Thermally-Conductive Nanocomposite Elastomer Boot System (TCNEBS) for V-22 Rotor Blade Leading Edges
Agency / Branch:
DOD / NAVY
The metal sheath used to protect the V-22 aircraft rotor blade leading edge against sand, rain and ice erosion, and provide heating to prevent ice buildup, is heavy, rigid and expensive. An elastomeric boot can offer lower weight, flexibility, abrasion-resistance and field repairability. However, elastomeric boots have exhibited delamination and creep failure caused by high centrifugal loads and sand and rain droplet impact damage. These elastomeric boots also have poor deicing characteristics. Infoscitex and Texas State University propose to develop a thermally-conductive, nanocomposite elastomer boot system, called TCNEBS, that provides sand and rain erosion-resistance, reinforcement against centrifugal shear forces and protection against rain droplet impact damage. The TCNEBS will exhibit high thermal conductivity through the thickness, enabling rapid thermal deicing and can be adhesively bonded to the leading edge in the field as a premolded boot applique to replace a damaged or worn boot. In Phase I, we will select TCNEBS candidate materials, produce test specimens and evaluate TCNEBS adhesion, sand and rain erosion-resistance and creep-resistance at a recognized test facility. Deicing capability will be demonstrated. The TCNEBS enables unique, in-flight blade flexing not possible with the metal sheath. The Infoscitex team includes experts in z-oriented nanofiber reinforced elastomers, a helicopter manufacturer and an elastomer supplier. BENEFITS: Successful development of the TCNEBS will increase the reliability, survivability and mission lifetime of military rotary wing aircraft, such as the V-22 Osprey, in severe sand, rain and ice environments. The added flexibility of a TCNEBS-equipped composite blade will enable complex twisting and flexing maneuvers in-flight that are not possible with metal protective sheaths.
Small Business Information at Submission:
Research Institution Information:
303 Bear Hill Road Waltham, MA 02451
Number of Employees:
TEXAS STATE UNIV.
601 University Drive
San Marcos, TX 78666
Nonprofit college or university