Smart Crucibles for Materials Processing in Microgravity

Award Information
Agency:
National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Branch
n/a
Amount:
$70,000.00
Award Year:
2004
Program:
SBIR
Phase:
Phase I
Contract:
NNM04AA63C
Award Id:
68483
Agency Tracking Number:
034335
Solicitation Year:
n/a
Solicitation Topic Code:
n/a
Solicitation Number:
n/a
Small Business Information
4914 Moores Mill Rd, Huntsville, AL, 35811
Hubzone Owned:
N
Minority Owned:
N
Woman Owned:
N
Duns:
799114574
Principal Investigator:
Scott O'Dell
Principal Investigator
(256) 851-7653
scottodell@plasmapros.com
Business Contact:
Timothy McKechnie
President
(256) 851-7653
timmck@plasmapros.com
Research Institute:
n/a
Abstract
Crucibles comprised of an internal ceramic liner in direct contact with a metal reinforcement are desired to maximize heat transfer between the sample and the furnace for materials processing experiments in microgravity. Previous work by Plasma Processes Inc. has demonstrated forming techniques to provide reinforced crucibles that survive quenching and produce samples with enhanced microstructural features compared to samples processed in conventional ampoule/cartridge assemblies. However, incorporation of thermocouples has been limited to either inside the crucible cavity or on the external surface of the metal reinforcement. The science requirements of several NASA principle investigators prevent the placement of thermocouples in these locations. In addition, a failure detection technique based on the use of krypton gas is required on some microgravity furnaces. Therefore, ?smart? crucibles are needed that incorporate thermocouple grooves and a reservoir for krypton gas storage within the crucible wall. Because of intimate contact between all the layers of the ?smart? crucible, optimum heat transfer rates are maintained.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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