Form 9.B Project Summary

Chron: 972093

Proposal Number: 01.07-0533

Project Title: Smart Coatings for In-Situ Monitoring of Engine Components

Technical Abstract (Limit 200 words)

Fatigue cracking and plastic deformation occur in both new and aging aircraft engines requiring periodic manual inspections with ultrasonic and eddy current robes. Often cracking occurs in inaccessible areas which require engine disassembly just to perform the inspection. In many cases, the cost of is assembling/reassembling the engine far exceeds the cost of inspection and can also induce new damage.

IDI will address this problem by developing Smart Coatings - under 10 micron thick coatings that contain planar sensors sandwiched between layers of tough protective insulators. By directly depositing these Smart Coatings onto the part, you add a life-extending protective coating that also performs important structural sensing.

During Phase I IDI will work with Cornell University's National Nanofabrication Center to develop Smart Coating eddy current sensors for detecting cracking and plastic deformation in metals. We will use standard deposition, sputtering, and photolithography methods to deposit gold/silicon nitride sensor patterns onto steel coupons, and then will destructively test those coupons to quantify their sensitivity to stress and fatigue-induced damage.

Potential Commercial Applications (Limit 200 words)

Military and commercial aircraft fleet operators could immediately use this technology to create tailored embedded sensing solutions to known engine maintenance problems. When coupled with emerging technology for depositing thin diamond films on 3-D surfaces, one could add embedded sensing to virtually any mechanical part, such as turbine blades, bearing races, and hydraulic valves.

Name and Address of Principal Investigator (Name,

Organization Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip)

Bruce W. McKee

Innovative Dynamics, Inc.

244 Langmuir Lab, 95 Brown Road

Ithaca , NY 14850

Name and Address of Offeror (Firm Name, Mail Address,


Joseph J. Gerardi

Innovative Dynamics, Inc.

244 Langmuir Lab, 95 Brown Road

Ithaca , NY 14850