Wear Resistant, Diamond-like Coatings
Agency / Branch:
DOD / MDA
The goal of this program is to improve critical surface parts of space and missile structures through a high quality cover layer of diamond-like carbon (DLC). DLC layers can be produced as hard, smooth coatings with a low coefficient of friction. These layers would greatly improve wear quality of lightweight materials, such as aluminum, magnesium, or resin matrix composites. We propose to deposit DLC layers onto the relevant surfaces of such materials utilizing state-of-the-art physical vapor deposition (PVD) technology. Although the proposal has relevance to a broad spectrum of materials for spacecraft and interceptor structures, we will limit Phase I work and demonstrate feasibility of DLC coatings on aluminum, magnesium, glass, and resin matrix composites . During Phase I, feasibility of the proposed improvement of lightweight materials will be demonstrated by evaluating DLC deposition parameters generating well-adhering, pinhole-free, and corrosion-resistant coatings, and by estimating their wear resistances and friction coefficients. In Phase II, it is proposed to work with space device and missile manufacturers to perform DLC deposition on specific structures and to set up standardized accelerated and long-term wear tests of the deposited DLC coatings, and to evaluate coating and quality control equipment and process for cost effective reproduction of devices with superior material properties. The material surface improvement market is a multi-million dollar market, still growing in the US, in Europe and in Japan. The proposed improvements would be brought to commercialization in collaboration with established companies. The improvements would increase the lifetime of spacecraft and intercept structures and would provide US companies with a significant competitive advantage in the world market. The novel surface improvements could increase the lifetime of structures with military, industrial, commercial, and medical applications when used as protective coatings for, i.e., tools, car parts, heart valves, etc.
Small Business Information at Submission:
Principal Investigator:Otto J. Prohaska, Ph.d.
14 Spring St Waltham, MA 02154
Number of Employees: