Organic-Inorganic Hybrid Nanocomposite as Radiation-resistant Electrical Insulator

Period of Performance: 06/13/2016 - 03/12/2017

$150K

Phase 1 STTR

Recipient Firm

Innosense LLC
2531 West 237th St Suite 127
Torrance, CA 90505
Firm POC
Principal Investigator

Research Institution

Oak Ridge National Laboratory
PO Box 2008 MS6085
Oak Ridge, TN 37831
Institution POC

Abstract

The Department of Energy needs improved radiation resistant electrical insulation materials for the superconducting magnet coils in fusion reactors. To achieve safe, reliable, economic and environmentally benign fusion energy system, DOE is seeking organic/inorganic insulation-capable materials that are wrappable. These materials under irradiation will enable magnet coils to: (1) operate reliably over long periods, (2) enhance system performance with high bond strength, (3) attain improved shear strength, and (4) show radiation resistance with low gas generation. These materials must demonstrate considerable cost reduction through the use of cost-effective materials and fabrication processes. Statement of how this problem or situation is being addressed: During the proposed project, the company will develop a new ORganic-InOrganic Hybrid Nanocomposite material matrix. This electrical insulating material matrix will be based on hybrid sol-gel technology. Innovations will be incorporated to achieve radiation resistance, high mechanical strength, high thermal stability, and high chemical resistance. These attributes are highly important for improved electrical insulation for superconducting magnet coils used in fusion reactors helping to achieve DOE program goals for fusion energy systems. What is to be done in Phase I: In Phase I, the project team will develop, characterize and demonstrate this new nanocomposite material system as a radiation-resistant electrical insulator. Several compositions will be prepared and evaluated for radiation tolerance, including electron, gamma and neutron exposure, and radiation-induced gas evolution rate, thermal and mechanical performance. This effort will position the company to transition the insulating material to Phase II development. Commercial applications and other benefits: The hybrid nanocomposite coating proposed for DOE advanced electrical insulation can be adapted for use in medical devices for cancer therapy, medical imaging systems, high-field accelerator magnets motors/generators in extreme conditions (space missions, military and commercial satellites, military operations in cold climates), and aerospace equipment. Key words: Radiation Resistant, Dielectric films, Polymer, Hybrid sol-gel, Superconducting Magnets, Fusion Reactor, Magnet coil insulation