ACT Advancing Nuclear Thermal Management and Materials Modeling Technologies

Figure 1. Dual Condenser Variable Conductance Heat Pipe (VCHP) provides backup cooling for a radio-isotope Stirling System

Figure 1. Dual Condenser Variable Conductance Heat Pipe (VCHP) provides backup cooling for a radio-isotope Stirling System

Lancaster, PA November 14, 2017 – Advanced Cooling Technologies (ACT), announced that it is continuing to develop technologies supporting the nuclear industry in the areas of thermal management and materials modeling. Through multiple R&D contracts over the last 7 years, ACT has developed numerous solutions for thermal management in high temperature environments relevant to nuclear fission power generation in space and terrestrial applications. These contracts were awarded from different government agencies including NASA and DOD (Air Force, Navy) through multiple SBIR/STTR/BAA programs.  “These projects enable us to develop technologies for the challenging needs of thermal management for nuclear power generation in both conventional reactors as well as advanced reactor concepts for space applications” says Dr. Calin Tarau, Lead Engineer at ACT who led several development efforts in this portfolio. “We have been actively engaged in several initiatives of NASA and DOE Laboratories to advance these technologies for nuclear applications”.

Notable examples of relevant projects include:

Figure 2. High Temperature Sodium heat pipes for a spacecraft fast fission reactor deliver heat from the core to eight Stirling Engines (Kilopower)

Figure 2. High Temperature Sodium heat pipes for a spacecraft fast fission reactor deliver heat from the core to eight Stirling Engines (Kilopower)

ACT has a rich history of developing several heat pipe based technologies, as well as advanced material modeling capabilities to address unique thermal management and predictive modeling needs. ACT personnel have contributed to development of:

  • Alkali-metal heat pipes for nuclear applications
  • Heat pipe power systems for spacecraft and planetary surface vehicles
  • Thermal management of both hot end and cold ends of the heat transfer system
  • Thermal control devices
  • Variable conductance thermal links
  • Material models for microstructural evolution under irradiation
  • Physics-based meshless modeling tools for corrosion crack propagation
  • Multiphysics modeling tools for materials under extreme conditions
  • System level models for thermal-hydraulics and design evaluation.

According to Dr. Srujan Rokkam, a Lead Engineer with background in nuclear materials science “These technologies and past experiences provides us with a unique bag of tricks to tackle the challenges and gaps necessary to be mitigated for design, evaluation and development of next generation (Gen IV) advanced nuclear reactor concepts”. “While ACT’s heat transfer devices can enable unique energy conversion concepts, the material modeling capabilities can be applied to gain predictive insights into the thermo-mechanical response of nuclear materials, as well materials chemistry at multiple interfaces and in radiation environments”.  Understanding both thermal hydraulics and material behavior in nuclear environment provides us with a unique capabilities for emerging reactor designs and their development.

ACT is looking forward to the opportunities to further advance and develop the aforementioned technologies for nuclear application, through collaboration with NASA, DOE national laboratories, universities and commercial industrial partners.

For more information about ACT’s R&D activities, visit:  https://www.1-act.com/innovations/

For more information about ACT’s modeling portfolio, visit: https://www.1-act.com/innovations/advanced-modeling/

 

Figure 3: Modeling nuclear material response under irradiation, microstructural changes and corrosion damage [Rokkam et al.]

Figure 3: Modeling nuclear material response under irradiation, microstructural changes and corrosion damage [Rokkam et al.]

ABOUT ACT

ACT specializes in advanced thermal technology development and custom thermal product manufacturing. ACT designs and manufactures cold plates, High Conductivity (HiK™) plates, heat pipes, pumped liquid and two-phase loops and thermal storage devices for customers in diverse markets including Aerospace, Electronics, Temperature Calibration, Medical Device, and Energy Recovery Systems.

ACT’s team consists of personnel with established track records in technology development, commercialization and production. Many of them were involved in the pioneering work on heat pipes, loop heat pipes and other single and two-phase heat transfer devices. They are the inventors/co-inventors on numerous U.S. and international patents and the authors/co-authors of hundreds of scientific publications.

The R&D team at ACT has engineers with backgrounds in mechanical, electrical, chemical, aerospace, nuclear, materials, manufacturing and physics. Their expertise assures we can serve wide variety of material, thermal and modeling challenges in diverse applications.

In addition to pioneering thermal management portfolio, ACT conducts cutting edge research in the areas of modeling materials behavior using a combination of multiphysics materials models and high performance computing. Over the last six years, ACT has developed several novel state of the art computational frameworks and custom tools to investigate thermomechanical behavior of materials, materials chemistry and multiphysics behavior of materials in thermal/fluid/electrical environments. These tools enable us to gain fundamental insights as well as predictively model material behavior due to: corrosion damage, crack propagation, multiphysics behavior, material chemistry, thermo-chemical and thermo-mechanical response under extreme conditions.

ACT’s Facility measures more than 50,000 square feet, including office, laboratory and manufacturing spaces. With an ISO9001 and AS9100 certified quality system in place, the facility has designed and manufactured high quality, cost effective, thermal management solutions for dozens of mission critical satellite, and military programs as well as for numerous commercial applications. Simultaneously ACT’s broad and diverse R&D efforts are developing thermal solutions for tomorrow’s emerging technologies.

For more information about ACT, please visit www.1-ACT.com

 

MEDIA CONTACT

Amanda Hershey
Marketing Specialist
E-mail: Amanda.Hershey@1-ACT.com
Phone: +1 (717) 205-0625
www.1-ACT.com

 

 

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