Project No: FE0007377
Performer: University of Wisconsin System

Robert Romanosky
Crosscutting Research
Technology Manager
National Energy Technology Laboratory
3610 Collins Ferry Road
P.O. Box 880
Morgantown, WV 26507-0880

Rick Dunst
Project Manager
National Energy Technology Laboratory
626 Cochrans Mill Road
P.O. Box 10940
Pittsburgh, PA 15236-0940

John Perepezko

Principal Investigator
University of Wisconsin
1509 University Avenue
Madison, WI 53706

Award Date:  09/01/2011
Project Date:  08/31/2014

DOE Share: $300,000.00
Performer Share: $0.00
Total Award Value: $300,000.00

Performer website: University of Wisconsin System -

Crosscutting Research - University Training and Research

Multi-Scale Computational Design and Synthesis of Protective Smart Coatings for Refractory Metal Alloys

Project Description

The proposed effort will advance the performance of refractory metals by integration of high temperature coating processes uniquely by means of modeling and experimental verifications in a focused, staged development. The ultimate goal of the proposed study will be to deliver the key enabling coating technology for at least a 400 degrees Celsius (°C) increase of the metal operating temperature from 1200°C to 1600°C.

Program Background and Project Benefits

This project will employ a new smart coating concept for refractory metal-borosilicide and -aluminide systems in order to provide a 400 °C increase in temperature resistance beyond that of current Ni-based superalloys in materials. Improvements to high-temperature advanced-materials will promote the development of advanced power plant designs that can operate at higher temperatures and pressures, leading to improvements in efficiency and operational flexibility and resulting in lower operating costs.


Niobium samples were coated with different ratios of Si-B and Mo-Si-B before undergoing oxidation testing. The presence of Nb2O5 was identified in the mixed oxides of samples at all ratios. Given the same Si:B ratios, the Mo-Si-B coating imparted enhanced oxidation protection to the Nb samples compared to the samples coated with Si-B only. These empirical results, along with computer modeling results, will be used to develop and test new refractory alloy coatings with the goal of increasing their useful operating temperatures.