Low-Porosity SiC/SiC Composite Materials for Nuclear Energy System Components
Small Business Information
12173 Montague Street, Pacoima, CA, 91331
Abstract73077S03-I The potential economic and strategic benefits associated with the development of nuclear energy are numerous. However, greater application of nuclear technology cannot be realized until advanced materials are developed that allow operation under the high heat flux conditions necessary for cost-competitive electric energy generation. This project will develop and demonstrate innovative materials and material systems that will allow extended nuclear energy system operation at heat flux levels up to 10 MW/m2. A rapid, highly affordable and scalable infiltration process will be used to fabricate high-density, low-defect ceramic matrix composite materials with increased thermal conductivity and operating temperature, and low gas permeability compared to present silicon-based composites. Phase I will demonstrate the processing and fabrication of fiber-reinforced silicon carbide composite materials. Tubular components will be produced for evaluation of microstructure, strength, and gas permeability. Thermomechanical modeling of the resultant composite structures will be developed, and helium flow heat transfer studies will be conducted. Commercial Applications and Other Benefits as described by awardee: These advanced materials should facilitate the greater application of nuclear energy as a replacement for increasingly scarce fossil fuel energy sources. Other alternatives to fossil fuels (e.g. wind, solar, geothermal) cannot generate sufficient energy to meet current needs.
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