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Surface Treatment for Graphite Fiber Composites

Award Information

Department of Defense
Missile Defense Agency
Award ID:
Program Year/Program:
1992 / SBIR
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
Solicitation Topic Code:
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
TPL, Inc.
3921 Academy Parkway North, NE Albuquerque, NM 87109-4416
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Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No
Phase 1
Fiscal Year: 1992
Title: Surface Treatment for Graphite Fiber Composites
Agency / Branch: DOD / MDA
Contract: N/A
Award Amount: $56,610.00


High performance graphite/resin composites have not realized their potential because they have poor interface-dependent mechanical properties that degrade by as much as 65% under hot-wet conditions. An RF-plasma/wet-chemistry fiber surface treatment is proposed to establish covalent bonding between the graphite fiber/resin matrix interface. The plasma process will establish reactive moieties on the relatively inert crystallite basal plane of the graphite fiber. The wet-chemical treatment will covalently bond the resin matrix to the reactive plasma-generated moieties thus forming the interfacial covalent bond. The covalently bonded interfaces will improve interface-dependent mechanical properties by at least 50% and prevent degradation of these properties under hot-wet conditions. Prior work that established interfacial covalent bonds in OCF S-2 glass/polysulfone composites demonstrated that interface-dependent mechanical properties degraded by less than 8% during 106 degree C-9 RH aging conditions. Basal plane reactivity treatments will be conducted in a spectrometer-controlled plasma research reactor facility. Titration, IGC, surgace energetics and ESCA techniques will characterize the graphite surface. Processes will be developed for wet-chemical bonding. Peel tests of two-ply laminates subjected to hot-wet aging will provide proof of increased interfacial adhesion.

Principal Investigator:

Richard W. Brotzman, Phd

Business Contact:

Small Business Information at Submission:

Tpl, Inc.
3754 Hawkins Ne Albuquerque, NM 87109

Number of Employees:
Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No