THE RAPID GROWTH AND HARVESTING OF SIC WHISKERS FROM COMPOSITE PARTICLES

Award Information
Agency:
Department of Energy
Branch
n/a
Amount:
$500,000.00
Award Year:
1988
Program:
SBIR
Phase:
Phase II
Contract:
n/a
Award Id:
7021
Agency Tracking Number:
7021
Solicitation Year:
n/a
Solicitation Topic Code:
n/a
Solicitation Number:
n/a
Small Business Information
4233 S Fremont Ave, Tucson, AZ, 85714
Hubzone Owned:
N
Minority Owned:
N
Woman Owned:
N
Duns:
n/a
Principal Investigator:
Dr Cheng-tsin Lee
(602) 746-9442
Business Contact:
() -
Research Institute:
n/a
Abstract
THE USE OF WHISKERS IN METALS AND CERAMICS IS WELL ESTABLISHED AND DESTINED TO PLAY A MAJOR ROLE IN ADVANCED HIGH TECHNOLOGY MATERIALS APPLICATIONS. THE AVAILABILITY AND COST OF WHISKERS SUCH AS SILICON CARBIDE (SIC) IS A KEY TO THE ECONOMIC PRODUCTION AND WIDESPREAD USE OF ADVANCED COMPOSITE MATERIALS. CURRENTLY, WHISKERS ARE BATCH GROWN IN 6- TO 10-HOUR CYCLES USING STAINLESS STEEL POWDER AS A SEED CATALYST TO PROMOTE A VAPOR-LIQUID-SOLID (VLS) GROWTH MECHANISM. THE LENGTH AND DIAMETER (1/D) CONTROL OF WHISKERGROWTH IS RANDOM, WITH VERY LITTLE PROCESS CONTROL TO PRODUCE CONTROLLED WHISKER SIZES. ADVANCED COMPOSITES IDEALLY REQUIRE A CONTROLLED 1/D WHISKER TO PRODUCE HIGH PERFORMANCE AND RELIABLE COMPOSITES. AFTER A BATCH GROWTH CYCLE, TEDIOUS AND MULTIPLE STEP HARVESTING IS REQUIRED TO SEPARATE THE WHISKERS FROM POWDER GROWTH AND CATALYST. THE BATCH PROCESSING AND HARVESTING RESULTS IN HIGH COST WHISKERS WITH A PROJECTED PRODUCTION COST OF AROUND $100/LB.THERE IS ONLY ONE MAJOR U.S. WHISKER PRODUCER AND SEVERAL JAPANESE PRODUCERS CURRENTLY MARKETING WHISKERS IN THE UNITED STATES AT ABOUT $250/LB. THIS PROGRAM PLANS TO INVESTIGATE A CONTINUOUS RAPID GROWTH PROCESS FROM A COMPOSITE CATALYZED PARTICLE WITH IN SITU CONTINUOUS GAS TRANSPORT HARVESTING WITH THE POTENTIAL TO PRODUCE SIC WHISKERS AT NEAR THE COST OF SIC POWDER.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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