NASA SBIR 2004 Solicitation

FORM B - PROPOSAL SUMMARY


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 04 A2.05-8222
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Revolutionary Materials and Structures Technology for Propulsion and Power Components
PROPOSAL TITLE: Novel High Temperature Magnetic Bearings for Space Vehicle Systems

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
ELECTRON ENERGY CORPORATION
924 Links Avenue
Landisville, PA 17538-1615
(717)898-2294

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Jinfang Liu
jfl@electronenergy.com
924 Links Ave.
Landisville, PA 17538-1615
(717)898-2294

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (LIMIT 200 WORDS)
Previous high temperature magnetic bearings employed only electromagnets. The work proposed in this SBIR program seeks to utilize High Temperature Permanent Magnets (HTPM) developed by EEC. The use of HTPMs will improve efficiency since the majority of the static load on any bearing can be reacted by the flux of the permanent magnets.

The end product will be a high speed / high temperature / high load test platform for future development of high bearing, motor, generator and seal components. This capability will be of special benefit to the aerospace and process machinery industries. In addition the component demonstrations from this SBIR will provide designers with the confidence needed to integrate similar components in their high performance machinery.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (LIMIT 100 WORDS)
(a) High temperature magnetic bearings can be used for energy storage / attitude control flywheels for aerospace applications. High speed, vacuum operation and low bearing drag make magnetic bearings the best bearings for this application.

(b) High temperature magnetic bearings can also be used for gas turbine engines for aircraft applications. High temperature capability makes magnetic bearings a very attractive option for the new generation of high performance aircraft gas turbine engines which require bearings that will operate continuously at 1000 F. Bearing assemblies must supply damping to stabilize rotor dynamic vibrations along with providing support. Conventional bearing/dampers which utilize oils or elastomers will not operate at these high temperatures.

(c) Deep space exploration will require nuclear power utilizing Brayton and Sterling engines. The corrosive affects of potassium make it advantageous to totally "can" the process fluids so that seals are not required. The support for the shaft in a canned pump can only come from a magnetic bearing since its flux passes through the thin stainless steel can.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (LIMIT 100 WORDS)
Magnetic bearings (MB) have gained wide acceptance for petrochemical industry compressors, turbo expanders and motors. Turbo-molecular vacuum pumps also employ magnetic bearings since they permit the flow passages to be canned to prevent leakage and achieve an improved vacuum.