Fluoropolymer Coating by In-Situ Polymerization on Dispersed Aluminum Nanoparticles

Period of Performance: 04/01/1999 - 04/02/2001

$611K

Phase 2 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Aveka, Inc.
2045 Wooddale Drive
Woodbury, MN 55125
Principal Investigator

Abstract

Nanophase particles are becoming increasingly utilized in several fields, including the properties arising from their small size and high surface areas. However, due to their high reactivity, oxides form on the surfaces of these particles and reduce their performance and value. This is especially true of aluminum nanoparticles used as energetic fuels. The burn rate of propellants using these materials can increase 1 to 2 orders of magnitude; however, this increased burn rate is lost when oxidation converts the surface of the aluminum nanoparticles to aluminum oxide. AVEKA, Inc. has shown during Phase I that their proprietary process can produce nanoparticles 20-30 nm in diameter and then protect these nanoparticles from oxidation by forming a 6-10 nm thick fluoropolymer coating around them by an in-situ reaction. During Phase II of this program, AVEKA will optimize the process discovered during Phase I and scale it up to a production rate of 1 kg/hr in their pilot plant facility. Current projections indicate that a maximum production rate of 5 kg/hr is possible using this process. AVEKA will further demonstrate the commercial potential of the process by coating iron nanoparticles for use in magnetic media.