Highly Deformable Electrically Self-Healing Metal RubberT Skins for Morphing UAVs
Agency / Branch:
DOD / USAF
NanoSonic has developed Metal RubberT, a highly electrically conductive nanocomposite with tailored surface resistivity (as low as 0.2 /) that can be repeatedly strained to greater than 1000% while maintaining electromagnetic integrity. Unlike typical dense, brittle nanocomposites that require up to 80 volume % filler; NanoSonic employs an elegant layered processing technique to achieve electrical percolation with <0.01 volume % of non-oxidizing metal nanoparticles. Lightweight (0.98g/cc) Metal RubberT is not a conducting polymer or a sputter coated polymer film, rather a free standing nanocomposite formed in-situ by chemically reacting monolayers of well defined electrically conductive nanostructured constituents with high performance copolymers. Durable elastomeric materials are realized; providing stable electrical conductivity over a wide dynamic thermomechanical range, currently from -60 degrees C through 350 degrees C, and in the presence of UV and ozone. Metal RubberT deformable skins are envisioned as a unique enabling technology allowing morphing unmanned aerial vehicles to maintain stable electromagnetic properties under disparate vehicle configurations. The nanostructured yet macroscale skins are currently available as free standing appliques (up to 2'x8') or as conformal coatings on aircraft structures. NanoSonic would work with a major defense prime on performance metrics and materials property evaluation to increase the TRL of Metal RubberT deformable skins.
Small Business Information at Submission:
P.O. Box 618 Christiansburg, VA 24068
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