ALLVAR Awarded NASA SBIR Phase I Grant for Development of High Temperature Alloy
New alloy could improve the lifetime and reliability of high-temperature sensors and structures in space expeditions
College Station, TX – ALLVAR, a manufacturer of revolutionary alloys that exhibit negative thermal expansion (NTE), has been awarded a NASA SBIR Phase I Grant to develop a new high temperature NTE alloy. The new alloy, ALLVAR Alloy-HT, is expected to improve the reliability and reusability of future high temperature planetary and lunar mission systems by compensating the expansion effects of other materials.
ALLVAR expects this new alloy to withstand temperatures from -200°C to 500°C, enabling NASA’s reusable moon mission hardware and the exploration of Venus with reliable and stable instruments.
ALLVAR alloys have unique thermal expansion properties. They shrink when heated and expand when cooled, a phenomenon known as negative thermal expansion (NTE). The patented NTE alloys are typically coupled to a traditional metal to counter their positive expansion properties, making the overall structure athermal.
Dr. James A. Monroe, Founder of ALLVAR Alloys, said this new alloy would solve a key problem for NASA’s space exploration: Longevity. “The high temperatures experienced on Venus can quickly push critical instruments and sensors out of alignment while thermal cycles on the moon reduce system reliability due to the continual expansion and contraction of components. At some point, the sensors stop working or the structures fail.” He added that other applications, including those requiring constant force load fasteners, high temperature engines or precision optics, could also benefit from this new alloy.
This is the third NASA SBIR award ALLVAR has received and the first for high-temperature alloy development. The company is currently developing structural supports for space telescopes with picometer level stability made in part with previous ALLVAR Alloys developed from SBIR grants.
About ALLVAR Alloys:
Founded in 2014, ALLVAR Alloys develops and manufactures alloys with negative thermal expansion properties. These alloys compensate and eliminate detrimental effects that thermal expansion has on many applications, such as IR Optics, petroleum and chemical processing, remote weather or atmospheric monitoring, and space-based instruments. The company provides NTE washers and spacers, as well as bars and tubes for mounting struts or rails for commercial applications in addition to their custom contract work. Visit the web site at www.allvaralloys.com or follow the company on LinkedIn.