SBIR Phase I: Improved Manufacturing Methodology for Aluminum Ash Metal Matrix Composite Materials

Award Information
Agency: National Science Foundation
Branch: N/A
Contract: 0740339
Agency Tracking Number: 0740339
Amount: $99,144.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2008
Solicitation Year: N/A
Solicitation Topic Code: AM
Solicitation Number: NSF 07-551
Small Business Information
939 Luke Road, Sadieville, KY, 40370
DUNS: 800556040
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Brock Marrs
 (859) 257-0314
Business Contact
 Brock Marrs
Title: DPhil
Phone: (859) 257-0314
Research Institution
The Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase I project will utilize highly processed fly ash in combination with the stir-casting technology to advance the manufacturing of coal ash-aluminum metal matrix composites (MMC). Fly ash, a ceramic glass sphere is produced when coal is burned, will be classified into a product with a narrow size range and little to no fine material (i.e. ash <5 micron in diameter) using a novel classification system. The low surface area of the classified ash particles will facilitate dispersion within the aluminum matrix while simultaneously slowing associated reduction reactions. The proposed aluminum-fly ash MMC will exhibit superior stiffness, hardness, and thermal conductivity. Furthermore, the successful creation of a material with increased stiffness that can be machined with conventional tooling would represent a breakthrough. If successful, the proposed aluminum-fly ash MMC would make it an attractive alternative to ductile iron in automotive applications (brake rotors). This material also has the potential to compete with hyper eutectic aluminum alloys in applications such as pistons, engine blocks, and engine heads. Fly ash-aluminum MMC would make automobiles lighter, and positively impact fuel consumption and cost. Additionally, the production of these composites would be environmentally friendly.

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

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