Free Form Fibers announces the completion of a successful fundraising round that will drive commercialization efforts.
Free Form Fibers was granted US Patent 10,676,391 for a low cost glass-ceramic matrix composite material system incorporating Rapid Laser-assisted Chemical Vapor Deposition (R-LCVD) derived silicon carbide fibers.
Patent Abstract: Composite materials are provided which include a glass-ceramic matrix composition that is lightly crystallized, a fiber reinforcement within the glass-ceramic matrix composition which remains stable at temperatures greater than 1400° C., and an interphase coating formed on the fiber reinforcement. A method of making a composite material is also provided, which includes applying heat and pressure to a shape including fiber reinforcements and glass particles. The heat and pressure lightly crystallize a matrix material formed by the heat and pressure on the glass particles, forming a thermally stable composite material.
Dr. John Schneiter, CEO of Free Form Fibers, was interviewed for an article titled “How to Break In: Small Companies are Fast and Flexible” by David Holthaus. The article discusses the keys to successful small company growth in markets dominated by large, high tech players.
Free Form Fibers has been granted Japanese patent JP 6693891 B2 for a novel fiber structure that includes nuclear fuel within the fiber. The fiber structure also includes multiple layers that provide for various reactor-related functions. The fibers can be part of a novel fuel pellet design, or used inside nuclear reactors as part of fuel-laden CMC structures.
Patent Abstract: Nuclear fuel structures and methods for fabricating are disclosed herein. The nuclear fuel structure includes a plurality of fibers arranged in the structure and a multilayer fuel region within at least one fiber of the plurality of fibers. The multilayer fuel region includes an inner layer region made of a nuclear fuel material, and an outer layer region encasing the nuclear fuel material. A plurality of discrete multilayer fuel regions may be formed over a core region along the at least one fiber, the plurality of discrete multilayer fuel regions having a respective inner layer region of nuclear fuel material and a respective outer layer region encasing the nuclear fuel material. The plurality of fibers may be wrapped around an inner rod or tube structure or inside an outer tube structure of the nuclear fuel structure, providing both structural support and the nuclear fuel material of the nuclear fuel structure.
MIT and Free Form Fibers co-authored the paper “Innovative Accident Tolerant Fuel Concept Enabled through Direct Manufacturing Technology”, which appears in Applied Energy, Vol 264, Article 114742. The authors, Wei Li and Koroush Shirvan of MIT, and Shay Harrison and Joseph Pegna of Free Form Fibers, describe the work carried out under a Department of Energy SBIR grant to Free Form Fibers to develop a new, accident tolerant fuel design based on Free Form Fibers’ Laser-assisted Chemical Vapor Deposition (LCVD) technology. The paper addresses the motivations for the work and its practical implications for next-gen fuel, along with a description of how LCVD makes new fuel structures possible and desirable, based on detailed multi-physics modeling.
The paper can be found here.
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