HITEMMP: a new initiative by the Department of ARPA-E

HITEMMP stands for High Intensity Thermal Exchange through Materials and Manufacturing Processes, a new initiative through the Department of Energy’s Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E).

The Michigan Tech team has received USD 2.4M for the work, including a USD 1.8M HITEMMP award, and will be collaborating with the Oak Ridge National Laboratory and three industry partners. Their goal is to overcome the mechanical strength limitations of ceramic materials by 3D printing high-density silicon carbides. While currently tricky to print, if the process gets streamlined, then the material can handle temperatures above 1100 degrees Celsius and pressures above 80 bar. That’s hot enough to deform and melt most metals and superalloys, and is about the pressure of a deep underwater dive of 2,600 feet. Plus, ceramics are lighter than metal, an essential feature for aerospace tech.

The Department of Energy ARPA-E program says that successful HITEMMP projects will enable a revolutionary new class of high temperature, high pressure, efficient and highly compact heat exchangers with applications for commercial and industrial energy producers and consumers across the economy.

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