Computational Design of Weldable High-Cr Ferritic Steel

Period of Performance: 01/01/2011 - 12/31/2011

$150K

Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Questek Innovations LLC
1820 Ridge Ave. Array
Evanston, IL 60201
Firm POC
Principal Investigator

Abstract

Increasing the steam temperature of supercritical boilers from 1,000F to 1,400F can raise the operating efficiency of next-generation AUSC coal-fired power plants from about 32% to about 42% and address compelling environmental issues, while also enhancing national security, domestic employment, economic stability, balance of trade and U.S. GDP through increased use of domestic coal. Low Cr content steel grades utilized for waterwalls of conventional boilers suffer from steamside oxidation at the higher temperatures required for next generation plants. However, alternative grades with higher than about 9 wt% Cr suffer from Type IV cracking in the HAZ, resulting in significantly lower creep resistance and reduced plant efficiency. QuesTek Innovations LLC, a leader in the field of computational materials design, proposes under this SBIR program to implement a systems-based approach to design and develop novel cost-effective oxidation- and creep-resistant alloys for thick-section components of coal-fired power plants. QuesTek will investigate and assess two well-defined, novel microstructural concepts and use our proprietary computational models to design novel new compositions. QuesTek will have prototype ingots manufactured to demonstrate the ability of the new materials to address creep strength, weldability, oxidation resistance and other properties.Commercial Applications and Other Benefits: Coal-fired power plants are projected by the EIA to be the dominant source of U.S. electricity generation through 2030 (increasing from 49% to 54%), and the successful commercial development of novel, cost-effective oxidation- and creep-resistant alloys are critical to efficiently accomplish this. The accelerated design, development and commercialization of efficient, reliable, next-generation coal-fired power plants can significantly increase the use of domestic coal resources and enhance U.S. technical leadership strength. This SBIR program supports and augments a related materials research program being supported by the Department of Energy, and teams a leading computational material design firm with two leading U.S.-based designers of separation coal-fired boilers and power plants in order to enhance the rapidity and impact of commercialization