High Toughness Ceramics Containing Carbon Nanotube Reinforcement

Award Information
Agency:
Department of Defense
Amount:
$729,986.00
Program:
SBIR
Contract:
W911QY-04-C-0011
Solitcitation Year:
N/A
Solicitation Number:
N/A
Branch:
Army
Award Year:
2003
Phase:
Phase II
Agency Tracking Number:
A022-2245
Solicitation Topic Code:
N/A
Small Business Information
MATERIALS & ELECTROCHEMICAL RESEARCH
7960 S. Kolb Rd., Tucson, AZ, 85706
Hubzone Owned:
N
Woman Owned:
N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged:
N
Duns:
147518286
Principal Investigator
 Raouf Loutfy
 President
 (520) 574-1980
 rloutfy@mercorp.com
Business Contact
 James Withers
Title: CEO
Phone: (520) 574-1980
Email: jcwithers@mercorp.com
Research Institution
N/A
Abstract
There is a need to improve the toughness of armor materials to improve low-speed impact resistance. The approach for achieving this was to reinforce nanosized ceramic matrices with carbon nanotubes. In Phase I, it was determined that the diameters andtheir impact on dispersion of the nanotubes is the most critical factor affecting performance. Nanotubes that are too long are a particular problem resulting in low hardness and ballistic performance. Excellent results were achieved, however, usingshorter nanotubes that still have relatively high aspect ratios of ~100. For the boron carbide system in particular, significant enhancements in both strength and toughness were achieved. For one well-dispersed composition, hardness was also maintainedand even slightly increased above the base ceramic with the addition of lower aspect ratio carbon nanotubes. Ballistic testing showed a strong dependence on hardness, and thus it is proposed that shorter nanotubes and/or significant improvement indispersion techniques will be explored in the Phase II. All three systems will again be explored with Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute will perform the research on the alumina system. Extensive testing including ballistic evaluation will also beconducted. A road map for commercialization is also proposed for Phase II.Ceramic composites with improved mechanical properties would be enabling for a variety of applications including body armor, engine compoents, nozzles, kiln furniture, etc.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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