NASA 1996 SBIR Phase I


PROPOSAL NUMBER : 96-1 04.07-9500

PROJECT TITLE : An Advanced Thermal Analysis Microscope for In Situ Measurement of Material Properties

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (LIMIT 200 WORDS)

Many of today's advanced material systems are composite structures employing a complex assortment of particles, fibers, films, or coatings. When these materials are used as thermal conductors, e.g., diamond films, or when they must operate over broad temperature ranges, e.g., ceramic composites, it is important to characterize their thermal performance especially at the various interfaces between components. However, measurements such as thermal conductivity, bond quality, or crack detection can be difficult when the features of interest are small or the specimen is undergoing testing. We propose to overcome these difficulties by developing an advanced thermal analysis microscope (TAM) that will be capable of measuring the aforementioned material properties during thermal, mechanical, or environmental testing. The proposed system will provide wide area coverage for specimen temperatures ranging from below room temperature up to and exceeding 2000 F. Several innovations are proposed to facilitate through-thickness thermal conductivity measurements in highly conductive coatings, thermal radiance measurement in low emissivity materials such as gold, solder, and aluminum, and enhanced subsurface defect detection.
POTENTIAL COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS
The advanced TAM will capture a number of valuable measurements including crack length, temperature, thermal conductivity, and subsurface damage detection. Applications for such capabilities include crack detection in high-temperature turbine materials, thermal conductivity and defect detection in electronic and electro-optic packages, fiber/matrix characterization in composites research, and thermal gradient measurements in catalyst development.
NAME AND ADDRESS OF PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR
Mr. Gary B. White
QUEST Integrated, Inc.
21414 - 68th Avenue South
Kent, WA 98032
NAME AND ADDRESS OF OFFEROR
QUEST Integrated, Inc.
21414 - 68th Avenue South
Kent, WA 98032