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Dynamic Characterization of Critical Material Properties

Description:

The technology within this topic is restricted under the International Traffic in Arms Regulation (ITAR), 22 CFR Parts 120-130, which controls the export and import of defense-related material and services, including export of sensitive technical data, or the Export Administration Regulation (EAR), 15 CFR Parts 730-774, which controls dual use items. Offerors must disclose any proposed use of foreign nationals (FNs), their country(ies) of origin, the type of visa or work permit possessed, and the statement of work (SOW) tasks intended for accomplishment by the FN(s) in accordance with section 3.5 of the Announcement. Offerors are advised foreign nationals proposed to perform on this topic may be restricted due to the technical data under US Export Control Laws. OBJECTIVE: The development of high throughput techniques which can measure material properties in a variety of systems including aqueous slurries, molten organic mixtures, and consolidated pellets. DESCRIPTION: Currently, many industrial processes for the US Army function as ‘black boxes’ as they are poorly understood from a dynamic sense. While inputs are known and outputs are well characterized, the process itself is not well monitored. This results in tremendous deficiencies, and overall a lower quality product for the Warfighter. This also contributes to the difficulties associated with transitioning new technologies to the Warfighter, as implementation is inhibited by an ignorance of how new materials behave when used with current manufacturing techniques. An additional difficulty is that many parameters critical for understanding and assessing them are difficult to measure, especially across a wide of variety of environmental conditions. This impedes maturation of new materials, as costly, time consuming testing becomes required at every developmental stage. This is especially relevant now, as the potential of some of the most advanced models is impeded by a lack of materials characterization. Succinctly, the development of new materials at nearly every technology and manufacturing readiness level is negatively impacted by a lack of high throughput characterization. By measuring a suite of critical properties efficiently across a wide number of environments, these issues can be solved. At first, this would provide a boon to lab scale efforts, as they would allow a much broader number of materials to be examined and down-selected far more quickly than currently possible. This would make implementation of pilot scale-up to low-rate-production much easier by providing a far more comprehensive understanding of the materials in question. Furthermore, the technology can be implemented at these stages to function at first as a method of easing transition of novel materials, but later on as method of optimizing efficiency and functioning as seamless quality control. While not a requirement, it would be preferred if the developed probes operated under ‘first principles’ and therefore required little calibration to use with new materials. This would ensure that they have the broadest impact in the quickest manner, while minimizing cost. These technologies are expected to have dramatic impact across a variety of industries. For example, pharmaceutical companies could use probes under the developed effort to speed the transition of new drugs. Ceramics and metals, especially those using nanomaterials, would also benefit. The plastics industry could use these types of online tools to replace much of the characterization they do offline. Oil and gas industries as well as new green energy technology such as solar cells and geothermal plants would also benefit, as they are constantly evaluating new materials, and must be able to do so while extrapolating performance to extreme environments. PHASE I: Design a lab scale system which can demonstrate the ability to measure the properties described previously over a temperature range of -100 C to 200 C. These results should be validated by comparison to literature values or by some other independent process which is widely recognized in the scientific and engineering disciplines. In general, accuracies of ± 5 % are desired. The system should be able to measure the following properties in the given ranges: porosity (from 0.1 % to 25 %), shear viscosity ( 1 Pa∙s to 10^8 Pa∙s), particle size (100 nm to 1 mm), phase changes (melt, glass transition, crystallization, change from one crystal order to another), the Anderson-Grüneisen parameters, the Grüneisen parameters, and the density of the material (0.1 g/cm^3 to 10 g/cm^3). The probes should be demonstrated to operate in common batch processes and continuous flow systems. PHASE II: Test the system on a suite of materials of relevance to the US DoD. This includes nitrocellulose, aluminum, lead, HMX (Octogen), RDX (Hexogen), HTPB (Hydroxyl-terminated polybutadiene), CAB (Cellulose Acetate Butyrate), Viton, Teflon, copper and steel, but more will be identified and can be provided to the contractor at their request. The General User Interface (GUI) should be relatively straightforward and systems should be provided to the US Army for further testing and verification. These probes should be certified as explosion-proof, and shown to be resistant to environments with a pH of 4 to a pH 11. A user manual should be drafted. PHASE III DUAL USE APPLICATIONS: Based on feedback from Phase 2, improvements will be made to the system to enable transition to industry partner/production facilities. This includes further improvements of user interface. Furthermore, demonstration of long-term stability of the system should be undertaken. This would include long-range studies which will measure the accuracy of the probes over long periods of time, and the demonstration of reliable usage over the course of a year. Limited maintenance for electronics and software will be allowed, but generally the probes should be used for longer periods of time without significant upkeep. These technologies are expected to have dramatic impact across a variety of industries. For example, pharmaceutical companies could use probes under the developed effort to speed the transition of new drugs. Applications involving ceramics and metals, especially those using nanomaterials, would also benefit. The plastics industry could use these types of online tools to replace much of the characterization they do offline. This would be a boon for the oil and gas industries as well as new green energy technology such as solar cells and geothermal plants, as they are constantly evaluating new materials, and must be able to do so while extrapolating performance to extreme environments. REFERENCES: 1. Mechanics of Materials, By Ferdinand Beer and E. Johnston and John DeWolf and David Mazurek, McGraw Hill 2012; 2. Particle Size Measurements, Henk G. Merkus, Technology and Engineering, Springer Science & Business Media, 2009; 3. Chemical Reactor Modeling: Multiphase Reactive Flows, Hugo A. Jakobsen, Springer Science & Business Media, 2008; 4. Spectroscopy: Principles and Instrumentation, Mark F. Vitha, Wiley, 2018; 5. Ultrasonic Testing of Materials, Josef Krautkrämer, Herbert Krautkrämer, Springer Verlag Berlin, 1990 KEYWORDS: Material characterization, particle size analysis, Grüneisen, viscosity, particle size, bulk modulus, density
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