SBIR Phase I: Advanced Materials - Nano-diamond Coatings for Light-Weight Engine Components

Award Information
Agency: National Science Foundation
Branch: N/A
Contract: 0738405
Agency Tracking Number: 0738405
Amount: $100,000.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2008
Solicitation Year: N/A
Solicitation Topic Code: AM
Solicitation Number: NSF 07-551
Small Business Information
2510 Ridgetop Road, Ames, IA, 50014
DUNS: 125827373
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Rajeev Nair
 PhD
 (515) 520-9426
 rxmadhav@iastate.edu
Business Contact
 Rajeev Nair
Title: PhD
Phone: (515) 520-9426
Email: rxmadhav@iastate.edu
Research Institution
N/A
Abstract
This SBIR Phase I project aims to develop a novel surface modification technology for aluminum alloys used in automotive internal combustion engines to improve resistance to friction. The related energy loss due to wear of components directly impacts the fuel efficiency of the automobile. The process to be used is a CO2-laser-based technique, combined with a fluidized-bed method to coat the component surfaces with nano-diamond (n-D)particles, in order to create a low-friction diamondlike carbon (DLC) film. The specific novelty is the technique is that it allows rapid transition of n-D into DLC, and permits deposition of thick coatings with excellent adhesion to the lightweight substrates. The broader impacts of this technology include the ability to improve the fuel efficiency, and therefore reduction in exhaust emissions of toxic components and increased lifetime due to reduction in the wear of moving parts. This technology, if successfully developed and commercialized, will be an enabling technology for applications in medical devices, microelectronics, MEMS, information storage, etc. The inclusion of undergraduate and graduate students in the program will allow the students to learn about the novel ways of applying classroom knowledge into real-life advanced engineering components, with a potential benefit to the environmental pollution, energy and materials waste reduction.

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