Highly Deformable Electrically Self-Healing Metal Rubber™ Skins for Morphing UAVs

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Air Force
Contract: FA8650-08-M-5021
Agency Tracking Number: F073-039-1171
Amount: $100,000.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2008
Solicitation Year: 2007
Solicitation Topic Code: AF073-039
Solicitation Number: 2007.3
Small Business Information
P.O. Box 618, Christiansburg, VA, 24068
DUNS: 008963758
HUBZone Owned: Y
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 J. Lalli
 VP of Business Development
 (540) 953-1785
Business Contact
 Lisa Lawson
Title: Contracts Administrator
Phone: (540) 953-1785
Email: llawson@nanosonic.com
Research Institution
NanoSonic has developed Metal Rubber™, a highly electrically conductive nanocomposite with tailored surface resistivity (as low as 0.2 /) that can be repeatedly strained to greater than 1000% while maintaining electromagnetic integrity. Unlike typical dense, brittle nanocomposites that require up to 80 volume % filler; NanoSonic employs an elegant layered processing technique to achieve electrical percolation with <0.01 volume % of non-oxidizing metal nanoparticles. Lightweight (0.98g/cc) Metal Rubber™ is not a conducting polymer or a sputter coated polymer film, rather a free standing nanocomposite formed in-situ by chemically reacting monolayers of well defined electrically conductive nanostructured constituents with high performance copolymers. Durable elastomeric materials are realized; providing stable electrical conductivity over a wide dynamic thermomechanical range, currently from –60°C through 350°C, and in the presence of UV and ozone. Metal Rubber™ deformable skins are envisioned as a unique enabling technology allowing morphing unmanned aerial vehicles to maintain stable electromagnetic properties under disparate vehicle configurations. The nanostructured yet macroscale skins are currently available as free standing appliqués (up to 2’x8’) or as conformal coatings on aircraft structures. NanoSonic would work with a major defense prime on performance metrics and materials property evaluation to increase the TRL of Metal Rubber™ deformable skins.

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

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