NASA SBIR 2004 Solicitation

FORM B - PROPOSAL SUMMARY


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 04 X3.01-7964
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Extravehicular Activity Systems
PROPOSAL TITLE: DWNT/Hydrogenated Fullerene Reinforced Polyethylene for Radiation Shielding Applications

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
MER Corp
7960 S. Kolb Rd.
Tucson, AZ 85706-9237
(520)574-1980

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Dr. Raouf O. Loutfy
rloutfy@mercorp.com
7960 S. Kolb Rd.
Tucson, AZ 85706-9237
(520)574-1980

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (LIMIT 200 WORDS)
Manned space exploration requires radiation protection, particularly since the impact of radiation on the health and safety of humans on extended missions is not known. The best material candidates are those with high hydrogen contents and low molecular weight, and thus polymers are excellent choices. However, their thermal stability and mechanical properties need to be improved. MER proposes to achieve this using a combination of DWNT with hydrogenated fullerenes, where the latter can be deposited inside the prior, achieving the so-called "peapod" materials. Developed composites will be characterized for mechanical performance and radiation hardness as a screening tool. Selected composites of varying thickness and composition will be chosen for more comprehensive testing in Phase II.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (LIMIT 100 WORDS)
Radiation shielding is necessary for all spacecraft, particularly for long duration space missions. It is also required for space stations.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (LIMIT 100 WORDS)
Carbon nanotube reinforced polymers have already found non-military applications in the UV protection of polymers, and are commonly applied as coatings or paints.