Ultra-Low Temperature Elastomeric Seals for Aerospace Hydraulic Systems
Agency / Branch:
DOD / USAF
ABSTRACT: Unmanned air vehicles (UAVs) have recently been operating on extended missions and at higher altitudes. Such operation can cause sections of the aircraft to experience temperatures as low as -100°F, much below the traditional aircraft minimum of -65°F. Currently, in order for the hydraulic systems to function without leakage of the hydraulic oil, heater blankets are used. As heater blankets significantly increase the weight of the aircraft, add complexity to the design, and require electrical power, alternative approaches are needed. Critical weak points within these hydraulic systems are the elastomeric seals (typically o-rings). However, no existing seal materials can satisfy all requirements of this system, as determined from discussions with seal manufacturers and distributors. To satisfy this need, Luna is teaming with several manufacturing and testing experts to develop new o-ring seals with the requisite performance for low-temperature hydraulic systems. Tasks will include fabrication of ultra-low-temperature seals, internal and external testing of the o-ring form factor, and preparation for scale-up and technology transition in tandem with team members. BENEFIT: The proposed Phase I program intends to demonstrate the low-temperature seal for use in aerospace hydraulic systems. This is targeted for drop-in replacement into hydraulic systems of existing and future UAVs. Cost effectiveness will be critical and production methods and teaming arrangements will be developed with cost as a major consideration. Once validated, this new seal would have immediate use in high altitude UAV platforms. There is also a significant potential market for ultra-low-temperature seals to be incorporated into hydraulic systems of other military and commercial aircraft.
Small Business Information at Submission:
Luna Innovations Incorporated
1 Riverside Circle Suite 400 Roanoke, VA -
Number of Employees: