Dahlonega, GA, United States

Polymer Aging Concepts, Inc.

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Dahlonega, GA, United States

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Li Z.,Georgia Institute of Technology | Lin W.,Georgia Institute of Technology | Moon K.-S.,Georgia Institute of Technology | Wilkins S.J.,Georgia Institute of Technology | And 5 more authors.
Carbon | Year: 2011

An anomalous decrease in the thermal stability of silicone was observed when carbon nanotubes (CNTs) were added as fillers. The decreased thermal stability is found to result from the residues of cobalt nanoparticles in CNTs, whereas CNTs synthesized with other metal catalysts do not show such a phenomenon. The analysis of thermal degradation products indicates that CNT fillers do not change the mechanism of the thermal degradation of silicone but cobalt nanoparticles within CNTs may accelerate the degradation through free radical generation. Radical scavengers such as hindered amines and impurity-free CNTs, or removal of cobalt nanoparticles by acid treatment, can mitigate the accelerated thermal degradation. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


Watkins K.,Polymer Aging Concepts, Inc. | Wong C.P.,Georgia Institute of Technology
2012 IEEE International Electric Vehicle Conference, IEVC 2012 | Year: 2012

Electric vehicle (EV) motors are subject to extreme and variable loads, resulting in degradation of winding insulation due to high temperatures. This paper describes research on a new conductive composite sensor, which utilizes insulation resin as the sensor element matrix. The sensor, embedded in the windings of EV motors, will provide remaining design life of the insulation based on actual vehicle operational and environmental conditions. Improved condition monitoring of the insulation systems of high performance EV motors will reduce in-use failures by identifying prematurely degraded insulation systems, and providing data for quality improvement programs. © 2012 IEEE.


Grant
Agency: Department of Defense | Branch: Air Force | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase II | Award Amount: 749.91K | Year: 2013

ABSTRACT: A Propellant Health Monitoring (PHM) Sensor for Solid Rocket Motors (SRMs) utilizes actual propellant components in a tiny new sensor called AgeAlert. These sensors provide real-time data corresponding to mechanical property degradation resulting from environmental aging of propellants. The sensors are mounted external to the propellant and automatically track degradation passively without embedment. They are accurate because the sensing element degrades in the same way under the same environment as the propellant in motor itself. Applications include (1) mechanical property data for verifying existing strategic SRM propellant models and (2) stand-alone"Smart Shelf-Life"labels attached to tactical SRMs or packaging to monitor aging and provide remaining life of the propellant throughout life of the asset. These smart labels provide immediate"go, no-go"indication to the user in the field without special training or equipment. This Phase II project will fabricate and bench test PHM sensors and health monitoring hardware/software for a live propellant used in strategic and tactical SRMs. Polymer Aging Concept"s experience in fabricating PHM sensors from propellant binders demonstrated feasibility of the approach. Participation by a SRM prime contractor in the propellant selection, health monitoring hardware/software design and bench top demonstrations optimizes probabilities of success and technology implementation. BENEFIT: This Phase II project will mature the Technical Readiness Level (TRL) of PHM sensors from TRL 3 (active R & D is initiated) to TRL 5 (component and/or breadboard validation in relevant environment). Commercialization of PHM sensors will greatly advance Integrated Vehicle Health Management (IVHM) of strategic Solid Rocket Motors (SRMs) by providing real time, non-destructive propellant properties for aging model verification. Internal Air Force studies have shown potential savings of up to 50% of the lifecycle costs of strategic assets by SRM heath monitoring improvements that reduce destructive testing and premature removal of assets from service. PHM sensors, integrated into passive Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) tags attached to tactical SRMs will provide passive (no battery)"Smart Shelf Life"tags which allow instant reading in the field of SRM propellant status ("go, no-go"or percent remaining lifetime) without special training or specialized equipment. These Smart Shelf Life tags will improve ordnance reliability by identifying assets which degrade prematurely from extreme environments, while reducing lifecycle costs by reducing destructive testing requirements and premature removal from service. The unique"self-integrating"feature of AgeAlert PHM sensors means that hardware and software is greatly simplified compared to environmental sensors and modeling approaches. Smart Shelf Life tags for tactical assets are estimated to cost approximately $50/tag in full production quantities. Commercialization potential and market interest has been demonstrated by strong documented interest by Joint forces (US Army, ARDEC), and several SRM prime contractors. Since AgeAlert technology is potentially applicable to any product comprising polymeric components, future health monitoring applications include sensors and Smart Shelf Life tags for gun propellants, advanced composite structural materials, seals, gaskets, tires, protective coatings and electronic packaging. Strong intellectual property and process"know-how"in fabricating AgeAlert sensors and demonstrated manufacturability provides significant opportunity for high technology domestic manufacturing jobs.


