Anodizing of Aluminum Parts for Small Arms

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Navy
Contract: M67854-09-C-6518
Agency Tracking Number: N082-114-0335
Amount: $99,999.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2009
Solicitation Year: 2008
Solicitation Topic Code: N08-114
Solicitation Number: 2008.2
Small Business Information
Texas Research Institute Austin, Inc.
9063 Bee Caves Road, Austin, TX, 78733
DUNS: 625120902
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Rock Rushing
 Principal Investigator
 (512) 263-2101
 rrushing@tri-austin.com
Business Contact
 Monte Fellingham
Title: Principal Investigator
Phone: (512) 263-2101
Email: mfellingham@tri-austin.com
Research Institution
N/A
Abstract
Individual racking of parts during anodization processes is time consuming and inefficient. The objective of this proposed effort is to develop a process that can anodize large number of small parts, fabricated from aluminum alloys, using a non-racking approach while maintaining high surface quality to meet military standards. Two fixture design concepts, batch process and a non-racking fixture, are proposed. In the batch fixture design, ballasts made of porous metal foam are employed to eliminate surface defects due to contacting aluminum parts. The non-racking fixture utilizes highly porous metal foam as the electrical contact to allow maximum electrolyte diffusion, and minimize contact marks. Fixtures are attached to a vibrating axel for maximum agitation, and pulse anodizing methods are applied to achieve better surface finish quality. TRI/Austin will be teaming with two companies to assist in the development of anodizing fixtures and processes. Analytical tests will be conducted to evaluate the anodic film properties including visual appearance, film thickness, Rockwell hardness, abrasion, and corrosion resistance. The results of this research will be an efficient bulk anodizing process that is capable of high volume yield and outstanding surface finish quality.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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