Lightweight Carbon Ceramic Composites for Thermally-resistant Bearings

Period of Performance: 07/04/2003 - 01/14/2004

$70K

Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Diamond Materials, Inc.
120 Centennial Avenue
Piscataway, NJ 08854
Principal Investigator

Abstract

We propose improvements in the high pressure sintering of fullerenes-derived carbon ceramics and composites, known as Diamonites(TM), for thermally-resistant, non-lubricated, high-temperature sliding fits and high-speed roller bearings. Our measurements show that the new carbon ceramics are thermally stable to 3000ºC, harder than hardened tool steel, and lower friction coefficient than graphite and diamond. Our latest results demonstrate that Diamonite(TM)-B, synthesized from mixed fullerenes, is more amenable to scaling and is lower cost than Diamonite(TM)-A, which is synthesized from phase pure C60. Moreover, Diamonite(TM)B-bonded composites, including C/C, C/hydrogen, and C/diamond, can be processed economically on a relatively large scale. In Phase I, we will focus on proof-of-principle development of composite rollers and sliding fits for precision bearings. The technology developed in Phase I will enable implementation of new lightweight thermally-resistant, low friction C-base composites into a wide range of bearing applications in Phase II and III, including space vehicles and aircraft. This work will be carried out in collaboration with leading producers of bearings. Carbon composites will also benefit solid fuel booster nozzle inserts and re-entry-body thermal protection.