Patent
Polymer Aging Concepts, Inc. | Date: 2012-07-06

A low tack viscoelastomeric gel material formed by combining, by percent weight: about 50% to about 80% of a Polyol; about 3% to about 15% of an isocyanate; about 15% to about 40% of an oil; about 0.1% to about 1% of a catalyst; and about 0% to about 1% of a release agent. Support structures are also provided with a layer of low tack viscoelastomeric gel material. Further aspects also include methods of making the low tack viscoelastomeric gel material and methods of making support structures with a layer of low tack viscoelastomeric gel material.


Grant
Agency: Department of Defense | Branch: Missile Defense Agency | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase II | Award Amount: 946.04K | Year: 2014

This Phase II SBIR project will develop and field test a wireless"Smart Shelf Life"tag for ordnance which provides real time"go/no-go"status of propellant condition without special training or complex equipment. The tag integrates a new propellant health monitoring (PHM) sensor for nitrocellulose-based propellants developed in the Phase I effort and a passive wireless tag for monitoring the degradation of ordnance propellant. The tiny sensor is a surrogate of the propellant itself and is made of inert propellant components and conductive fillers so that it changes resistance as the propellant components age. Sensor resistance data obtained during accelerating aging allows correlation with propellant stabilizer depletion for selected propellants. The wireless tag, containing the PHM sensor is bonded externally to ordnance devices so that it"sees"a similar environment as the propellant. A wireless field reader queries the tag on the ordnance device and correlates sensor resistance with propellant aging data and displays remaining life of the propellant. Alternatively, PHM sensors are incorporated into environmental propellant health monitoring systems to provide objective propellant aging status for existing and proposed propellant health monitoring systems. Approved for Public Release 14-MDA-7739 (18 March 14).


Grant
Agency: Department of Defense | Branch: Air Force | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 99.94K | Year: 2011

ABSTRACT: A Health Monitoring Sensor for Solid Rocket Motors (SRMs) uses actual polymeric components of propellant in a tiny new sensor called AgeAlert. These sensors will provide real-time data corresponding to aging of the propellant. The sensors are mounted external to the propellant and automatically track degradation passively without electrical power until interrogated. They are extremely accurate because they degrade in the same way under the same environment as the propellant in motor itself. AgeAlert sensors are attached to a rocket motor so they"see"the same environment as the propellant being monitored. Applications include (1) data for verifying existing and proposed SRM health management models based on environmental sensors and (2) stand-alone"Smart Shelf-Life"labels attached to small ordnance items or packaging to monitor aging of the propellant during transportation, storage and deployment. These smart labels provide immediate"go, no-go"indication to the user in the field without special training or equipment. This project expands on successful research by Polymer Aging Concepts, Inc. for prototype sensors to monitoring aging of electrical insulation materials in nuclear power plant components. Participation by a SRM prime contractor in the selection propellant materials and sensor data correlation optimize probabilities of success and technology implementation. BENEFIT: These innovative sensors will greatly advance Integrated Vehicle Health Management (IVHM) of solid rocket motors and potentially save up to 50% of the cost of present methods utilizing destructive testing while improving reliability and safety of military and commercial solid rocket motor assets. The accuracy and in-situ features of AgeAlert technology means that not only will operators in the field benefit with a smart label which provides continuous status as to the reliability and safety of solid rocket motor ordnance, but objective data is readily available on individual assets to support mechanistic modeling for surveillance and shelf life extension programs. It will reduce the need for embedded sensors which add complexity and uncertainty due to stress risers in operational assets. This new heath monitoring approach is very cost effective since (1) the sensor utilizes inexpensive fillers used in the composite sensors, (2) sensor smart labels and readers are simple and reliable because they are based on the inherent"variable resistor"output of the sensors, and (3) field interpretation of"Smart Shelf-Life"labels utilizing AgeAlert sensors is simple pass/fail requiring no special operator training or equipment. Since no electrical power is required to respond to the degradation, the sensors can be incorporated into passive (no battery) radio frequency identification (RFID) devices allowing a single smart label to uniquely identify the item and identify significantly degraded items before reliability or safety are impaired. Potential commercial applications include sensors and smart labels for military and commercial solid rocket motor assets. The approach of this proposal could be expanded to monitor aging of other propellants used in ammunition, fuses, explosives and pyrotechnic devices. Since AgeAlert technology is potentially applicable to any product comprising polymeric components, future health monitoring applications include advanced composite structural materials, seals, gaskets, tires, protective coatings and electronic packaging. Strong intellectual property and process"know-how"in fabricating AgeAlert sensors provides significant opportunity for high technology domestic manufacturing jobs.


