NASA 1999 SBIR Phase I


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 99-1 03.05-5900 (Chron: 990382)

PROJECT TITLE: Improved Components for Cryogenic Propellant Transfer Systems

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (LIMIT 200 WORDS)

Technology for ground testing of propulsion systems is often as demanding as that of the flight system. While weight is not a restriction, reliability, cost, safety and performance are important. In particular, long-life, liquid-oxygen- compatible seal technology is essential to reduce recurring costs and provide personnel/equipment safety. A new material surfacing process, Laser Induced Surface Improvement (LISIsm), has demonstrated technical properties that make it promising for this application. The patent-pending surface alloying process permits a wide variety of metal and/or ceramic ingredients to be incorporated in a thin surface coating on component metals of interest. LISIsm forms unique non- equilibrium alloys with enhanced properties; i.e., properties not possible in bulk materials. The surface is permanent; i.e., cannot be separated via physical abuse or thermal cycling. The surface alloy can contain constituents that make it less susceptible to liquid oxygen, yet have hardness as required to protect from particulate scratching. Other research has focused on the process to make sealing surfaces softer (for better sealing) and to protect Inconnel from hydrogen embrittlement. Phase I will experiment with designated surface additives to substrate materials of interest. Phase II will extend these results to real hardware which can be tested in an operating environment.



POTENTIAL COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS

Ground-based transfer systems for cryogenic fluids is a big business, both for the U.S. Government and commercial interests. In particular, the production of liquid-oxygen-compatible components which are not scratch-sensitive and are longer lasting can make LISIsm surface alloying a necessary part of production. This technology will permit safer, more reliable and probably less-costly components. High-pressure air systems may also benefit from the research. Many businesses that are not space related use cryogens.


NAME AND ADDRESS OF PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR

 
Michael A. Riley 
Surface Treatment Technologies, Inc.
P.O. Box 907, 1940 Elk River Dam Road
Tullahoma , TN 37388 - 9998

NAME AND ADDRESS OF OFFEROR


Surface Treatment Technologies, Inc. 
P.O. Box 907, 1940 Elk River Dam Road
Tullahoma , TN 37388 - 9998