Intermetallic Microlamination for High-Temperature Reactors
Why is this technology needed?
Research has shown that the throughput of a microchannel fuel reformer can increase by a factor of 150 if reaction temperature is increased from 800C to 1100C. Stainless steel microchannel devices are generally limited to operating temperatures of perhaps 650C. Expensive refractory metals can allow microchannel reactors to operate at temperatures up to 800C.
How does this technology address the need?
Intermetallic materials are metals with characteristics similar to those of ceramics, including strength at high temperature, chemical inertness and a reduction in room temperature ductility. Intermetallics are ideally suited for use at elevated temperatures (>1200C) in chemically aggressive environments.
To date, most microchannel reactors are formed by microlamination through the patterning and bonding of thin sheets of material. Thin sheets of aluminides tend to be difficult to produce via conventional rolling methods due to poor ambient ductility. Recent breakthroughs in alloying, powder rolling and annealing have permitted the rolling of aluminide foils (Deevi, 2001). Figure 1 is an example of recent developments in aluminide rolling technologies. When combined with microlamination methods, these provide a pathway to high temperature microreactors.
How is MBI contributing to the solution?
OSU has designed, produced and tested aluminide intermetallic test coupons for high temperature steam reforming. Results showed excellent corrosion resistance compared with Ni superalloys.
Capabilities exist within the Arrayed Microchannel Manufacturing (AMM) Fabrication Facility to design and prototype microchannel components using formed metal laminae and adhesive bonding.
- Brian K. Paul
- Goran Jovanovic
For additional information . . .
To learn more about this technology, please contact Brian Paul.
S.C. Deevi, D.H. Sastry and V.K. Sikka, “Alloy Development and Industrial Processing of Iron Aluminide Sheets,” Structural Intermetallics, TMS, 2001.