Smart Crucibles and Heat Pipes

Award Information
Agency:
National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Branch
n/a
Amount:
$600,000.00
Award Year:
2005
Program:
SBIR
Phase:
Phase II
Contract:
NNM05AA06C
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 Road, Huntsville, AL, 35811
Hubzone Owned:
N
Minority Owned:
N
Woman Owned:
N
Duns:
799114574
Principal Investigator:
ScottO'Dell
(256) 851-7653
scottodell@plasmapros.com
Business Contact:
TimothyMcKechnie
President
(256) 851-7653
timmck@plasmapros.com
Research Institute:
n/a
Abstract
For materials processing experiments in microgravity, crucibles comprised of an internal ceramic liner in direct contact with a metal reinforcement are desired to maximize heat transfer. Previous work has demonstrated the advantages of reinforced crucibles for producing samples with enhanced microstructural features compared to samples processed in conventional ampoule/cartridge assemblies. However, incorporation of thermocouples is limited to either inside the crucible cavity or on the external surface of the metal reinforcement. The science requirements of several NASA 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. During this investigation, "smart" crucibles are being developed that incorporate thermocouple grooves and a reservoir for krypton gas storage within the crucible wall, i.e., intimate contact between all layers is maintained. These same techniques can be used to fabricate refractory metal heat pipes where the wick/capillary structure is an integral part of the structure. Currently, a heat pipe cooled nuclear reactor concept (SAFE-400) is being considered for advanced space power and propulsion systems. Such an advanced reactor configuration would enable near-tern ambitious space exploration. During Phase II, smart crucibles and heat pipes will be fabricated.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

Agency Micro-sites


SBA logo

Department of Agriculture logo

Department of Commerce logo

Department of Defense logo

Department of Education logo

Department of Energy logo

Department of Health and Human Services logo

Department of Homeland Security logo

Department of Transportation logo

Enviromental Protection Agency logo

National Aeronautics and Space Administration logo

National Science Foundation logo
US Flag An Official Website of the United States Government