Robert Buxbaum, Ph.D., founder and president of REB Research & Consulting (www.rebresearch.com) was awarded an SBIR Phase 1 grant from the Department of Energy (DOE, www.doe.gov) to research new, high-temperature alloys for use in 4th generation nuclear power. The main new alloy is Ti2AlNb, an orthorhombic relative of aircraft titanium that seems to offer greater strength and higher temperature oxidation resistance. In the nuclear environment, higher temperatures should allow reactors to burn more of their radioactive wastes to disposable ash, thus enabling nuclear reactors to be decommissioned more easily at the end of their lives.
Dr. Buxbaum will be working with researchers in the Materials Science and Engineering Departments of Michigan State University and Iowa State University. The aim is a product that can be used in nuclear reactors and elsewhere, for example in jet engine turbines.