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High Surface Area Nanostructured Metal Oxide Flame Retardants

Award Information

National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Award ID:
Program Year/Program:
2001 / SBIR
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
Solicitation Topic Code:
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
Materials Modification Inc
2809-K Merrilee Drive Fairfax, VA 22031-
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Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: Yes
HUBZone-Owned: No
Phase 1
Fiscal Year: 2001
Title: High Surface Area Nanostructured Metal Oxide Flame Retardants
Agency: NASA
Contract: N/A
Award Amount: $70,000.00


'Airplane manufacturers are using advanced materials for fire prevention, and suppression of potential in-flight fires, but they are still not good enough to meet emergency situations that arise.' At a time of record growth in the airline industry more and more aircraft are added to airline fleets each year. Older aircraft are also being overhauled with additional safety features. As a result, increased amounts of flame retardant materials are being used in aircraft passenger cabins, cargo compartments and inaccessible areas in the pressure hull. The addition of flame-suppressing substances to the material provides a way to fireproof polymers, which constitute almost 3 and 8 tons of flammable polymeric materials in the aircraft. Halogen containing molecules, used as fire suppressants have fallen out of favor because they release toxic dioxins when they burn. Metal oxide hydrates, which release water at high temperatures, polymers which fend off flames by getting scorched on the surface, and even nylon-montmorillonite composites have been evaluated, but with limited success. Therefore, a normal polymer when challenged by fire needs to become fire resistant. A potential solution to this problem is in the form of a nanostructured additive that will be investigated in this Phase I program by Materials Modification, Inc. In Phase II, the polymer-additive flame suppressant/retardant will be evaluated with varying concentrations of the nanostructured additive and the most promising combinations will be tested for fire retardancy with our commercial partner.

Principal Investigator:

Ramachandran Radhakrishnan
Materials Engineer

Business Contact:

Dr. Sudarshan
Vice-President & COO
Small Business Information at Submission:

2721-D Merrilee Drive Fairfax, VA 22031

Number of Employees:
Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No