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Wire Insulation Incorporating Self-Healing Polymers (WIISP)

Award Information
Agency: National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Branch: N/A
Contract: NNK06MB01C
Agency Tracking Number: 040109
Amount: $598,481.00
Phase: Phase II
Program: STTR
Solicitation Topic Code: T6.01
Solicitation Number: N/A
Solicitation Year: 2004
Award Year: 2006
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2006-07-10
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2008-07-10
Small Business Information
2780 Skypark Drive, Suite 400
Torrance, CA 90505-7519
United States
DUNS: 106823607
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: No
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: Yes
Principal Investigator
 Terrisa Duenas
 Principal Investigator
 (310) 626-8365
Business Contact
 Zoltan Feher
Title: Contracts and Pricing
Phone: (310) 626-8384
Research Institution
 Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
 Not W Available
460 Turner Street, Mail #0170
Blacksburg, VA 24061
United States

 (508) 831-5065
 Domestic Nonprofit Research Organization

NextGen and Virginia Tech are developing a self-healing material for wire insulation using a class of ionomeric polymers. These ionomers exhibit self-healing properties as a function of the ionic content of the material. Previous work has focused on self-healing of puncture damage caused by projectiles, has shown that an airtight seal can be formed in real time seconds after the puncture has occurred.

Since self-healing has already been demonstrated, the major technical challenge of this effort is to stimulate the localized melt elastic response that has been shown to initiate self-healing. Our concept is to incorporate a magnetically-responsive phase into the insulating polymer using magnetic flux particle alignment to induce localized heating during high-frequency excitation of the polymer. Tuning the frequency of the electrical signal to the critical frequency of the polymer associated with the glass transition temperature will produce localized heating of the insulation. Localized heating, initiated by a wiring damage event such as arcing, will cause flow into the crack and, upon cooling, the crack will close over the wire and eliminate the exposure of the bare wire. With proper arrangement of nanoparticles the impact on material property can be minimized, while site-specific self-healing can be demonstrated.

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

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