Nanometal-Thermoplastic Elastomer Hybrids as Durable, Low Cost Flangeway Gap Materials

Nanometal-Thermoplastic Elastomer Hybrids as Durable, Low Cost Flangeway Gap Materials

Award Information
Agency: Department of Transportation
Branch: N/A
Contract: DTRT57-10-C-10032
Agency Tracking Number: DTRT57-10-C-10032
Amount: $99,530.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2010
Solicitation Year: 2009
Solicitation Topic Code: 101FR1
Solicitation Number: DTRT5710RSBIR1
Small Business Information
2541 Appletree Drive, Pittsburgh, PA, 15241
DUNS: 175305841
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Ian Winfiled
 Principal Investigator
 (412) 638-1140
Business Contact
 Robert Heard
Title: President
Phone: (412) 638-1140
Research Institution


The proposed program seeks to develop flangeway gap filer materials that will fill the gap under light loads such as wheelchairs, but will compress under heavy loads, such as freight systems, without increasing the likelihood of track derailments.  A materials technology optimization and evaluation program is proposed, based upon previous proprietary developments by the applicants in the area of cost-effective production of nanocrystalline metal coatings on thermoplastic and elastomeric substrates.  Proposed is the development of a novel nanocrystalline metal-thermoplastic elastomer (TPE) hybrid material which is expected to undergo very little deformation under light loads, but show excellent flexural fatigue resistance at higher loads while imparting durability through superior strength, lubricity and abrasion resistance.  Through the use of established, low cost electroplating methods, it is expected that the nanomaterial coating will be readily applied to the thermoplastic elastomeric substrate with optimized adhesion.


Phase I activities will demonstrate the mechanical performance enhancement potential of the nanometal-thermoplastic elastomer hybrid material under high and low loads, through a series of well controlled mechanical testing under static, as well as flexural fatigue loading conditions.  The successful execution of this Phase I initiative will identify the process conditions required to produce the nanometal-TPE hybrid materials and generate baseline mechanical property and performance data.

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

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