Grant
Agency: Department of Defense | Branch: Missile Defense Agency | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 149.93K | Year: 2013

Polymer Aging Concepts, Inc. proposes to develop a"Smart Shelf Life"(SSL) tag which provides a low cost health monitoring system for ordnance based on a new condition monitoring sensor technology called AgeAlert. The AgeAlert sensor in SSL labels comprises a conductive composite element made from a tiny portion of desensitized double base propellant and conductive fillers. The sensor responds to the tiny mass loss resulting from stabilizer depletion during aging by a resistance change in the sensor. SSL tags, integrating the AgeAlert sensor into a passive wireless transponder such as a passive Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) tag are bonded externally to the monitored ordnance item, ordnance casing or packaging so that the AgeAlert sensor"sees"the same thermal environment as the ordnance device propellant. No embedment of the sensor into the propellant is required, not are any electrical connections required to the ordnance device. A handheld wireless RFID reader provides electrical energy to the SSL tag, queries the sensor and calculates remaining life of the ordnance device by use of sensor-propellant correlation models developed by acceleration aging of sensors and propellant samples. The SSL tags will provide individual propellant aging data for ordnance reliability and service life extension programs.


Grant
Agency: Department of Energy | Branch: | Program: STTR | Phase: Phase II | Award Amount: 749.99K | Year: 2010

Insulation system degradation resulting in component failure represents a significant contribution to reliability and cost issues facing the nuclear power industry. For example, the Electric Power Research Institute found that 37% of motor failures were due to winding failures, many of which involve failure of the insulation system. Although there are a number of visual, tactile or electrical tests helpful in detecting insulation problems, there is no current in-situ sensor which continuously tracks the environmentally driven degradation of the insulation. A new degradation sensing technology called AgeAlert, developed by Polymer Aging Concepts, Inc. provides the first in-situ sensor for measurement of environmentally induced insulation degradation in real time. This tiny, low cost sensor installed in the windings of a motor or insulation of a cable responds to actual environmental conditions and accurately predicts remaining insulation life. The Phase I project demonstrated feasibility for use of advanced nanotechnology materials as conductive fillers in AgeAlert sensors. This is important because the resulting improvements in both performance and durability of the sensors optimize use in critical applications such as electrical wiring and equipment in nuclear power plants. The proposed research under this STTR Phase II project will demonstrate the improved performance from nanotechnology materials such as carbon nanotubes (CNT) in prototypes made for several wire and cable and motor insulation systems planned for Generation IV nuclear power plants. The tasks of this proposal will increase commercial viability of AgeAlert technology by improving the performance and durability of AgeAlert sensors to meet strict durability test requirements in the nuclear industry. It will open up additional markets for this new class of simple, low-cost condition monitoring sensors for demanding applications such as remote monitoring of off-shore wind turbines and solar applications where electrical components are subjected to extreme environmental conditions. Commercial Applications and other Benefits as described by the awardee: Commercialization of AgeAlert technology promotes green technologies by reducing material and energy resources associated with unplanned shutdowns and unnecessary equipment replacement. In the future, AgeAlert sensors can be used to monitor degradation of a wide range of degradable products including tires, aerospace composites, propellants, and even food and pharmaceutical products. Since the sensors are passive and respond to degradation effects without power, they can be incorporated into passive Radio Frequency Identification devices to make


Trademark
Polymer Aging Concepts, Inc. | Date: 2012-10-30

Medical products, namely, foam positioning pads for medical use. Wheelchair pads. Mattresses, mattress toppers, mattress cushions.


Trademark
Polymer Aging Concepts, Inc. | Date: 2012-04-03

Electronic sensors and electronic sensor readers that provide condition monitoring for a wide variety of products, namely, sensors for providing warning of excessive aging of products.

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