SBIR PhaseI: High Velocity Impact Bonding of Dissimilar Metals by Energy Released in Chemical Production of Hydrogen

Award Information
Agency: National Science Foundation
Branch: N/A
Contract: 1248891
Agency Tracking Number: 1248891
Amount: $150,000.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2013
Solicitation Year: 2012
Solicitation Topic Code: NM
Solicitation Number: N/A
Small Business Information 3463, Morganton, NC, 28655-3464
DUNS: 962623810
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Peter Lohr
 (828) 448-5905
Business Contact
 Peter Lohr
Phone: (828) 448-5905
Research Institution
This Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase I project seeks to advance manufacturing processes in the dissimilar metal/impact welding industries via an aluminum/water reaction that chemically produces hydrogen energy. Ideally, the energy in the form of about 100 kpsi-200 kpsi, could be the source of power for a small high-velocity impact bonding machine to metallurgically bond dissimilar metals. Current impact bonding methods such as explosive welding have not led to machines for bonding near-net-shaped parts, but rather a process of preparing large raw materials to be cut into the desired smaller parts. Disadvantages associated with explosives include safety issues, long lead-times, high costs, material waste, and reliance on imports. A high-velocity impact bonding machine could revolutionize the manufacturing of smaller, discrete parts opening new avenues for design engineers. Experiments will be conducted to establish the ideal conditions for impact induced interlocking micro-bonds, e.g., between Copper and Stainless Steel. The variable test parameters of this project include: (a) flyer velocity (implicitly determined by hydrogen pressure), (b) impact angle between the flyer plate and the anvil or base material, (c) standoff distance between flyer and anvil material, and (d) surface topography. The results will lead to optimized conditions for wavy-joint morphology of dissimilar metals The broader impact/commercial potential of this project is attributed to the utilization of a new energy source that will transform how some manufacturing processes are powered. The advancement of an aluminum/water reaction to replace explosives or complex pressure, heat or electrical sources for electrical, friction, heat or impact bonding methods of manufacturing dissimilar metal components will prove to have many benefits by developing a safe, user-friendly and environmentally-friendly bonding machine. Additionally, impact loading for other processes such as forging and hydroforming that use high pressure fluid will capitalize on these benefits as well. The introduction of this machinery will provide a versatile assembly-line manufacturing capability with advantages to include: (a) substantial cost savings, (b) motivating small U.S. manufacturing companies to produce discrete parts within the U.S., (c) potential for new designs of customized parts otherwise infeasible, (d) a low skilled operation for small facilities eliminating long lead-times, and (e) the potential for other manufacturing processes that could use this platform technology. Dissimilar/bi-metallic parts are in high demand in the chemical, automotive, aircraft, marine, and nuclear industries due to their high conductivity and galvanic corrosion resistance and favorable mechanical properties contained in one part.

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

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