Reliable Quench Crucibles for Materials Processing in Microgravity

Award Information
Agency: National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Branch: N/A
Contract: N/A
Agency Tracking Number: 991456
Amount: $600,000.00
Phase: Phase II
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2001
Solicitation Year: N/A
Solicitation Topic Code: N/A
Solicitation Number: N/A
Small Business Information
4914 D Moores Mill Road, Huntsville, AL, 35811
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Scott O'Dell
 Materials Engineer
 () -
Business Contact
 Tim McKechnie
Title: President
Phone: (256) 851-7653
Research Institution
With the completion of the International Space Station, access to microgravity for materials science experiments will increase significantly. Versatile sample containment fabrication techniques are needed to meet the science requirements of NASA's principle investigators. New quenching requirements have caused current ceramic crucibles to crack. Traditional ampoule/cartridge assemblies lack the ability to provide sufficient quench rates due to gaps between the cartridge and the ampoule. An innovative quench crucible comprised of an internal ceramic liner in direct contact with a reinforcing metal overlay is the needed solution. With proper selection, the ceramic liner will provide the chemical compatibility for processing the PI's sample, and the reinforcement metal overlay in direct contact with the liner will enable rapid quench rates and prevent cracking. During Phase I, two novel fabrication methods will be investigated which will allow the fabrication of reliable quench crucibles. The first technique will use preformed ceramic ampoules reinforced with a deposited metal overlay. The second technique will involve the spray forming of both a ceramic liner and metal reinforcement on a removable mandrel. With the development of these two crucible fabrication methods, essentially any principle investigators' sample containment requirements can be satisfied.

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

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