Enhanced Performance Carbon Foam Heat Exchanger for Power Plant Cooling

Award Information
Agency: Department of Energy
Branch: N/A
Contract: DE-FG02-03ER83627
Agency Tracking Number: 72731S03-I
Amount: $99,725.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2003
Solicitation Year: N/A
Solicitation Topic Code: N/A
Solicitation Number: N/A
Small Business Information
133 Defense Highway, Suite 212, Annapolis, MD, 21401
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Christopher Duston
 (410) 987-3435
Business Contact
 Sharon Fehrenbacher
Phone: (410) 224-3710
Email: info@techassess.com
Research Institution
72731S03-I A new high-thermal-conductivity carbon foam, with thermal transfer properties superior to those of aluminum and copper, has been developed at Oak Ridge National Laboratory for application to heat exchangers in power plants. Although this foam provides up to 3.5 times the heat rejection efficiency, it is structurally weak and friable. This project will improve the mechanical strength of the foam using a low-cost SiC infiltration process, which will double the foam modulus and reduce dusting and erosion without a significant reduction in thermal performance. Phase I will evaluate existing silicon carbide precursors, optimize their processing conditions, and establish the relationship between the infiltrant/processing parameters and the resultant material property enhancement of the carbon foam. Flexural and compressive strengths will be measured, the thermal conductivity will be determined, and the effect of the SiC coating on the thermal performance of the foam in a wet heat exchanger environment will be established. In Phase II, the enhanced foams will be integrated into active power plant cooling systems, addressing such issues as design, bonding, and thermal management. Commercial Applications and Other Benefits as described by awardee: Applications for the technology include heat exchangers for power plants, electronic cooling, heat pipes, automobiles, catalyst supports, rocket engines, aircraft, spacecraft, and industrial cooling.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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