NASA SBIR 2011 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 11-1 A2.01-8229
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Materials and Structures for Future Aircraft
PROPOSAL TITLE: Development of a Novel, Reactive Extrusion Process for Continuous Production of Long, Pure Carbon Nanotubes for Application in Lightweight Composite Materials

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Nanomatronix, LLC
700 Research Center Blvd
Fayetteville, AR 72701 - 7175
(479) 215-9438

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Matthew Leftwich
700 Research Center Blvd
Fayetteville, AR 72701 - 7175
(479) 215-9438

Estimated Technology Readiness Level (TRL) at beginning and end of contract:
Begin: 1
End: 3

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
According to the NASA A2.01 topic description titled Materials and Structures for Future Aircraft, "advanced materials and structures technologies are needed in all four of the NASA Fundamental Aeronautics Program research thrusts (Subsonics Fixed Wing, Subsonics Rotary Wing, Supersonics, and Hypersonics) to enable the design and development of advanced future aircraft. Proposals are sought that address specific design and development challenges associated with airframe and propulsion systems. These proposals should be linked to improvements in aircraft performance indicators such as vehicle weight, fuel consumption, noise, lift, drag, durability, and emissions." The technologies of interest to NASA cover five themes. The technology proposed herein falls under the first theme, Fundamental Materials Development, Processing, and Characterization (Topic: A2.01 / Lead Center: GLC). More specifically, the herein proposed work addresses the need for "new high strength fibers, in particular low density, high strength and stiffness carbon fibers" that may be utilized in high strength-to-weight ratio composite materials to reduce vehicle weight without compromise to or likely to increase durability. Carbon nanotubes (CNT) have been studied extensively over the past two decades, resulting in a large quantity of fundamental research that has been performed in the areas of synthesis, purification, separation, functionalization, applications development, etc. Their unique properties are expected to bring about a new age of structural and electrical materials. However, one of the primary problems associated with CNT applications development is that all current synthesis techniques produce only short strands of CNT's, typically 10's to 100's of microns long. Therefore, current applications are limited to those that can effectively utilize short CNT strands. The technology proposed herein has the potential to produce continuous, long strands of pure CNT material.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Applications for pure, long and short, carbon nanotubes are seemingly endless and include high strength-to-weight ratio fibers and tethers, low loss conduction pathways for photovoltaic cells, composite materials (polymer-CNT and metal-CNT composites), quantum dot interconnects, functionalized catalysts, adsorbents, SPM tips, and a wide variety of nanoelectronic devices and materials. Of the applications mentioned thus far, large volumes of high purity carbon nanotubes will find rapid application as additives in polymeric and metallic composite materials. A significant amount of research has revealed that the physical properties of common polymeric materials are greatly improved after addition of relatively small percentages of carbon nanotube materials. For example, at low carbon nanotube concentrations in polymer composites, a reduction in surface resistivity from more than 1012 ?/square to less than 100 ?/square results. Similarly, for polystyrene composites containing 2.5% – 25% MWNT's by volume, Young's modulus increases from 1.9 to 4.5 GPa, with increases pronounced beyond 10%.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Non-NASA application are analogous to NASA applications mentioned above. The primary difference is in regards to harsh environment survivability. Most commercial applications have much less stringent environmental qualification standards associated with them.

TECHNOLOGY TAXONOMY MAPPING (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.)
Airship/Lighter-than-Air Craft
Chemical/Environmental (see also Biological Health/Life Support)
Circuits (including ICs; for specific applications, see e.g., Communications, Networking & Signal Transport; Control & Monitoring, Sensors)
Ionizing Radiation
Isolation/Protection/Radiation Shielding (see also Mechanical Systems)
Manufacturing Methods
Materials (Insulator, Semiconductor, Substrate)
Microfabrication (and smaller; see also Electronics; Mechanical Systems; Photonics)
Models & Simulations (see also Testing & Evaluation)
Processing Methods
Protective Clothing/Space Suits/Breathing Apparatus
Spacecraft Design, Construction, Testing, & Performance (see also Engineering; Testing & Evaluation)

Form Generated on 11-22-11 13:43