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

Award Information
Agency:
National Science Foundation
Branch
n/a
Amount:
$99,144.00
Award Year:
2008
Program:
SBIR
Phase:
Phase I
Contract:
0740339
Agency Tracking Number:
0740339
Solicitation Year:
n/a
Solicitation Topic Code:
n/a
Solicitation Number:
n/a
Small Business Information
NuForm Materials, LLC
939 Luke Road, Sadieville, KY, 40370
Hubzone Owned:
N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged:
N
Woman Owned:
N
Duns:
800556040
Principal Investigator:
Brock Marrs
DPhil
(859) 257-0314
brock.marrs@nuformmaterials.com
Business Contact:
Brock Marrs
DPhil
(859) 257-0314
brock.marrs@nuformmaterials.com
Research Institution:
n/a
Abstract
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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