Inc announced today that it has been notified of the U.S. Department of
Energy's intent to award a Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) contract
to develop a functionally-graded coating that will enable power turbines to
run hotter and more efficiently.
The SBIR contract, entitled, "Functionally Graded Laminated Metal-Ceramic
TBC Systems by Low-Cost Electrochemical Processing", proposes to leverage
the unique properties of Modumetal to dramatically increase the heat tolerance
of materials that can be used in power turbines. By increasing temperature,
engine efficiency can be improved, which in turn benefits the environment by
reducing the emissions associated with power production and engine operation.
According to Dr. John Whitaker, Chief Scientist and Principle Investigator
in this effort, the goal of the Phase I SBIR is to demonstrate a new material
that will enhance the performance and provide an enabling technology that will
allow engines to operate at much higher temperature and efficiency levels.
"By utilizing our unique "Modumetal by Design" process, we plan
to demonstrate that nanolaminated and functionally-graded structures can improve
the performance of thermal barrier coatings well beyond that which is achievable
with current technology. We will demonstrate that the temperature limits of
these existing systems no longer hold for Modumetal."
The proposed project has significant commercial application, as well as environmental
benefits. It will enable a new class of coatings that combine the toughness
of metals with the high temperature resistance of ceramics.
"We're extremely excited about this contract because it enables us to
further develop a technology that has direct commercial applications in a number
of areas, including power facilities, aerospace and automotive engines, "
said Modumetal Vice President Todd Wallen. "As a result of this coating,
equipment will be able to be operated in higher temperatures, which will result
in greater lifespan of the product, and ultimately, lower overall costs. Furthermore,
these coatings are to be produced using a low-cost, scalable manufacturing process.
There is not a question of whether these materials will realize expansive use
in the marketplace, just when."