NASA 1999 SBIR Phase I


PROPOSAL NUMBER 99-1 08.07-0805 (Chron: 991914 )

PROJECT TITLE

Nanophase Fullerene/Nanotube-Berillium Composite Cutters for Drilling on Mars


TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (LIMIT 200 WORDS)

In this NASA Phase I SBIR program we propose to develop a new low density nanostructured composite material for reduced mass composite cutters, to join these cutters with berillium holders, and to optimize their performance as cutting tools in the machining of soft and hard rocks. Currently, cutting tools utilize a diamond microcrystalline layer on a WC/Co substrate joined to a steel holder. These current composite tools are manufactured from a high density (massive) material (WC/Co), which is not suitable for Aerospace Systems. We

will evaluate and select between composites formed from our newly developed Fullertubite, which is produced by polymerization of single-wall carbon nanotubes under high pressure. Fullertubite is harder than hardened steel and has a density of ~2.5 g/cm3. High strength to weight ratio gives us an opportunity to apply this material in aerospace systems. We propose to use this material instead of WC/Co (combined with Be instead of steel) for machining, drilling and digging on Mars and on other distant objects, at a weight savings of 4-5 times.


POTENTIAL COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS

We expect that the development of new nanostructured carbon-berillium composite materials with high strength to weight ratio will increase the useful payload of aerospace systems and improve mission performance.


NAME AND ADDRESS OF PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR (Name, Organization Name, Mail Address,

City/State/Zip)

Dr. Oleg A. Voronov

Diamond Materials Inc.

120 Centennial Ave.

Piscataway , NJ 08854 - 3908


NAME AND ADDRESS OF OFFEROR (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip)

Diamond Materials Inc.

120 Centennial Ave.

Piscataway , NJ 08854 - 3908