Tungsten Carbide Nanoparticle Strengthened Tantalum Nanocoating for Engineered Gun Barrel Surfaces

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Army
Contract: W15QKN-04-C-1052
Agency Tracking Number: A032-1416
Amount: $70,000.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2004
Solicitation Year: 2003
Solicitation Topic Code: A03-013
Solicitation Number: 2003.2
Small Business Information
74 Batterson Park Road, Farmington, CT, 06032
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Danny Xiao
 Vice President, R & D
 (860) 678-7561
Business Contact
 David Reisner
Title: President & CEO
Phone: (860) 678-7561
Email: dreisner@inframat.com
Research Institution
US Army seeks innovative coating technologies for gun barrel surface applications to replace currently available highly toxic electroplated hard chrome. Cylindrical magnetron sputtered tantalum (Ta) coatings developed by US Army labs revealed some success in explosive bonding experiments, however, issues include cost and softness of the unalloyed Ta. Inframat proposes to fabricate a novel tungsten carbide (WC) nanoparticle strengthened Ta nanocoating via an environmentally benign co-electrodeposition process, where WC nanoparticles are co-deposited in a Ta matrix. The proposed program involves (1) preparing a colloidal bath composition containing WC nanoparticles in Ta solution, (2) depositing Ta-WC nanocoatings via IMC's proprietary co-electroplating process, and (3) evaluating coating properties. From our previous experience in electroplated WC/Co-Ni nanocoatings, we expect that the Ta-WC nanocoating will have significantly increased coating to substrate adhesion strength when compared with electroplated microsized hard chrome. The program is aimed to engineer the alloy hardness to a range compatible to hard chrome (850-1000 VHN). Since Ta and WC are high temperature materials, having melting points >3000oC, thermal mechanical fatigue and erosion wear properties are expected to outperform hard chrome coatings. The substitution of Ta with commercially available WC nanoparticles is expected to reduce cost of the alloyed Ta by 40%.

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

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