Robust, Lightweight Composite Coatings Based on Carbon Nanofibers

Period of Performance: 06/17/2014 - 02/09/2015


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Applied Sciences, Inc.
141 W. Xenia Ave. Array
Cedarville, OH 45314
Principal Investigator

Research Topics


ABSTRACT: The Air Force seeks to develop a new means of repairing aircraft structural composite components that have sustained minor damage. Repair of aircraft components can be a labor intensive and time consuming process. Multi-component repair coatings oftentimes must be applied, removed, and reapplied numerous times to ensure absence of pinholes and to achieve good surface finishes. Applied Sciences, Inc. proposes to develop single-step sprayable, advanced abrasion protection repair coatings to address these needs. Nanocomposites feature reinforcement at the molecular level which can far exceed the physical properties of two-phase composite systems. ASI intends to modify high-quality, low-cost carbon nanofibers (CNF), which have demonstrated exceptional abrasion protection for composite coatings, and will incorporate them in the development of a sprayable resin solution for a one-step application process. The CNF-enhanced coatings will be evaluated for level of dispersion, to ensure optimum improvement in mechanical properties and surface finish. The coatings will then be applied to composite panels and will be characterized for flexibility, adhesion, abrasion resistance, and sand-ability. The resulting CNF-enhanced coating will increase the service life of the composite component on the aircraft, protect the composite component from additional damage, as well as to reduce the maintenance time and cost. BENEFIT: Abrasion resistant coatings for structural composites will have application in the automotive industry, commercial aircraft, and in marine and naval applications.