SBIR Phase I: Energy Efficient Gas Fired Infrared Emitter Comprising SiC-Mo(Si0.8,Al0.2)2

Period of Performance: 01/01/2006 - 12/31/2006

$100K

Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Micropyretics Heaters International Inc.
750 Redna Terrace
Cincinnati, OH 45215
Principal Investigator
Firm POC

Abstract

This Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase I project seeks to develop a technology that will be a dramatic improvement in the paper and textile industries. Emitters are used extensively in the paper, textile and other larger volume production industries to rapidly dry the fast moving paper and fabric lines. Nearly all of the US paper lines are drier limited. Emitters are electro-active surfaces on which a flame impinges and infrared (IR) radiation is emitted from the heated surface. A combination of a new plasma beam process and a new intermetallic composite material SiC-Mo(Si0.8,Al0.2)2 is proposed for the synthesis of the novel emitter material in various configurations. The main research objectives are: (i) to synthesize a new SiC-Mo(Si0.8,Al0.2)2 composite material by a plasma beam process (ii) to deposit this new material as an adherent coating on Fe-Al-Cr alloy emitter substrate (iii) to develop high energy efficient complex shape IR emitters made of the SiC-Mo(Si0.8,Al0.2)2 material, and (iv) to aim for a greater than 30% emissivity increase, 15% energy efficiency increase and a 400oC operational temperature increase. The research program will not only be directed at the new material but will also lead to a better thermal model. Commercially, the anticipated benefits are extremely large as they impact almost 70% of the paper industry and other industries where rapid heating is required. This group of industries use approximately 2432 Trillion BTUs of energy annually. The potential energy savings from this project in various applications is expected to be extremely significant, on account of the improved emissivity and temperature capability of the new emitter. It is also well known that higher operating temperatures leads to enhanced productivity (i.e. higher production rate). Thus, based on published calculations, paper mills are expected to improve line efficiency by about 15%, which is a very significant improvement in productivity. The total market for emitter based heating devices is valued conservatively at $900 Million for the drying operations.