NASA SBIR 2008 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 08-1 A2.01-9433
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Materials and Structures for Future Aircraft
PROPOSAL TITLE: Advanced Thermoset Nanocomposites

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Claytec, Inc
5901 E. Sleepy Hollow Ln
East Lansing, MI 48823 - 9706
(517) 862-3928

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Joel I Dulebohn
5901 East Sleepy Hollow Ln
East Lansing, MI 48823 - 9706
(517) 388-7321

Expected Technology Readiness Level (TRL) upon completion of contract: 4 to 5

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
Low-cost, environmentally compatible synthesis methods are used to prepare silicate nanoparticles with surface areas, surface polarity and hierarchical lamellar and mesoporous structures ideally suited as barrier and reinforcing agents for epoxy and polyimide thermoset polymers for use in next generation air transport systems (NGATS) and related aerospace vehicles. Unlike organoclays, which require temperature-sensitive organic modification for dispersion in polymer matrices, the new nanoparticles require no organic surface modification to achieve compatibility in the polymer matrix. Thus, thermoset nano-composites made from Claytec's purely inorganic nanoparticles exhibit superior thermal and oxidative stability, in addition to improved strength, stiffness and toughness. The technical objective of the proposal is to provide silicate nanoparticles that will improve substantially the thermal and oxidative stability properties, as well as the mechanical properties, of epoxy and polyimide polymers without the need for organic surface modifiers to achieve particle dispersion in the polymer matrix. The specific tasks associated with the proposed research project are (i) the synthesis and characterization of lamellar and mesoporous silicate nanoparticle suitable as barrier and reinforcing agents, respectively (ii) the preparation of representative epoxy and polyimide thermoset nanocomposites containing well-dispersed lamellar and mesoporous nanoparticles and (iii) the characterization of the nanocomposites with regard to oxygen permeability, oxidative stability, and tensile and impact properties.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
The polyimide nanocomposites of interest will be used for the fabrication of high temperature ductwork, bushings and feed lines in engine compartments where thermal and oxidative stability is essential. The epoxy composites are targeted for use in fan casings where strength and toughness is needed to contain failed turbine blades. The anticipated improvements in performance properties will be realized at nanoparticle loadings in the range 2.0 to 15 wt %. The improvements in mechanical strength and oxidative stability will make it possible to reduce the weight of aeronautic and aerospace vehicle components and to improve the durability of those components, particularly for high temperature applications. Decreasing the weight of a vehicle while improving materials performance will improve vehicle fuel efficiency and safety and decrease environmental emissions due to the improved fuel efficiency.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
We expect our new nanocomposite technology to improve the performance properties of thermoset polymers used as components in the domestic appliances, sporting goods, recreational marine (boating) and building construction sectors, as well as those used in high-value niche areas such as thermoset dental materials. As in the case of NASA applications, the savings in polymer costs provided by the technology will more than compensate for the cost of the nanoparticles, thus providing significant value to the user at no added cost.

NASA's technology taxonomy has been developed by the SBIR-STTR program to disseminate awareness of proposed and awarded R/R&D in the agency. It is a listing of over 100 technologies, sorted into broad categories, of interest to NASA.

Aircraft Engines

Form Generated on 11-24-08 11:56