Environmentally Friendly, On-Aircraft Repair of Polyetheretherketone (PEEK) Thermoplastic Components

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Air Force
Contract: FA8650-05-C-5602
Agency Tracking Number: F041-138-0157
Amount: $749,999.00
Phase: Phase II
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2005
Solicitation Year: 2004
Solicitation Topic Code: AF04-138
Solicitation Number: 2004.1
Small Business Information
3617 Hayden Avenue, Culver City, CA, 90232
DUNS: 005065664
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Steven Babayan
 (310) 558-0770
Business Contact
 Robert Hicks
Title: Chief Executive Officer
Phone: (310) 804-2135
Email: hicks@surfxtechnologies.com
Research Institution
It has been demonstrated that the Atomflo handheld plasma tool may be used to activate polyetheretherketone composites for adhesive bonding. After a 30-second oxygen plasma treatment, the lap-shear strength of PEEK laminates bonded with AF-563 adhesive ranged from 5000+/-300 psi in double notch tests (ASTM 3165) to 6300+/-100 psi in single lap tests (ASTM 1002). In both cases, failure was 100% cohesive, indicating that outstanding adhesion had been achieved to the plasma treated surfaces. The Phase II project will focus on developing a prototype commercial tool that may be deployed at U.S. Air Force facilities for the on-aircraft repair of PEEK composites. The plasma process will be optimized to make it fast, effective and reliable. Scarf repairs will be performed on representative aircraft structures. These structures will be thoroughly evaluated for their mechanical strength and durability under environments that simulate aircraft service conditions. The prototype plasma tool, standard operating procedures, and database of mechanical properties of bonded PEEK composites will be delivered to the Air Force at the end of Phase II. This project represents an exciting opportunity for the Air Force to acquire a low-cost, environmentally friendly and field deployable technology for repairing composites on advanced fighter aircraft.

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

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