A Plasma Process to Apply Refractory Metal Coatings to Continuous Lengths of Copper Alloy Rails

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Navy
Contract: N00014-10-M-0306
Agency Tracking Number: N10A-025-0248
Amount: $69,999.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: STTR
Awards Year: 2010
Solicitation Year: 2010
Solicitation Topic Code: N10A-T025
Solicitation Number: 2010.A
Small Business Information
Materials & Electrochemical Research (ME
7960 S. Kolb Rd., Tucson, AZ, 85756
DUNS: 147518286
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 James Withers
 C.E.O.
 (520) 574-1980
 jcwithers@mercorp.com
Business Contact
 Raouf Loutfy
Title: President
Phone: (520) 574-1980
Email: mercorp@mercorp.com
Research Institution
 Institute for Adv. Technology
 Jeanette Holmes
 University of Texas at Austin
3925 West Braker Lane
Austin, TX, 78759
 (512) 471-6424
 Nonprofit college or university
Abstract
High strength copper alloys are preferred as the base rails for railguns due to their combination of strength and electrical and thermal conductivity, but suffer damage due to high current densities, arcing, gouging, and exposure to molten aluminum armatures. A refractory metal/alloy coating on the copper base alloy is an attractive approach for increasing rail life if the refractory metal coating remains adherent and withstands the thermal transients and other phenomena that usually limit shot life. A plasma process can apply the refractory metal/alloys from a molten state that provides a functionally graded interface resulting in adhesion at least equivalent to the base copper alloy strength. The plasma coating process can produce the refractory metal/alloy-copper base in continuous length, and with arbitrary cross-sections. In a team with the University of Texas (UT), the plasma refractory metal/alloy process will produce rail coupons for railgun testing at UT and demonstration that continuous lengths are producible.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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