Nondestructive Evaluation of Thick Outer Mold Line Paints and Coatings

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Air Force
Contract: FA8650-13-M-5044
Agency Tracking Number: F131-115-1270
Amount: $149,988.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2013
Solicitation Year: 2013
Solicitation Topic Code: AF131-115
Solicitation Number: 2013.1
Small Business Information
180 N Vinedo Ave, Pasadena, CA, -
DUNS: 168312028
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Robert Purnell
 Research Scientist
 (626) 381-9974
Business Contact
 Naresh Menon
Title: CEO
Phone: (626) 381-9974
Research Institution
ABSTRACT: The Air Force is experiencing a number of premature failures of urethanes and epoxies used on the Outer Mold Line (OML) of high performance aircraft which cannot be detected by standard lifetime predictions based on visual, electrical, or mechanical inspection. Consequently, changes in chemical composition and physical properties can occur without warning, compromising functionality of the coating. Well established methods for Non-Destructive Evaluation (NDE) of thin films such as hardness tests, and measurements of capacitance and dissipation have been used extensively for NDE of coatings, but incapable of depth profiling, identification, and tracking of chemically based degradation that occurs in-use. Ultrasound, Forward-Looking Infrared Systems (FLIR), and Raman spectroscopy detect oxidation and fracture zones in polymeric structures and coatings, but lack the resolution for detailed chemical depth profiling. To detect early signs of degradation and estimate coating lifetime, ChromoLogic, LLC (CL) proposes to develop a Coating Integrity Monitoring by Spectroscopic Analysis (CIMOSA) system, which utilizes Spatially Offset Raman Spectroscopy (SORS) to detect and grade subsurface defects and estimate remaining lifetime of OML coatings. This enhancement to current NDE analysis techniques will reduce the frequency of paint/depaint operations, resulting in cost savings, reduced environmental pollution and more efficient maintenance planning. BENEFIT: CIMOSA will provide an easy to use tool for the Air Force to rapidly evaluate OML coatings, thereby optimizing maintenance procedures of military aircraft. CIMOSA could be extended to other DOD agencies as well, such as the Army and Navy, for assessment of protective coatings on aircraft carriers, naval ships, and submarines. In the civilian market, CIMOSA could used to detect oxidative corrosion in coatings on commercial airplanes and automobiles, detection of false coatings on counterfeit electrical components, counterfeit drug detection, and forensics.

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

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