NASA 1996 SBIR Phase I


PROPOSAL NUMBER : 96-1 15.02-8013

PROJECT TITLE : Ultra High Surface Area Aluminum-Polymer Nanolaminates for Solid Propellants

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (LIMIT 200 WORDS)

Aluminum metal is a stable low cost fuel that increases specific impulse and burn stability, but also introduces several undesirable effects primarily attributable to molten particle agglomeration and the formation of the reaction limiting Al2O3 on the particle surface. These effects limit the oxidation reaction rate and utilization efficiency of the aluminum powder. In this work an innovative nanolaminate aluminum powder with ultra-high surface area will be developed that has the potential for extremely high reaction rates, full utilization of the aluminum and the future potential for an integrated fuel/oxidizer system involving engineered polymers designed to enhance or alter combustion performance. A patented ultra high speed nanotechnology vacuum process will be used to produce a material that is composed of thousands of aluminum nanolayers separated by polymer nanolayers. A nanolaminate aluminum particle can have hundreds of very thin aluminum layers, protected from oxidation until brought to combustion temperature, resulting in a very high surface to volume ratio; expected to increase reaction rate, powder oxidation efficiency, reduce nozzle erosion, and produce an environmentally cleaner exhaust. In Phase I, a few select nanolaminates will be produced, thermochemically characterized, and test fired in a small rocket motor to establish proof-of-concept.
POTENTIAL COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS
Superior reaction rate and material utilization efficiency, leading to more efficient solid fuel propellants with less-polluting exhaust gases. Improved environmental stability and handling safety with applications in mining, demolition and blasting, propulsion, and military and commercial pyrotechnics.
NAME AND ADDRESS OF PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR
Angelo Yializis,
Sigma Labs, Inc.,
10960 N Stallard Pl, Tucson, AZ 85737
NAME AND ADDRESS OF OFFEROR
Sigma Labs, Inc.,
10960 N Stallard Pl, Tucson, AZ 85737