Thermally Initiated Self Healing Polymer Nanocomposites
Agency / Branch:
DOD / USAF
To successfully achieve and maintain Air Theater Superiority over the modern battlefield the Air Force requires high performance polymer/fiber composite materials. These lightweight high strength materials have greatly advanced the capabilities of jet aircrafts, munitions, space vehicles, as well as ground support vehicles. Damage caused by small impacts during transport and handing of munitions can create unseen micro-damage within the resin matrix and at the fiber/matrix interface. These micro-cracks reduce the actual performance of the composite below the expected level for which the component was designed. Detecting micro-cracks in materials is very difficult, and accessing them to repair them is also non-trivial. Therefore, imparting the capability for composites to self-repair these micro-cracks will reduce the frequency of full part replacement, maintain the designed high performance characteristics, and eliminate the expansion of micro-cracks that can result in further weakening of the composite over time leading to catastrophic failure and loss of life. The proposed technology is based on thermally initiated self-healing. Unlike previous approaches to self-healing, the polymer nanocomposite will actively close and seal cracks and is designed as a matrix replacement in fiber reinforced polymer composites.
Small Business Information at Submission:
400 E Apgar Drive Somerset, NJ 08873
Number of Employees: