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Project Grant


Grant Description
Metal additive manufacturing of functionally graded materials for roller bearings in high temperature sodium systems.
Place of Performance
Worcester, Massachusetts 01610-1703 United States
Geographic Scope
Single Zip Code
Multiscale Systems was awarded Project Grant DESC0022585 worth $200,000 from the Office of Science in June 2022 with work to be completed primarily in Worcester Massachusetts United States. The grant has a duration of 9 months and was awarded through assistance program 81.049 Office of Science Financial Assistance Program. The Project Grant was awarded through grant opportunity FY 2022 SBIR/STTR Phase I Release 2.

SBIR Details

Research Type
SBIR Phase I
Metal additive manufacturing of functionally graded materials for roller bearings in high temperature sodium systems
The rising demand for renewable energy requires a reinvestment of American effort into nuclear power. Next gen-eration liquid metal-cooled reactors can operate at higher temperatures, leading to enhanced efficiencies and overall reduction in the levelized cost of energy. Further reduction in costs can be achieved by using advanced robotic systems to handle refueling, but substantial technical challenges associated with thermal expansion and corrosion prevent this technology from moving forward. Advances in material science and advanced manufacturing are being deployed into the nuclear energy sector to support the technical challenge of refueling systems. The overarching objective for this Small Business Innovation Research effort is to evaluate the feasibility of functionally graded metamaterial solutions for roller bearings in so-dium reactor fuel handling systems. The proposed approach uses additively manufactured metal alloys, and will involve alloy design, product prototyping, and coupon characterization to validate the results. In Phase I of this effort, the team will determine the range of technical requirements necessary for roller bearing solutions tailored to the needs of high temperature liquid sodium reactors. Computational design work will identify optimal compositions with the highest likelihood of survivability in the harsh sodium environment. Rapid prototyp-ing, testing, and validation activities will lead to an analysis of the technical performance and commercial viability. If the proposed technology is feasible, future efforts will seek to mature the fuel handling system’s operational concept, design integrated prototype products, and perform field testing by qualified customers or stakeholders. The technical effort will lead to commercial insertion of the technology into customer systems in the nuclear en-ergy industry, supporting domestic energy, environmental, and economic needs. Overall, the proposed effort sup-ports the Department of Energy Office of Nuclear Energy’s goals by enabling deployment of advanced nuclear reactors and maintaining domestic leadership in nuclear energy technology.
Topic Code
Solicitation Number


Last Modified 8/22/22

Period of Performance
Start Date
End Date
100% Complete

Funding Split
Federal Obligation
Non-Federal Obligation
Total Obligated
100.0% Federal Funding
0.0% Non-Federal Funding

Activity Timeline

Interactive chart of timeline of amendments to DESC0022585

Additional Detail

SAI Number
Award ID URI
Awardee Classifications
Small Business
Awarding Office
Funding Office
892401 SCIENCE
Awardee UEI
Awardee CAGE
Performance District
Edward Markey
Elizabeth Warren
James McGovern

Budget Funding

Federal Account Budget Subfunction Object Class Total Percentage
Science, Energy Programs, Energy (089-0222) General science and basic research Grants, subsidies, and contributions (41.0) $200,000 100%
Modified: 8/22/22