Fatigue Resistant Wire for Airborne Applications
Agency / Branch:
DOD / USAF
The gradual degradation of wiring systems in aircraft is a serious concern plaguing the Air Force's aging fleet. It has been observed that the majority of wire breakage problems occur within nine inches of the connector, terminal lug, or other junction. In many cases, the wiring was not properly relieved of strain near the junction points. Traditional wires are by nature inelastic under stress, strain, or vibration - overtime this leads to wire failure. The creation of more flexible wire would reduce the occurrence of wire failure. Minnesota Defense proposes to develop flexible fatigue resistant wires based on electrically conductive elastic composites loaded with carbon nanotubes (CNTs). Carbon nanotubes have extremely high aspect ratios (length/diameter), and thus form conductive percolation networks through materials more easily than other conductive fillers such as carbon fiber or carbon black. The end result is a highly flexible, durable wire that can withstand substantial strain (> 25%) as a replacement for metal wires and cabling. The challenges in this Phase I, include developing wires with significant conductivity and heat resistance to replace signal carrying wires in aircraft.
Small Business Information at Submission:
MINNESOTA WIRE & CABLE CO.
1835 Energy Park Drive Saint Paul, MN 55108
Number of Employees: