SBIR Phase I: Reinforcement of Lightweight Material Castings with Dissimilar Metals

Award Information
Agency: National Science Foundation
Branch: N/A
Contract: 0944442
Agency Tracking Number: 0944442
Amount: $150,000.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2010
Solicitation Year: 2010
Solicitation Topic Code: NM
Solicitation Number: NSF 09-541
Small Business Information
3120 Bowfield Way, West Lafayette, IN, 47906
DUNS: 627376200
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: Y
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: Y
Principal Investigator
 Clause Xu
 (765) 413-6008
Business Contact
 Clause Xu
Title: PhD
Phone: (765) 413-6008
Research Institution
This Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase I project aims to advance the cast-on technology for the metal casting industry to produce lightweight metal composite castings. Cast-on method is a cost effective method for the reinforcement of casting with dissimilar metals but suffers from defect formation such as de-bond, oxidation, and porosity at the casting/reinforcement interface. The project combines the merits of the cast-on method and the latest high-intensity ultrasonic processing. The use of high-intensity ultrasonic vibration technique in the cast-on process detaches oxides and bubbles at the surfaces of the insert, drives them away from the reinforcement/casting interface, and enhances the metallurgical interaction of the castings with the reinforcement metal. Furthermore, the grain size in the casting adjacent to the bond is reduced significantly. As a result, a strong and defect-free metallurgical bond is produced between the reinforcement insert and the casting. The boarder impact/commercial potential of this project will be a breakthrough technology for the cast-on process and will increase the competitiveness of the U.S. metal casting, automotive, and defense industries in the global market, retaining or creating new jobs. This technology can be used to reinforce aluminum castings, magnesium castings, or castings of other lightweight materials for replacing heavy metal components for automotive, aviation, and defense applications, leading to significant energy savings, cost savings, and improved emission control. The U.S. transportation industry continues to focus on the increased use of lightweight alloys for weight reduction and energy savings. According to the data from the United States Automotive Materials Partnership (USAMP), a 15% weight reduction due to the use of lightweight components improves fuel efficiency by at least 10%. Decreasing fuel consumption by 10% reduces gasoline consumption in the United States by 10 billion gallons per year. This would translate into energy savings of 1,150 trillion Btu/year, a reduction of CO2 emissions by 200 billion lbs/year, and cost savings of $25 billion/year at current pump prices of $2.50/gallon.

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

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