fracture toughness, low machinability and fabricability, low-temperature brittleness, radiation-induced brittleness, and a relatively low recrystallization (RX) temperature compared to its operation temperature. The use of W above its RX temperature interminably can be unsafe because its mechanical properties decrease in such an environment. Low-temperature brittleness also imposes restrictions on the application of W as a structural material. And, given its high hardness, high brittleness, and poor machinability, W parts can be very costly and time-consuming to manufacture. Past efforts to increase the ductility of W were primarily directed on alloying, grain refinement, extreme working, area reductions, impurity reductions, and heat treatments. While ductile W currently exists in wire form (e.g., filaments) through extensive working and area reduction, this approach is clearly not practical for applications where bulk size parts are needed.

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

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