NASA SBIR 01-1 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: S2.04-8182 (For NASA Use Only - Chron: 013817 )
Low Cost Al/Diamond Composites for Thermal Management Applications

The incorporation of reinforcements in metal matrix (MMCs) provides unique properties, including enhancements in modulus, strength, and thermal properties of the matrix. In this proposed research, Al/diamond metal matrix composites (MMCs) with high thermal conductivity will be synthesized using a pressure assisted infiltration technique, which is one of the low-cost processing techniques. Diamond films fabricated using chemical vapor deposition (CVD) have an outstanding thermal conductivity compared to Al/SiC, Al/graphite, copper, C/C composites, etc. CVD techniques, however, is an expansive route to fabricate diamond film than pressure assisted infiltration technique.
A uniform distribution of particles and their high volume fraction in the matrix is a prerequisite for obtaining better thermal conductivity of Al/diamond composites. Specially, nonuniformity of particle distribution is greater in a matrix containing fine particles than in a matrix containing coarse particles, which may lead to detrimental effect on thermal conductivity. In the project, optimum processing parameters to obtain uniform particle distribution will be established, including (a) particle volume fraction, (b) particle size, (c) applied pressure, and (d) particle surface treatment. The effect of the processing parameters on thermal conductivity will be established, which will be utilized to design Al/diamond particles with high thermal conductivity.

The key advantages obtained from this program are as follows; (a) Al/diamond composite with superior thermal properties compared to other products used for thermal management, (b) development of cost effective, reliable, and reproducible processing, (c) offered in both simple and complex fabricated shapes and in any variety of net shaped parts, and (d) low density products.

The developed techniques enable us to produce a new and unique composite material, which can be expected to have many commercial applications in space, military, and automotive industries. For example, the commercial potential of Al/diamond composites in space industries include microwave modules, power semiconductor packages, black box enclosures and printed circuit board heat sinks. In addition, military communication satellite can be replaced with Al/diamond composite. The commercial potential of satellite subsystems include brackets and braces currently made from metals with lower specific strength and stiffness. The proposed research provide also guidance in the design of a new class of metal matrix composites (MMCs) for specific thermal management applications.

NAME AND ADDRESS OF PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR (Name, Organization Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip)
Dr. J.K. Kim
Materials & Electrochemical Research Cor
7960 S. Kolb Road
Tucson , AZ   85706 - 9237

NAME AND ADDRESS OF OFFEROR (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip)
Materials & Electrochemical Research Cor
7960 S. Kolb Road
Tucson , AZ   85706 - 9237

Form Printed on 06-19-01 15:44