The fusion welds of dissimilar refractory metals suffer from many limitations including shrinkage cavities, solidification cracking, embrittlement due to impurities, inferior strength and ductility, increased fabrication cost etc. GenNext Materials and Technologies, LLC proposes to develop dissimilar refractory metal friction welds for fabricating hollow cathodes free from these limitations.
To achieve the improved weld performance, life time, manufacturing reliability and cost savings, the proposed joining technique, viz., friction welding, has inherent advantages over the state-of-the-art joining methods, including:
The NASA applications for reliable, readily manufacturable, better performing hollow cathodes are very far-reaching for electric propulsion systems for space application. The proposed efforts have the potential to reduce production cost for existing thrusters and new thrusters, growing terrestrial applications, welding in space, spacecraft charge control components used for the international space station etc.
Hollow cathodes can find commercial market opportunities including surface modification technologies such as nitriding, coating processes, elemental analysis equipment such as spectrometers etc. The dissimilar metal welding technology market opportunities, especially involving high temperature materials, are plenty in industries such as thermal power plants, nuclear power plants etc.