Fatigue Resistant Wire for Airborne Applications

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Air Force
Contract: FA8651-06-M-0177
Agency Tracking Number: F061-132-3666
Amount: $99,783.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2006
Solicitation Year: 2006
Solicitation Topic Code: AF06-132
Solicitation Number: 2006.1
Small Business Information
MINNESOTA WIRE & CABLE CO.
1835 Energy Park Drive, Saint Paul, MN, 55108
DUNS: 023797335
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Randy Milbert
 Chief Technology Officer
 (651) 659-6762
 RMilbert@mnwire.com
Business Contact
 Tom Ashenbrenner
Title: Manager, Military Applica
Phone: (651) 659-6760
Email: TAshenbrenner@mnwire.com
Research Institution
N/A
Abstract
The gradual degradation of wiring systems in aircraft is a serious concern plaguing the Air Force's aging fleet. It has been observed that the majority of wire breakage problems occur within nine inches of the connector, terminal lug, or other junction. In many cases, the wiring was not properly relieved of strain near the junction points. Traditional wires are by nature inelastic under stress, strain, or vibration – overtime this leads to wire failure. The creation of more flexible wire would reduce the occurrence of wire failure. Minnesota Defense proposes to develop flexible fatigue resistant wires based on electrically conductive elastic composites loaded with carbon nanotubes (CNTs). Carbon nanotubes have extremely high aspect ratios (length/diameter), and thus form conductive percolation networks through materials more easily than other conductive fillers such as carbon fiber or carbon black. The end result is a highly flexible, durable wire that can withstand substantial strain (> 25%) as a replacement for metal wires and cabling. The challenges in this Phase I, include developing wires with significant conductivity and heat resistance to replace signal carrying wires in aircraft.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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