Programmable Accelerated Environmental Test System for Aerospace Materials

Period of Performance: 06/17/2014 - 02/12/2015

$150K

Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Safe Inc.
3290 Hamal Circle
Monument, CO 80132
Principal Investigator

Research Topics

Abstract

ABSTRACT: The USAF Aircraft Structural Integrity Program (ASIP) community has the difficult task of planning for and maintaining an aircraft fleet without the corrosion protection of chromate coatings. Unfortunately the protection provided by chromate has been built into current life prediction models. To test new coatings and materials it is critical that the ASIP community have testing methodologies in place that allow for real world corrosion conditions to be mimicked. The ability to apply ozone, salt spray and pollution gases in conjunction with mechanical loading will be critical to robust testing of new chromate replacement coatings and more corrosion resistant materials. To help the ASIP community develop the ability for large scale component testing under simulated real world conditions SAFE, Inc. has been developing a test chamber for applying an environmental spectrum (ozone, relative humidity and UV-light) in conjunction with mechanical loading to a 1 ft2 specimen. The chamber allows for variations to the test component without redesigns to the chamber and for the flexibility to change the environmental inputs. This chamber would represent a large technical jump forward in environmentally assisted mechanical damage testing for the ASIP community leading a better understanding of environmental damage and life predictions. BENEFIT: The need for better coating qualification methods is known to the military and coatings communities. This test method can be used by coating manufactures to better predict how their coatings will perform under real world conditions. This would also be of use to commercial aviation and the FAA as chromate reduction is already underway; thus, an understanding of their coating lives could save maintenance time and money.