STTR Phase I: Integrated Design of Nanostructured Diamond Coated Drills (for Dry Drilling of High-strength Automotive Powertrain Components)

Award Information
Agency:
National Science Foundation
Branch
n/a
Amount:
$150,000.00
Award Year:
2008
Program:
STTR
Phase:
Phase I
Contract:
0741028
Agency Tracking Number:
0741028
Solicitation Year:
n/a
Solicitation Topic Code:
n/a
Solicitation Number:
n/a
Small Business Information
VISTA ENGINEERING INC
1500 1st Ave. No, Suite B117, Birmingham, AL, 35203
Hubzone Owned:
N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged:
N
Woman Owned:
N
Duns:
105914159
Principal Investigator:
Raymond Thompson
PhD
(205) 307-6550
rthompson@VistaEng.com
Business Contact:
Raymond Thompson
PhD
(205) 307-6550
rthompson@VistaEng.com
Research Institution:
The University of Alabama
Cynthia Hope
152 Rose Administration
Tuscaloosa, AL, 35487
(205) 348-5152
Nonprofit college or university
Abstract
This Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Phase I project seeks to overcome one of the barriers to widespread acceptance of diamond coating technologies for cutting aluminum alloys which is to fabricate functional diamond coated drills. Drilling is among the most difficult of the machining processes and responsible for bottlenecks in workflow efficiency. Chemical-vapor-deposition (CVD) diamond coatings greatly extend tool life; however, drill geometry affects both the cutting capability as well as coating characteristics, and these synergistic coating/tool characteristics must be solved in an integrated manner. The objective of this project is to develop the scientific tools that facilitate synergistic design of CVD diamond and cutting edges of tungsten carbide; cobalt drills that will enable high throughput, unlubricated hole-making processes for high-strength aluminum. The project will focus on the analysis and design of drill geometry, CVD coating, and drill performance as measured by fully instrumented cutting machine, CVD reactor and advanced characterization techniques. The broader impact/commercial potential from the technology will be improved designs for CVD diamond drills that incorporate synergistic coating process variables with drill geometric parameters. This project will specifically benefit US workers and the US economy because it levels the playing field against manual-intensive workforces. This project addresses high productivity through scientific methods to improve manufacturing, specifically high speed hole drilling of automotive, aluminum-alloy components. The development of CVD diamond coatings for cutting tools, especially drilling tools will improve productivity by reducing cutting time, tool inventory and congested workflow. This will increase the global competitiveness of the US automotive industry and aerospace industries where hole drilling is critical to production.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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