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Surface Modification of Exfoliated Graphite Nano-Reinforcements

Award Information

National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Award ID:
Program Year/Program:
2005 / SBIR
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
Solicitation Topic Code:
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
Adherent Technologies, Inc.
5505 Foothills Canyon Road Northeast Albuquerque, NM 87111-8346
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Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No
Phase 1
Fiscal Year: 2005
Title: Surface Modification of Exfoliated Graphite Nano-Reinforcements
Agency: NASA
Contract: NNC05CA23C
Award Amount: $69,999.00


Nano forms of graphite and carbon, such as flakes, worms, and tubes, can significantly modify the properties of polymers when used as reinforcements. Challenges remain in processing composites with these nano-reinforcements in the form of attaining uniform dispersions. Many of these difficulties are due to a lack of wetting of the nano-reinforcements by the polymer. Poor wetting is caused by the very low surface energy of the as-produced graphite nano-reinforcements. Opportunities exist for modifying the surface chemistry and energy of nano-reinforcements that will allow improved wetting and provide a means for chemical bonding at the interface with high temperature polymers such as PMR-II-50 polyimide. Two approaches for surface modification are proposed: (1) oxidative plasma treatments to populate the graphite surface with carboxyl and hydroxyl groups, and (2) bonding of polyimide oligomers to the nano-reinforcements using reactive coupling agents. Both of these approaches have proven successful with micron size carbon and graphite fibers and with nanofibers. As such, these treatments should result in nano-reinforced composites with superior mechanical properties and environmental durability.

Principal Investigator:

Ronald E. Allred

Business Contact:

Susan Switzer
Business Official
Small Business Information at Submission:

Adherent Technologies
9621 Camino del Sol NE Albuquerque, NM 87111

EIN/Tax ID: 850397689
Number of Employees:
Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No