26 Mar '13, 1pm

Alloy Developed at Sandia Has Potential for Electronics in Geothermal Wells

Alloy Developed at Sandia Has Potential for Electronics in Geothermal Wells

Sandia National Laboratories first investigated the gold-silver-germanium alloy about 15 years ago as a possible bonding material in a new neutron tube product. But a design change forced Sandia to shelve the material, said Paul Vianco, who has worked in soldering and brazing technology at Sandia for 26 years. Then a few years ago, researchers working on other projects with applications inside a well, referred to as downhole, asked Sandia’s geothermal group to develop electronics to monitor well conditions in field operations. Circuit boards placed downhole in oil and geothermal wells must withstand high temperatures and pressures, excessive vibrations and other extreme environments. The gold-silver-germanium alloy is suitable for those conditions, Vianco said. It’s technically a solder, but it’s at the upper limits for what’s considered a solder — materials that melt at n...

Full article: http://www.renewableenergyworld.com/rea/news/article/2013...

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