Release Date
August 23rd, 2023
Open Date
September 20th, 2023
Due Date(s)
October 18th, 2023
Close Date
October 18th, 2023
Topic No.


Development of New Oxidation Resistant Refractory Alloys for Additively Manufactured (AM) Components


Department of DefenseN/A


Type: SBIRPhase: BOTHYear: 2023


The Department of Defense (DoD) is seeking proposals for the development of new oxidation resistant refractory alloys for additively manufactured (AM) components. The objective of the program is to explore new alloys that are resistant to oxidation and can be used in elevated temperature applications without the need for protective coatings. The program will assess the integration and performance of novel oxidation resistant refractory alloys and consider possible protective coating solutions. The Phase I award is not required, and applicants should provide documentation demonstrating accomplishment of a "Phase I-type" effort. The Phase II effort will involve the development of the technical approach, product, or process, and conducting relevant demonstrations. The program will require a team approach with material modelers, process modelers, fabricators, and microstructural characterization experts. The contractor will pursue commercialization of the technologies developed in Phase II for potential government and civilian users. The topic is restricted under the International Traffic in Arms Regulation (ITAR) and the Export Administration Regulation (EAR). The deadline for proposal submission is October 18, 2023. For more information, visit the DoD SBIR 23.3 BAA solicitation on


OUSD (R&E) CRITICAL TECHNOLOGY AREA(S): Advanced Computing and Software;Space Technology;Advanced Materials


The technology within this topic is restricted under the International Traffic in Arms Regulation (ITAR), 22 CFR Parts 120-130, which controls the export and import of defense-related material and services, including export of sensitive technical data, or the Export Administration Regulation (EAR), 15 CFR Parts 730-774, which controls dual use items. Offerors must disclose any proposed use of foreign nationals (FNs), their country(ies) of origin, the type of visa or work permit possessed, and the statement of work (SOW) tasks intended for accomplishment by the FN(s) in accordance with the Announcement. Offerors are advised foreign nationals proposed to perform on this topic may be restricted due to the technical data under US Export Control Laws.


OBJECTIVE: The program objective is to explore new oxidation resistant refracotry alloys that are amenable to additive manufacturing (AM). Developed alloy should be non-coating reliant to funciton at elevated temperatures. Alloy should have a depressed ductile to brittle transition temperature and exhibit some ductility at room temperature.   This effort will assess the integration and performance of novel oxidation resistant refractory alloy, address the limitations of the alloy and consider (but not develop) possible protective coating solutions.


DESCRIPTION: Refractory alloys are being explored for advanced aerospace applications where material requirements exceed the capabilities of Nickel superalloys.  In this realm, the emergence of Additive Manufactured (AM) refractory alloys has provided an innovative approach that enables complex geometries and/or graded microstructures for alloys that exhibit superior performance, but have been historically difficult to process and suseptible to oxidation.  However, in all cases, refractory alloys require environmental coatings for protection to prevent chemical and structural degradation. The coating process for refractory alloys is very resource intensive and failure of this coating could cause failure of the part. Thus, an alloy that forms a passive or slowly progressing oxide layer is desired for structural material applications. The envisioned program will explore this application space. It is recommended that the selected small business will partner with relevant alloy/coating/component Original Equipment Manufacturers, as needed, to select and produce the required material stock.   Overall, this Phase II effort will 1) investigate novel, oxidation, refractory alloys that can be produced via AM, 2) Consider which AM effort will best construct the material 3) Consider a quantifiable metric to assess any novel alloys 4) Consider what coating systems may be possible for the novel alloy.


PHASE I: This topic is intended for technology proven ready to move directly into Phase II. Therefore, a Phase I award is not required. The applicant is required to provide detail and documentation in the Direct to Phase II proposal which demonstrates accomplishment of a “Phase I-type” effort, including a feasibility study. The applicant should have defined a clear, immediately actionable plan with the proposed solution and the AF customer. Phase I type efforts include determining, insofar as possible, the scientific and technical merit and feasibility of ideas appearing to have commercial potential. It must have validated the product-market fit between the proposed solution and a potential AF stakeholder. The offeror should have defined a clear, immediately actionable plan with the proposed solution and the Air Force customer.


PHASE II: Eligibility for D2P2 is predicated on the offeror having performed a “Phase I-like” effort predominantly separate from the SBIR Programs. Under the phase II effort, the offeror shall sufficiently develop the technical approach, product, or process in order to conduct a small number of  relevant demonstrations. Identification of manufacturing/production issues and or business model modifications required to further improve product or process relevance to improved costs, availability, or safety, should be documented. These Phase II awards are intended to provide a path to commercialization, not the final step for the proposed solution.    This program will require a team approach with several disciplines. [1] Material modelers that can use advance methods to assess candidate refractory coating and substrate combinations such they that will have the thermal, physical, mechanical and environmental properties needed to survive operations.  [2] Process modelers to build property and life models using different refractory coating and substrate combinations with various architectures to minimize defects and provide uniform distribution of thermal protection.  [3] Fabricators to build and deliver a cost effective refractory coating and substrate archetypes. These will have undergone screening methodologies (mechanical and environmental) to determine viability of component in an extreme high temperature environments.  [4] The offeror will have to conduct microstructural characterization of refractory coating and substrate pre and post testing. The performance and microstructural data shall be used to validate and inform developed models.


PHASE III DUAL USE APPLICATIONS: The contractor will pursue commercialization of the various technologies developed in Phase II for transitioning expanded mission capability to a broad range of potential government and civilian users and alternate mission applications. Direct access with end users and government customers will be provided with opportunities to receive Phase III awards for providing the government additional research & development, or direct procurement of products and services developed in coordination with the program.



Mark D. Novak, Carlos G. Levi, "OXIDATION AND VOLATILIZATION OF SILICIDE COATINGS FOR REFRACTORY NIOBIUM ALLOYS", Proceedings of IMECE 2007 ASME International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition, November 11-15, 2007, Seattle, Washington, USA, p 1-7; 
Mark David Novak, "Microstructure Development and High-Temperature Oxidation of Silicide Coatings for Refractory Niobium Alloys", Ph.D. dissertation, University of California, Santa Barbara, 2010


KEYWORDS: refractory alloy; oxidation resistant materials; additive manufacturing