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STTR Phase I: Corrosion Protection via Self-healing Top-coat for Aerospace Applications

Award Information
Agency: National Science Foundation
Branch: N/A
Contract: 1332171
Agency Tracking Number: 1332171
Amount: $225,000.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: STTR
Solicitation Topic Code: AS
Solicitation Number: N/A
Solicitation Year: 2013
Award Year: 2013
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2013-07-01
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2014-06-30
Small Business Information
561 S. Sierra Ave Ste 40
Solana Beach, CA 92075-2208
United States
DUNS: 078732327
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: No
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: No
Principal Investigator
 Aaron Kushner
 (415) 577-8452
Business Contact
 Aaron Kushner
Phone: (415) 577-8452
Research Institution
 University of California-Irvine
 Zhibin Guan
5042D Reines Hall
Irvine, CA 92697-
United States

 () -
 Nonprofit College or University

This Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase I project is aimed at demonstrating commercial viability for a new self-healing corrosion-protection system. Corrosion significantly impacts both the costs and availability of commercial aircraft, costing tens of billions of dollars annually. The proposed Self-Healing Anti-Corrosion Coating (SHAC) is capable of repeatable repair and sustained protection of aluminum components. The SHAC proposed is unique from the current state of the art in that it is innately, at the molecular level, self-healing; it does not require catalysts/healing-agents or any form of external input. The research proposed here focuses on reducing the cost of the system in terms of both raw material and eventual industrial scale manufacture, as well as improving its performance and reducing its environmental impact. To reduce material costs, GK will employ inexpensive commodity monomers that nonetheless possess the desired functionality to yield self-healing properties, as well as switch to a macromolecular architecture that is compatible with established industrial scale synthesis and processing. To improve mechanical and barrier performance, we will add light crosslinking and nano-fillers. These goals will be combined in a definitive prototype demonstration. The broader impact/commercial potential of this project will be derived from a substantial reduction of the lifecycle cost of airframes in the commercial and military aviation industry, both by increasing the lifetime by preventing corrosion, and by removing the large maintenance costs associated with corrosion prevention and repair. This will broadly improve the economic sustainability and reduce the environmental impact of the aviation industry, which would likely further resulting in efficiency and productivity enhancement across the whole spectrum of travel and freight industries. Economy-wide, about 2% of US GDP ($100 billion/year) is spent to prevent/remediate damage from corrosion. A commercially viable self-healing top-coat technology would dramatically reduce the frequency and costs of corrosion repair and extend product life-cycles, improving the overall efficiency and sustainability of the economy. Successful SHAC demonstration and commercialization will lead to improved safety and lifetime across all elastomeric and composite material applications. In addition, by careful selection of the composition of the different phases, new advanced multifunctional coatings, encapsulants, structural composites, textiles, and and opto-electronic materials will be obtained, all with the performance and lifetime-enhancing self-healing property inherent to our dynamic multiphase design, ultimately resulting in a new game-changing "material by design" paradigm.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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