Multifunctional Shielding and Self-Healing HybridSil Smart Composites for Space

Period of Performance: 05/28/2015 - 05/27/2017

$750K

Phase 2 STTR

Recipient Firm

Nanosonic, Inc.
158 Wheatland Drive Array
Pembroke, VA 24136
Firm POC
Principal Investigator

Research Institution

Colorado State University
337 Molecular and Radiological Biosciences Building
Fort Collins, CO 80523
Institution POC

Abstract

NanoSonic has developed revolutionary multifunctional, super lightweight, self-healing and radiation shielding carbon fiber reinforced polymer (CFRP) composites as a viable lightweight material for space applications such as primary or secondary structures on NASA vehicles, habitat modules, and pressure vessel structures. While current composites are lightweight, they do not offer reliable methods for damage inspection. These advanced materials offer the ability to self-heal upon impact and allow for micro crack damage inspection via DC or RF measurements. During the Phase I program, this phenomenon was demonstrated on multifunctional smart structural composites consisting of: carbon fiber plies, NanoSonic's Thoraeus Rubber™ Kevlar Lightweight Shieling Veils (LSV), and our conductive self-healing microcapsules. The innovative microcapsules are comprised of a corrosion resistant HybridShield polymer shell, a resin-rich core of self-repairing, room temperature curing polymer, and Al nanoparticles to impart EMI and radiation shielding as well as a conductive pathway between the conductive Thoraeus Rubber veils to monitor both damage and repair via RF measurements. NanoSonic is working with Colorado State University, ILC Dover, and Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company to increase the TRL of this technology from 5-7 during the Phase II program via mechanical, RF, and radiation shielding measurements and space qualification testing.