High Energy Density Aluminum-Polymer Nanolaminate
Agency / Branch:
DOD / USAF
A novel, high energy density, aluminum-polymer propellant with ultra-high surface area and the potential for extremely high reaction rates, full utilization of the aluminum material, and an integrated fuel/oxidizer system is proposed. A patented ultra-high speed nanotechnology vacuum process is used to produce the nanolaminate material, which, even in powder form, can have hundreds of very thin aluminum layers, separated by energetic polymer layers, resulting in an energetic system of very high surface area. A similar nanolaminate material without a high energy density polymer component has successfully passed compatibility and safety gates and has been incorporated into HTPB-based formulations and successfully test fired in a small rocket motor. Results to date show that the nanolaminate containing fuel (with 30% less Al) can generate slightly better thrust and chamber pressure with comparable specific impulse, greater fuel grain tensile strength, and no detectable agglomeration versus the aluminum control fuels. A Phase I program is now proposed wherein 3 specific, high energy polymer precursors (bulk propellant compatible, fluorine rich, and strained structure monomers) will be characterized and incorporated into the nanolaminate structure resulting in improved energetics during combustion and superior mechanical properties.
Small Business Information at Submission:
Principal Investigator:Dr Richard E. Ellwanger
Sigma Labs, Inc.
10960 N. Stallard Pl Tucson, AZ 85737
Number of Employees: