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Lexington, KY, United States

Grant
Agency: Department of Energy | Branch: | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 150.00K | Year: 2015

Electrical insulation coatings are a preferred alternative to former ceramic wound or braided fiber insulation for Bi2212 round wire in HEP superconducting magnets due to their being 10x thinner giving higher packing factors and current densities), lacking any ill effect on superconductor performance, and having much better heat conductance reducing the likelihood and consequences of unintentional quench). These are applied as green ceramic coatings, and become all-ceramic layers during the Bi2212 reaction heat treat. While enabling a record high field of nearly 34 T in a superconducting magnet point to their benefits, remaining issues with the wire coatings include limited green state scrape resistance, cracking after heat treat, limited dielectric strength, and need for improved thickness control. The aim of the proposed program will be to address improvements in the insulation coating materials and in the coating application process enabling an insulation fully meeting the requirements for HEP as well as fusion, NMR, etc.) magnets employing round wire Bi2212. The proposed effort will address a) increased toughness of the green coating, b) investigation of the cause and elimination of cracking and spalling of the heat treated coating, c) coating application process improvements enabling better thickness control, better quality, coating piece lengths of at least a kilometer, and cost reduction, and d) investigation of the use of alternative ceramic powders enabling higher breakdown strengths. Development of an improved and qualified insulation under this SBIR/STTR program will enable nGimat, the pioneer of this technology, to establish itself as a reliable long-term commercial provider of the insulation in necessary lengths and at affordable price. nGisulate wire-insulation coatings will find immediate application in superconducting magnet- wire that are used to build magnets for major high-energy physics projects around the world. In addition, as the price of the insulation comes down, commercial applications such as Magnetic Resonance Imaging MRI) systems and subsequently automotive wire are also expected to adopt nGisulate technology.


Grant
Agency: Department of Energy | Branch: | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase II | Award Amount: 999.98K | Year: 2014

Electric vehicles, including hybrids in the nearer term, are the principal transportation technology by which the United States can become independent of foreign oil, can become energy independent overall, and can effect control over greenhouse emissions. For this to become reality, electric vehicle costs need to come down and performance needs to improve. For electric vehicle motors, the goals are to reduce manufacturing cost to $4.7/kW by 2020 while improving operating performance, including power density, peak power and operating efficiency. This SBIR Phase II project will build on the materials and process accomplishments of Phase I, to develop innovative magnet wire insulation for motor windings that results in increased power density and operating efficiency. This will be achieved by developing a wire insulation that has as much as 10 times higher thermal conductivity so that heat can be better dissipated, meaning that the motor will run cooler and therefore more efficiently. In doing so, all other mechanical, thermal and electrical characteristics of the insulation required by standards will be maintained. With better heat dissipation and efficiency owing to high thermal conductivity insulation, dedicated liquid cooling might be eliminated, contributing to smaller, lower-cost electric drives. The proposed advance in magnet wire insulation will result from the incorporation of high thermal conductivity inorganic particles into high performance polymers. The novel insulation is proposed to be applied by the conventional wire enameling method. Electrical, thermal, mechanical, and chemical property measurements according to NEMA standards for magnet wire will be made to insure that all requirements are met or exceeded. Commercial Applications and other Benefits: In terms of cars scheduled to enter the U.S. market, it appears that President Obamas goal of one million EVs by 2015 will be surpassed. And the Electric Vehicles Initiative forecasts 10 million by 2020. This will create a robust market for motors with the wire insulation being proposed here. In addition to application in EVs, wire insulation technology will also play a key role in larger electric motors that will be used in electric buses and land & amp; marine-based military vehicles. Beyond the traction motor applications mentioned, improved motor/generator systems will also be critical for other energy technologies such as wind turbines.


Grant
Agency: Department of Defense | Branch: Air Force | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase II | Award Amount: 743.08K | Year: 2014

ABSTRACT: In this Phase II effort, nGimat will utilize its newly-developed FAFS technique to sinter ceramic films to metal substrates. The FAFS method was developed and proved feasible through a Phase I SBIR grant and we will expand our understanding of the technique through thorough R & D in Phase II. Sintered samples will undergo thorough surface and mechanical analysis to validate the FAFS process. Sintering of multiple ceramics onto metals substrates will also be demonstrated in Phase II. At the end of the effort, a prototype system capable of sintering research samples will be delivered. BENEFIT: The anticipated benefits/commercial applications of the Phase II R & D are low-cost, high-performance ceramic coatings in high-temperature applications such as heat exchangers, thermal barrier coatings, and solid-oxide fuel cells.


Patent
nGimat, LLC | Date: 2015-05-26

The present disclosure is directed to an apparatus and method of sintering inorganic powder coatings on substrates, and includes a flame and an electric plasma. The method is capable of being used in an open atmospheric environment. The substrate is electrically conductive and is used as one electrode while the flame is used as the other electrode that is moved over the areas of the powder coating to be sintered. An electrical current is used to cause a plasma produced through the flame, resulting in a combined energy and temperature profile sufficient for inorganic powder-powder and powder-substrate bonding. This method is referred to as flame-assisted flash sintering (FAFS).


Patent
nGimat, LLC | Date: 2014-01-31

The present disclosure is directed to an apparatus and method of sintering inorganic powder coatings on substrates, and includes a flame and an electric plasma. The method is capable of being used in an open atmospheric environment. The substrate is electrically conductive and is used as one electrode while the flame is used as the other electrode that is moved over the areas of the powder coating to be sintered. An electrical current is used to cause a plasma produced through the flame, resulting in a combined energy and temperature profile sufficient for inorganic powder-powder and powder-substrate bonding. This method is referred to as flame-assisted flash sintering (FAFS).

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