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SBIR Phase II: Development of a Scalable, Reproducible Manufacturing Process for Lightweight, High-Temperature Neutron Shield

Award Information
Agency: National Science Foundation
Branch: N/A
Contract: 2025759
Agency Tracking Number: 2025759
Amount: $992,923.00
Phase: Phase II
Program: SBIR
Solicitation Topic Code: MI
Solicitation Number: N/A
Solicitation Year: 2020
Award Year: 2020
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2020-08-01
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2022-07-31
Small Business Information
375 N Main Street
Williamstown, NJ 08094
United States
DUNS: 080435755
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: Yes
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: No
Principal Investigator
 Danielle Castley
 (856) 889-9156
Business Contact
 Danielle Castley
Phone: (856) 889-9156
Research Institution

The broader impact/commercial potential of this Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase II project is the improved safety and reduced cost of commercial nuclear power. The annual, global lightweight, high-temperature neutron shield market is approximately $100 million. Better materials can increase the safety of nuclear plant operations by reducing radiation damage to both in-containment components and radiation exposure to power plant workers. This project develops a high-temperature, lightweight neutron shield material for reactor design, power plant operations, and spent fuel management. This material platform's competitive advantages are the following: 1) it can operate at temperatures 50% higher (degrees C) than current materials 2) it is castable, instead of requiring extrusion molding or machining and 3) it is cost competitive with current low-temperature neutron shielding materials. The primary objective is to develop a reproducible, full-scale manufacturing process for this new material. This new material platform will reduce overall plant life cycle costs by reducing the expenses associated with spent fuel management and decommissioning. This Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase II project advances a high-temperature, lightweight neutron shielding material for the nuclear industry. Specific objectives for the proposed research to scale the production process for industrial volumes by the following: 1) determine a blending procedure for mixing nanoparticles into the liquid resin prior to curing, 2) establish a mixing process for evenly incorporating the catalyst into the base resin for large volume parts, 3) determine a product formation process by designing molds and the mold extraction process for the large volume parts, 4) determine quality control check points for production and 5) characterize samples to confirm material properties. 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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