Cold Temperature Hydraulic Seals for Aerospace Hydraulic Systems

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Air Force
Contract: FA8650-13-M-5063
Agency Tracking Number: F131-111-1652
Amount: $148,657.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2013
Solicitation Year: 2013
Solicitation Topic Code: AF131-111
Solicitation Number: 2013.1
Small Business Information
Texas Research Institute Austin, Inc.
9063 Bee Caves Road, Austin, TX, -
DUNS: 625120902
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 John Bulluck
 Principal Investigator
 (512) 263-2101
Business Contact
 Monte Fellingham
Title: Contracts Administrator
Phone: (512) 263-2101
Research Institution
ABSTRACT: Elastomeric O-rings provide a critical sealing function for the hydraulic system of extended service high altitude unmanned aircraft. These new mission requirements translate into service temperatures as low as -100oF and as high as 275oF, in the presence of red hydraulic fluid. The property of compression set is used as a major consideration for the selection of gaskets and seals. None of the commercial O-ring elastomeric materials can function effectively as a seal over under these conditions. Currently the hydraulic system is heat traced to mitigate the problem. TRI/Austin proposes the development and testing of an innovative polymeric compound which will meet these demanding requirements. Experimental design techniques will be utilized for systematically developing the optimized formulation resulting in a unique, low cost, high strength, chemically resistant O-ring compound that retains its mechanical properties over a wide range of temperatures. The performance properties of the O-ring compositions will be verified by an extensive test program throughout the Phase I effort. This systematic experimental design development approach is a very effective method for the development of new materials. At the end of the Phase I effort we will mold some prototype O-rings for additional proof testing. BENEFIT: These new o-rings could be utilized by the oil industry, NASA high altitude research vehicles, cold regions military operations, automotive, and unmanned aerial vehicles for homeland security applications. Additionally these seals could be used for platforms for high altitude weather surveillance, monitoring of hurricanes, and forest fires.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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