Silicon Carbide Tritium Permeation Barriers for Steel Structural Components

Award Information
Agency: Department of Energy
Branch: N/A
Contract: DE-FG02-07ER84941
Agency Tracking Number: 82713
Amount: $99,996.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2007
Solicitation Year: 2007
Solicitation Topic Code: 16
Solicitation Number: DE-PS02-06ER06-30
Small Business Information
Ultramet
12173 Montague Street, Pacoima, CA, 91331
DUNS: 052405867
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Matthew Wright
 Mr
 (818) 899-0236
 matt.wright@ultramet.com
Business Contact
 Craig Ward
Title: Mr
Phone: (818) 899-0236
Email: craig.ward@ultramet.com
Research Institution
N/A
Abstract
The reactor design proposed by the United States for the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER) requires the development of advanced materials for breeder blankets. Although recently developed aluminide coatings for tritium permeation barriers work well in the laboratory, they fail in radiation environments. This project will explore the use of chemical vapor deposited (CVD) silicon carbide (SiC), which does not lose permeability resistance under radiation. The approach involves the development of a component that utilizes high-specific-stiffness CVD SiC foam, along with a thin, integrally bonded and fully dense SiC facesheet. This component will meet the requirements for tritium-permeation-barrier resistance to thermal- and radiation-induced stress, as well as impermeability to tritium, while offering higher thermal stress resistance, and lower tritium diffusivity and solubility, than currently used aluminide coatings. In Phase I, thermomechanical durability will be assessed through mechanical testing and thermal cycling. Sandia National Laboratories will define application requirements, establish a preliminary design, and perform tritium permeation testing. Commercial Applications and other Benefits as described by the awardee: Nuclear fusion is an ideal alternative to increasingly scarce and expensive fossil fuels, and can provide a much greater quantity of environmentally sound energy than wind, solar, and geothermal sources. Materials and structures that can withstand the demanding reactor environment will enable the next generation of fusion reactors to provide efficient electricity generation.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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