NASA SBIR 2014 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 14-2 H4.01-8801
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Space Suit Pressure Garment and Airlock Technologies
PROPOSAL TITLE: Shock Hazard Prevention through Self-Healing Insulative Coating on SSA Metallic Bearings

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
NEI Corporation
201 Circle Drive North, Suite 102/103
Piscataway, NJ 08854 - 3723
(732) 868-3141

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Runqing Ou
400 Apgar Drive, Suite E
Somerset, NJ 08873 - 1154
(732) 868-3141

CORPORATE/BUSINESS OFFICIAL (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Ganesh Skandan
400 Apgar Drive, Suite E
Somerset, NJ 08873 - 1154
(732) 868-3141

Estimated Technology Readiness Level (TRL) at beginning and end of contract:
Begin: 3
End: 6

Technology Available (TAV) Subtopics
Space Suit Pressure Garment and Airlock Technologies is a Technology Available (TAV) subtopic that includes NASA Intellectual Property (IP). Do you plan to use the NASA IP under the award?

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
The space suit assembly (SSA) contains metallic bearings at the wrist, neck, and waist, which are exposed to space environment, and pose a potential shock hazard. Current methods to mitigate the hazard are short-term, and there is a need for an insulative and durable coating on the metallic components. In Phase I, working with a supplier of space suits to NASA, we demonstrated proof-of-concept of a novel Self-Healing Coating (SHC) system which is highly insulative and is capable of healing surface damages at ambient conditions. The three-layered self-healing coating was applied on flat panels of stainless steel, titanium and aluminum. In addition to self-healing, the ability of the coating to resist impact damage was demonstrated. Building upon the successful Phase I demonstration, the focus of the Phase II effort will be to further test and optimize the SHC system and implement on a prototype metallic bearing. The Phase II objectives include: (i) ensuring that the self-healing coating system can be used in space environment; (ii) determining the least coating thickness that will provide both self-healing and electrical resistance; (iii) developing a suitable process for depositing the coating on components of different geometries; and (iv) developing a property and performance data set that best predicts useful life of the coating. Successful development will culminate in applying the SHC system on a prototype component and performing the needed qualification testing. We anticipate achieving a TRL of 6 by the end of the Phase II program. The work plan includes preparing coating solutions and coating flat test panels; conducting performance tests and optimizing coating thickness using coated plates; qualifying the SHC system for use in a space environment; developing a property and performance data set that best predicts useful life of the coating; applying SHC system to a prototype hardware; and evaluating performance of coating on prototype hardware.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
A host of metallic bearings on different components of the SSA such as helmet, neck, wrist, arm, waist, leg, and boot can benefit from the developed self-healing insulative coating. A SHC system on metallic substrates which exhibits self-healing at room temperature, provides electrical insulation, and mitigates shock hazard, is a unique NASA application. To the best of our knowledge, currently, there is no commercially available coating solution to meet NASA's requirement. As the proposed SHC system is meant to satisfy a specific NASA need for a durable and insulative coating on the metallic components of a space suit, the technology is applicable for present and future NASA missions, such as spacesuits for Extravehicular Activities (EVA), Portable Life Support System (PLSS), Mars 2020 Rover Mission, Asteroid Redirect Mission 2020s and Human Exploration of Mars. The focus of the current effort is on applying the coating on stainless steel, titanium and aluminum.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Potential commercial applications for a self-healing, electrically-insulating coating system include uses where protection is needed against either shock hazards or corrosion, or even physical damage. The coating technology is a potential solution for being used as a chromate-free coating system that is capable of self-healing cuts and scratches at ambient temperatures without any external heat or stimulus, thereby limiting corrosion. A SHC system on aluminum is particularly relevant as it is the structural material in the aviation industry where presently hexavalent chromium – based coatings are used, despite significant risk to human health. Currently, there are no qualified complete non-chrome coating systems, thus presenting an unmet need and an opportunity for the coating system being developed in this program. Introduction of a barrier coating with room temperature self-healing function will facilitate establishing a chromate-free system with performance equivalent to that of a chromate-containing coating. Accordingly, the SHC system would not only be an environmentally-friendly alternative to current coating systems that contain hexavalent chromium, but it would also result in significant cost savings as fewer aircraft would be forced out of operation for maintenance and repairs due to the coating system's self-healing capabilities.

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.)
Coatings/Surface Treatments
Protective Clothing/Space Suits/Breathing Apparatus
Smart/Multifunctional Materials

Form Generated on 04-14-15 17:14