Agency: Department of Defense | Branch: Army | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase II | Award Amount: 729.72K | Year: 2012
Highly pure ZnS having high mechanical strength is needed for military aircraft window and missile dome applications to withstand erosion by high velocity rain droplets and sand particles. Current manufacturing processes involve high-temperature and high-pressure equipment, long processing times, and give low yields leading to high costs. To address this problem, Texas Biochemicals Inc., has invented a novel environmentally benign technology and demonstrated its proof-of-concept during the Phase-I project. Key results demonstrated our ability to consistently reproduce unagglomerated, mono-dispersed, spherical ZnS nanopowders of ~100 nm in size. Consolidation of this ultra high pure (99.9%) ZnS nanopowders produced ultra high density optical ceramics showing nano-grained structures with a mechanical strength three times that of existing ZnS products. In the proposed Phase-II project, processes will be scaled-up to produce multi-kilogram quantities of metal-sulfide powders (<50 nm) with the above mentioned properties to engineer next-generation missile sensor windows and domes. Collaboration with a leading LWIR manufacturer is established to evaluate samples and provide technical guidance. Their input described under Phase II tasks and the letter of support attached demonstrates their intention to become a commercialization partner leading to near term technology utilization potential.
Agency: Department of Defense | Branch: Navy | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 80.00K | Year: 2012
Texas Biochemicals Inc, proposes to develop Polycrystalline Yttrium Aluminum Garnet (YAG) as a cost effective material to replace Sapphires for IR transparent multispectral (1-5 microns) sensor windows. We have recently developed a novel technology to produce mono-dispersed, non-agglomerated and ultra-high purity YAG nano-powders. These powders with grain growth reducing sintering additives were used to produce flat IR transparent nano-grained samples by a novel route. Preliminary results showed high stiffness (~ 330 GPa Young"s modulus), and low optical scatter due to small grain size. In the Phase-I project, we will demonstrate that the material conforms to the requirements of optical transmission, optical scatter, mechanical strength and Young's modulus. A DoD prime contractor's facilities will be used for sample evaluations, with whom we have established an on-going collaboration for the manufacture of ZnS for IR domes and windows applications. Cost estimation and a path forward to manufacture sizes needed by the US Navy will also be addressed in Phase I. On a follow-on Phase II project, we will demonstrate durability, repeatability, and fine tune the fabrication procedures for needed sizes. Collaboration with a DoD prime contractor who is highly interested in this technology will facilitate rapid insertion of the technology for commercialization.
Agency: Department of Defense | Branch: Army | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 120.00K | Year: 2010
Multispectral ZnS is a window material for long wave-infrared (LWIR) in the range (0.5-12 microns). The main drawback of ZnS is an insufficient chemical and mechanical strength which leads to optical degradation of the window''s properties. Current processes involve Chemical Vapor Deposition and Hot Isostatic Pressing (HIP) resulting in high costs, longer heating schedules, and with low yields. Texas Biochemicals Inc, recently developed a novel technology to produce spherical ZnS nanopowders in house. In Phase-I project, Texas Biochemicals Inc., will advance the manufacturing technology for large scale production. This technology is environmentally benign and cost effective, to produce large scale spherical ZnS nanopowders. This nanopowder containing suitable additives will prevent grain growth of the final sintered ZnS product and still retaining high transparency in the 0.5-12 microns region. The resultant sintered product will be highly durable, chemically stable, having twice the order of magnitude in mechanical strength when compared to windows and domes that are currently existing. These multi-mode windows and domes will serve for the next generation of sensors for missiles and surveillance systems. On a follow on Phase-II project this technology will be commercialized by a leading LWIR manufacturer who is very much interested in this technology.
Texas Biochemicals Inc | Entity website
Texas Biochemicals Inc | Entity website
Nanotechnology is becoming the basis of the main technological innovations of the 21st century. Research and development in this field is growing rapidly throughout the world ...