Polymer Derived Ceramic Materials and Processes for Joining of Nuclear-Grade SiC-SiC Composites

Award Information
Agency: Department of Energy
Branch: N/A
Contract: DE-SC0019580
Agency Tracking Number: 242716
Amount: $149,999.18
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Solicitation Topic Code: 20b
Solicitation Number: DE-FOA-0001940
Solicitation Year: 2019
Award Year: 2019
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2019-02-19
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2019-11-18
Small Business Information
515 Courtney Way, Suite B, Lafayette, CO, 80026-8821
DUNS: 128688111
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Brian Mulhern
 (303) 516-9075
Business Contact
 Kevin Harsh
Phone: (303) 516-9075
Email: authorizing.official@sporian.com
Research Institution
To achieve energy security and clean energy objectives, the United States must develop and deploy clean, affordable, domestic energy sources as quickly as possible. Nuclear power will continue to be a key component of a portfolio of technologies that meets our energy goals. Key R&D objectives that address challenges to expanding the use of nuclear power includes developing technologies that can improve the reliability and affordability, sustain the safety, and extend the life of current and future reactors and enable nuclear energy to help meet the Administration's energy security and clean energy goals. Along these lines, there is a specific need for the development of improved methods targeting reducing costs and/or allowing joining of nuclear-grade SiC- SiC composites that can be used in the Generation IV gas-cooled and liquid fluoride salt-cooled reactors at temperatures up to 850°C. How Problem is Being Addressed: Sporian Microsystems has extensively researched and developed advanced ceramic materials for harsh environments with a particular focus on materials and sensor technologies for energy systems. Sporian will leverage this expertise to translate an existing high temperature polymer derived ceramic (PDC) materials technology for use as a cost effective joining technology for nuclear-grade SiC-SiC composites. During Phase I, Sporian plans to build upon prior efforts toward PDC precursor and high temperature ceramic component development. Sporian will work with established nuclear industry stakeholders and national lab contacts/partners to identify requirements and component designs of high interest/value, and develop testing opportunities for Phase II to demonstrate the technology suitability in application environments. Sporian will then evaluate various PDC formulations, variations, and processing parameters to identify those potentially best suited to the application. The Phase I effort will culminate in the fabrication of relevant test components and lab scale (>850C) materials testing, clearly showing the technical feasibility and commercial viability of the proposed technology. Current and emerging nuclear power plants are a sustainable market for PDC/composite components to improve efficiency while thriving in these harsh environments. This processing technology can be transferred to most nuclear power generation system components, such as fuel boxes/structures, thermowells, heat exchangers, corrosion resistant liners for metallic surfaces, radiation resistant flanges and supports, and printed circuit heat exchangers. By supplying on-demand, high-temperature structural components, a PDC-composite joining process has the potential to considerably improve the output and cost efficiency of power generation systems, providing more affordable electricity for private, public, and industrial sectors.

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

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