SBIR 95-1 SOLICITATION
DIAMOND COATING FOR LONG-LIFE MECHANICAL INTERFACES
Long-life, ultra-reliable cryogenic refrigerator systems for space-borne and earth-bound applications require extended-life components. For example, all space-worthy cryogenic refrigerator systems contain sliding, metal-to-metal surfaces with very close tolerances that serve dual purposes: sealing and friction reduction. Current methods for protecting these surfaces cannot guarantee the required 5 to 15 year operational lifetime. We propose to develop a diamond deposition process that can be used to increase the wear resistance and thermal conductivity of bearings and bushings used in long-life cryocoolers. The deposition process is based on a two-step procedure: application of a dense, oriented nucleation layer using plasma-enhanced physical vapor deposition and combustion-based diamond film growth. The proposed process is unique in that it offers the capability to diamond coat internal and external rubbing surfaces of metallic bearings and bushings, thereby extending their operational lifetime. During Phase I, we will build proof-of-concept hardware by adapting our in-house sputtering facility and we will demonstrate diamond coating for metallic surfaces. In Phase II, we will design and build hardware to implement the diamond coating process for complex geometry parts and optimize the process parameters to achieve a commercially viable diamond deposition procedure.
Potential Commercial Applications:
The proposed two-step diamond deposition process can be used in wide ranging applications. Diamond thin films are characterized by high thermal conductivity and tremendous hardness. These properties make diamond coatings attractive for thermal control applications and as mechanical surface treatments.
Name and Address of Offeror:
Etna Road, P.O. Box 71
Hanover, NH 03755
Small Business Innovation Research Program (SBIR) &
Small Business Technology Transfer Program (STTR) Programs
Electronic Management System (EMS)
National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)
The SBIR/STTR EMS site is maintained by Steve
Hu, Hughes STX.
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Updated: Feb. 7, 1996