SBIR Phase I: Advanced Materials - Nano-diamond Coatings for Light-Weight Engine Components
This SBIR Phase I project aims to develop a novel surface modification technology for aluminum alloys used in automotive internal combustion engines to improve resistance to friction. The related energy loss due to wear of components directly impacts the fuel efficiency of the automobile. The process to be used is a CO2-laser-based technique, combined with a fluidized-bed method to coat the component surfaces with nano-diamond (n-D)particles, in order to create a low-friction diamondlike carbon (DLC) film. The specific novelty is the technique is that it allows rapid transition of n-D into DLC, and permits deposition of thick coatings with excellent adhesion to the lightweight substrates. The broader impacts of this technology include the ability to improve the fuel efficiency, and therefore reduction in exhaust emissions of toxic components and increased lifetime due to reduction in the wear of moving parts. This technology, if successfully developed and commercialized, will be an enabling technology for applications in medical devices, microelectronics, MEMS, information storage, etc. The inclusion of undergraduate and graduate students in the program will allow the students to learn about the novel ways of applying classroom knowledge into real-life advanced engineering components, with a potential benefit to the environmental pollution, energy and materials waste reduction.
Small Business Information at Submission:
Photon Energy Technology
2510 Ridgetop Road Ames, IA 50014
Number of Employees: