Recovery Act - A Very Low Cost Process for the Manufacture of Ti Heat Exchanger Components for Desalination
Department of Energy
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Small Business Information
Materials And Electrochemical Research (mer) Corpo
7960 S. Kolb Road, Tucson, AZ, 85756
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged:
AbstractThe availability of fresh potable water is restricted in many environments. This can be due to various factors including an arid climate, a contaminated local water supply, or offshore installations including shipboard. In many of these situations, there is an abundant supply of sea water which would meet the water supply requirements after a suitable purification procedure to remove the salt and other contaminants. Distillation processes have been commercialized which can produce the required water quality and can be scaled to meet the required output of potable water. However, the very high cost is restricting the implementation of this technology. The heat exchangers used in the distillation process are subject to extreme corrosion due to the salt content of the water. As a result, the preferred material for the heat exchangers is titanium because of its excellent corrosion resistance. However, the very high cost of Ti components contributes to the high cost of the heat exchangers used for desalination. This Phase I program will demonstrate the feasibility of using a very low cost manufacturing process for the production of affordable Ti heat exchanger components. This process which has been demonstrated by MER utilizes a very low cost Ti sponge powder as the feed stock coupled with a low cost rapid manufacturing process to produce low cost Ti heat exchangers. Commercial Applications and Other Benefits: In addition to the use of Ti components in desalination heat exchangers, the low cost manufacturing route for low cost Ti components can be used to produce near net shape Ti alloys. The use of titanium alloys in other commercial applications including automotive has been restricted because of the high cost, even though the performance and environmental benefits are well understood. A substantial reduction in cost would lead to substantially increased utilization. For example, the use of lightweight Ti components for automotive and truck applications such as valve train and suspension components could provide lower inertia reciprocating components and higher effective engine power, and overall vehicle weight reduction, translating to lower fuel consumption and a domino effect of reducing pollution.
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