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

Award Information
National Science Foundation
Award Year:
Phase II
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
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Small Business Information
NuForm Materials, LLC
939 Luke Road, Sadieville, KY, 40370
Hubzone Owned:
Minority Owned:
Woman Owned:
Principal Investigator:
Brock Marrs
(859) 489-3341
Business Contact:
Brock Marrs
(859) 489-3341
Research Institution:
This award is funded under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (Public Law 111-5). This Small Business Innovation Research(SBIR)Phase II project seeks to overcome the principal impediments of the inconsistent quality of metal matrix composite (MMC) materials from fly ash and aluminum. This project utilizes highly processed ash derived ceramics (ADC) as a reinforcing phase in aluminum MMCs manufactured with powder metallurgy (P/M) methods. The processed ADC has a narrow size distribution and is free of carbon, magnetite, and cenospheres. In powder metal technology the ADC alters the strength, stiffness, and hardness of the aluminum. When blended with aluminum powders and compacted into parts, aluminum MMC materials can be fabricated with stiffness properties like ductile iron. Sintering parameters can be manipulated to control the aluminum-ADC reaction and the silicon metal and spinel that it generates, thus creating wear resistance and hardness. The MMC then behaves like a hypereutectic alloy. The primary objective of this project is to formulate one or more high performance ADC-aluminum MMCs that are ready for commercial deployment. Achieving this level of performance will allow ADC?aluminum MMCs to compete directly with hypereutectic alloys and ductile iron in the production of parts for the transportation industry. The broader impact/commercial potential of this project will be the ability to derive high quality, ash derived ceramics (ADC) that are recovered from coal combustion ash for use in new light weight high strength composite materials. These materials are needed in the transportation industry where weight, cost, and performance are critical. ADC-aluminum metal matrix composites can be used to manufacture parts for the transportation industry such as brake rotors, and drive train components that are currently made from ductile iron or hypereutectic alloys, materials that are heavier and/or difficult to machine. This material change will decrease the overall weight of the vehicle, thereby improving its fuel efficiency and performance while improving the margins for parts manufacturers. This technology will create a new commodity that will lead to the creation of new jobs and help support the needs of the automotive and transportation industries.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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