A Novel Route for the Large Scale production of ZnS nanopowders for Optical Ceramic Applications

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Army
Contract: W31P4Q-12-C-0064
Agency Tracking Number: A2-4585
Amount: $729,717.00
Phase: Phase II
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2012
Solicitation Year: 2010
Solicitation Topic Code: A10-008
Solicitation Number: 2010.1
Small Business Information
2151, Harvey Mitchell Pkwy South, STE# 225, College Station, TX, -
DUNS: 626135755
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 D.(Ravi) Ravichandran
 Senior Research Scientis
 (979) 696-7070
Business Contact
 DEvan Balachari
Title: Vice President
Phone: (979) 696-7070
Email: devan@texasbiochemicals.com
Research Institution
Highly pure ZnS having high mechanical strength is needed for military aircraft window and missile dome applications to withstand erosion by high velocity rain droplets and sand particles. Current manufacturing processes involve high-temperature and high-pressure equipment, long processing times, and give low yields leading to high costs. To address this problem, Texas Biochemicals Inc., has invented a novel environmentally benign technology and demonstrated its proof-of-concept during the Phase-I project. Key results demonstrated our ability to consistently reproduce unagglomerated, mono-dispersed, spherical ZnS nanopowders of ~100 nm in size. Consolidation of this ultra high pure (99.9%) ZnS nanopowders produced ultra high density optical ceramics showing nano-grained structures with a mechanical strength three times that of existing ZnS products. In the proposed Phase-II project, processes will be scaled-up to produce multi-kilogram quantities of metal-sulfide powders (<50 nm) with the above mentioned properties to engineer next-generation missile sensor windows and domes. Collaboration with a leading LWIR manufacturer is established to evaluate samples and provide technical guidance. Their input described under Phase II tasks and the letter of support attached demonstrates their intention to become a commercialization partner leading to near term technology utilization potential.

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

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