Innovative Smart Coating System for Detection of Impact and/or Thermal Damage on Aircraft Structural Composite Component

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Navy
Contract: N68335-06-C-0290
Agency Tracking Number: N061-039-1175
Amount: $78,922.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2006
Solicitation Year: 2006
Solicitation Topic Code: N06-039
Solicitation Number: 2006.1
Small Business Information
1282 Walnut Hill Road, Lexington, KY, 40515
DUNS: 003782955
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: Y
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Uschi Graham
 (859) 539-4825
Business Contact
 Frances Lockwood
Title: Partner
Phone: (859) 492-3611
Research Institution
The target of the proposed work is to provide additional properties to aircraft composite surfaces including color play that is heat sensitive and/or impact sensitive and which provides the coatings with a special mechanism that recognizes external force (heat/impact) to the coating and also preserves a record of the insult imposed upon the coating. In earlier work, Toposol LLC has developed nanoparticles that can be dispersed in coatings, are heat and impact sensitive and respond with color play. To date, the color -temperature of exposure scale is qualitative. As part of the proposed work, a quantitative color scale will be developed that directly relates to the highest temperature the coating is exposed to; also, the relationship of the color and time of exposure to a given high temperature will be defined to be able to monitor and distinguish multiple insults. Studies will be made to determine whether there are any impacts of the nanoparticle coatings affecting radar or thermal signatures or other stealth related properties. A scooping study is planned to determine the range of impact force over which the smart coating will perform and to relate the force of impact to the visible pattern that develops.BENEFITS: The benfits of the research are to provide additional properties to aircraft composite surfaces through heat and impact sensitive color play based on nanotechnology. Since the smart coating monitors the degree of insult using dispersed nanocusters inside the coating, the first commercial application is anticipated to be aircraft surfaces followed by natual gas and/or hydrogen fuel tanks for commercial vehicles.

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

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