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Fairfax, VA, United States

Materials Modification, Inc. | Date: 2014-03-14

Disclosure of functionalized ionic liquids. Use of disclosed ionic liquids as solvent for carbon dioxide. Use of disclosed ionic liquids as flame retardant. Use of disclosed ionic liquids for coating fabric to obtain flame retardant fabric.

Agency: National Aeronautics and Space Administration | Branch: | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 125.00K | Year: 2015

Polymer reinforced composite parts required for heavy lift launch vehicles are currently fabricated by hand lay-up or automated tape lay-up followed by curing using heat, pressure, vacuum and inert atmosphere. Composite structures for future applications are expected to be larger than 9 meters in diameter and greater than 10 meters in length. Such large composite structures cannot be fabricated by regular autoclaving processes because of limitations of the size of autoclaves and high costs associated with energy consumption. In this Phase I effort, MMI will develop a novel out-of-autoclave processing method for the fabrication of nanostructured polymer matrix composites for fabrication of light weight structural parts of large dimensions. This phase of research will also involve a system analysis of the technology to identify the benefits and target areas of use. A correlation study based system analyses will provide a path to apply the fabrication methods to fabricate large composite parts used in aircraft structures. Phase II will scale up the technology and demonstrate property enhancements. The resin infusion process proposed will be suitable for economical manufacture of large parts. The nanocomposite reinforcement proposed will also afford better mechanical properties to the polymer matrix composite.

Agency: Department of Energy | Branch: | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 150.00K | Year: 2014

Generation IV Gas-Cooled Reactors require advanced structural materials capable of resisting extreme conditions of radiation exposure, high heat flux, corrosive environments and thermo- mechanical stresses. Metallic alloys such as stainless steel and Zircaloy used in fabricating fuel assembly grids, nozzles, strainers and spacers for generation IV Gas-Cooled Reactors, run the risk of melting when exposed to high temperatures in the event of an accident such as that which occurred in Fukushima. Silicon carbide is useful in such applications because of its high melting point (2730 C), low specific weight (3.21 g/cm3), excellent mechanical strength ( & gt;600 MPa) and elastic modulus ( & gt;400 GPa), and a high thermal conductivity (490 W/m-K). Monolithic silicon carbide faces the disadvantage of being inherently brittle while SiC fiber-reinforced SiC composites have the capability to enhance the fracture toughness of the material. MMI has developed a low cost process for producing SiC nanofiber mats from preceramic polymer precursors which will be used to produce the SiC(f)-SiC composites. MMIs will use its plasma pressure compaction process to consolidate these composites to full densities. Phase I research will involve fabrication of the SiC(f)-SiC composites and testing of its thermal, mechanical and radiation resistance properties. In the Phase II effort, selective architectures will be scaled up for fabricating specific Gen IV reactor applications such as assembly grids, nozzles, strainers and spacers. We have already initiated discussions with Westinghouse who have expressed a keen interest in working with several parts for their reactors. Commercial Applications and Other Benefits: The use of SiC/SiC composites in fabricating nuclear power plant parts and equipment such as Fuel Assembly Grids, Nozzles, strainers and Spacers will improve the operational safety under conditions that may arise from an unexpected accident. Silicon Carbide composites have exceptional advantages over conventional silicon-based semiconductors and electronics and are therefore being considered for semiconductor applications. SiC composites will also find use in several high temperature structural applications used for heat treating of metals and alloys.

Agency: Department of Defense | Branch: Army | Program: STTR | Phase: Phase II | Award Amount: 500.61K | Year: 2015

"US Armys combat uniform systems currently use NyCo fabrics which are made using a 50% nylon/50% cotton blend. Army Combat Utility (ACU) uniforms have excellent comfort and durability but lack flame resistance (FR). The US Army relies on expensive FR fabrics for protecting warfighters against fire hazards. These FR fabrics are typically made using specialty fibers such as Lenzing FR rayon fibers and have to be imported into the US. Instead of using these expensive fabrics, it will be economical to impart FR property on the NyCo fabric by treating them with flame resistant materials/coatings. In the Phase I effort, Materials Modification Inc. (MMI) has investigated a family of ionic liquids as FR materials for NyCo fabrics. Selective ionic liquids exhibited excellent FR properties. These ionic liquids are non-flammable, high temperature stable (>250C), non-volatile liquids, non-toxic to humans, and are also amenable to coating on textile fabrics. Unlike conventional FR chemicals, ionic liquids are colorless and do not interfere with the other properties of the military fabrics such as camouflage, air permeability and flexibility. Along with the flame resistant property these ionic liquids also exhibited antistatic properties demonstrating the potential multi-functional capabilities. In the Phase II effort, the FR coatings downselected from the Phase I effort will be optimized for superior performance on NyCo fabrics. The scale up production of FR ionic liquids will be demonstrated. A roll-to-roll dip and padding production process will be used to produce several yards of coated fabrics (500 yards). The coated fabrics will be tested for reproducible performance of flame retardancy, antistatic properties and launderability in collaboration with our academic and industrial partners. The optimized FR treated NyCo fabrics will be assembled into a prototype Flame Resistant Army Combat Uniform (FR-ACU) for the evaluation by the US Army at the Natick Soldier Research, Development and Engineering Center. "

Agency: Department of Defense | Branch: Air Force | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 150.00K | Year: 2014

ABSTRACT: In this Phase I, MMI proposes an innovative technology using a combination of Acousto-Ultrasonics diagnostics and piezoelectric transducers to detect corrosion in advance. The electro-mechanical coupling allows direct interface with electronics used for sensing or actuation purposes. Using Acousto-Ultrasonics and in-situ piezoelectric transducers, atmospheric corrosion on a aluminum alloys and galvanic couples can be easily monitored. This approach will provide earlier detection to difficult-to-access areas in the aircrafts and improved ease of repair procedures or capability. For removal and cleaning of corrosion of galvanic couples, MMI will use innovative approaches to develop self-cleaning and healing anti-corrosion coatings for aluminum components and aircraft parts. The trigger-and-release approach from the nano-capsules present in the coating will be beneficial for optimized amount of materials released, hence will not increase the weight of the aircraft component. Characteristic features of the technology include: Transducer based guided wave diagnostics for early detection of corrosion Nanomaterial-based low VOC cleaning and anti-corrosion coatings New technology based on trigger-and-release self-cleaning and healing mechanism Coating can withstand harsh conditions (salinity, temperature, chemicals, 3 & #61603; pH & #61603; 14) Easy detection and application on site and not labor-intensive process BENEFIT: Early detection of corrosion in and around difficult-to-access zones in aircraft structures is essential to resist corrosion on galvanic and aluminum alloys. The worldwide cost of corrosion has been estimated to be nearly $300 billion per year. A quick, easy and precise identification system that can detect corrosion in advance has a great potential to eradicate corrosion for advanced engineering systems. The detection technology and remedy using the coating systems developed in this effort will provide solutions to structural (bridges, bunkers), automotive (cars), aviation and warfare applications in the US defense and military sectors. The anticipated benefits can be propelled for civilian and construction purposes.

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