Electrochemical Microalloying of Tungsten for Plasma Facing Component Applications

Award Information
Agency:
Department of Energy
Branch
n/a
Amount:
$750,000.00
Award Year:
2009
Program:
SBIR
Phase:
Phase II
Contract:
DE-FG02-08ER85209
Agency Tracking Number:
n/a
Solicitation Year:
n/a
Solicitation Topic Code:
n/a
Solicitation Number:
n/a
Small Business Information
Plasma Processes, Inc.
4914 Moores Mill Road, Huntsville, AL, 35811
Hubzone Owned:
N
Minority Owned:
N
Woman Owned:
N
Duns:
799114574
Principal Investigator:
John O'Dell
Mr.
(256) 851-7653
scottodell@plasmapros.com
Business Contact:
Angela Hattaway
Ms.
(256) 851-7653
ahattaway@plasmapros.com
Research Institution:
n/a
Abstract
Tungsten¿s inherent chemical inertness and high melting temperature make it an ideal heat sink and armor material for fusion applications. However, tungsten¿s intrinsic low temperature brittleness makes it difficult to fabricate using conventional processing techniques. Recently, advanced electrochemical forming techniques based on microalloying and grain refinement have been developed that enable the near-net-shape fabrication of tungsten components. Based on these results, this project will develop near-net-shape, electrochemical processing techniques for the fabrication of fine-grain tungsten alloys for use in fusion devices. By proper selection of the alloying elements and processing parameters, it may be possible to tailor a tungsten alloy that resists grain growth, has improved strength and ductility, possesses good thermal conductivity, and is resistant to transmutation. During Phase I, the ability of electrochemical processing parameters to control the microstructure of deposits was evaluated, along with the ability to produce tungsten alloys. Preliminary microstructural analysis and testing verified that structural and properties improvements are possible using these techniques. During Phase II, the process will be optimized with respect to the electrochemical processing parameters and the amount of alloying additions. The optimized process will then be used to produce an advanced tungsten alloy heat sink, which will be high-heat-flux tested and compared to pure tungsten heat sinks. Commercial Applications and other Benefits as described by the awardee: The near-net-shape forming of tungsten alloys with improved ductility and mechanical properties has tremendous commercial potential. Aside from nuclear fusion applications, electrochemical microalloyed tungsten should be applicable to non-eroding nozzles in rocket engines, crucibles for crystal growth, heat pipes, welding electrodes, x-ray targets, warhead penetrators, radiation/temperature shielding applications, and other high temperature furnace components.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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