NASA SBIR 2005 Solicitation


SUBTOPIC TITLE:Advanced Materials
PROPOSAL TITLE:Advanced Silicone-based Coatings for Flexible Fabric Applications

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
NEI Corporation
201 Circle Drive N., Suite 102/103
Piscataway, NJ 08854-3723
(732) 868-1906

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Stein S. Lee
201 Circle Drive N., Suite 102/103
Piscataway, NJ  08854-3723
(732) 868-3141

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
Silicone coatings are the system of choice for inflatable fabrics used in several space, military, and consumer applications, including airbags, parachutes, rafts, boat sails, and inflatable shelters. Commercial silicone coatings with improved mechanical, thermal and physical gas barrier properties are needed for a broad range of space, military, and commercial applications. The phase I program has demonstrated that addition of small amounts of nanostructured additives enhances tear strength, tensile strength, and hardness without significantly degrading other important properties, thermal stability, puncture resistance and air permeability of commercial silicone coatings. It was also shown that properties of coatings are strongly correlated with the chemistry and composition of nanostructured additives. The significance of the Phase I innovation is that commercially used coating formulations were utilized as the starting material, making it easier to be adopted in practice. Success in Phase I has enabled us to put together a strong Phase II team, composed of commercial silicone coating applicators, an airbag assembly developer, and a large supplier of silicone coating formulation. The focus of the Phase II program will be to develop nanostructured additives for several different types of commercial silicone coatings to meet their specific application needs. Additionally, nanostructured additive technology will be scaled up, and prototype airbags will be fabricated.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
While silicone coatings are used in a variety of space applications, we have focused on the Airbag application because of the impending need for new airbags for the Crew Exploration Vehicle (CEV). The airbags will be made of coated fabrics, and NEI's nanostructured additive will enable a stronger and more tear resistant coating on the fabrics, thereby allowing the use of lighter and thinner fabrics and coatings. In addition to airbag applications, inflatable fabrics for escape ramps, habitats, and lightweight structural components would benefit from NEI's nanostructured additive.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
By the addition of small amounts of NEI's engineered nanostructured additives, improvements in relevant mechanical properties of commercial silicone coatings can be substantially improved. This technology being developed specifically for Airbags, has several commercial implications as well. These include automotive airbags, parachutes, paragliders, boat sails, cold air inflatables, hot air balloons, and coatings for enhancing the brightness of LEDs. In each case, NEI's product is an additive that our customer will easily add to their own silicone formulation.

NASA's technology taxonomy has been developed by the SBIR-STTR program to disseminate awareness of proposed and awarded R/R&D in the agency. It is a listing of over 100 technologies, sorted into broad categories, of interest to NASA.

Portable Life Support

Form Printed on 07-25-06 17:04