Environmentally Friendly, On-Aircraft Repair of Polyetheretherketone (PEEK) Thermoplastic Components
Agency / Branch:
DOD / USAF
An environmentally friendly, on-aircraft repair process for poly-ether-ether-ketone (PEEK) composite materials is proposed. This process takes advantage of a new atmospheric pressure plasma technology for activating the PEEK surface prior to bonding. The plasma is generated in a rugged handheld device that is easily deployed in the field, and can treat any object, regardless of size and shape. Preliminary tests of this device in the presence of combustible gases have shown that it should not pose a flammability risk. Furthermore, no hazardous chemicals are used in this process. Research on surface treatment and bonding will be conducted in collaboration with the Center for Composite Materials at the University of Delaware. The mechanical strength and durability of the bonds will be assessed using standard lap shear, fatigue and wedge tests. It is expected that this new process will meet Air Force specifications for lap-shear strengths exceeding 6000 psig at 70 F. The plasma will be rigorously tested in simulated aircraft environments, to prove it does not present a fire or safety hazard. This project represents a significant opportunity for the Air Force to commercialize a low-cost, environmentally friendly and field deployable technology for repairing PEEK parts on fighter aircraft.
Small Business Information at Submission:
SURFX TECHNOLOGIES LLC
3617 Hayden Avenue Culver City, CA 90232
Number of Employees: