Novel Applications for Carbon Nanotubes

Period of Performance: 10/02/2000 - 11/03/2003


Phase 2 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Foster-miller, Inc.
350 Second Ave.
Waltham, MA 02451
Principal Investigator


This Phase I program exploited the unique properties of single wall carbon nanotubes (SWNT) to demonstrate a highly flexible, electrically conductive gap treatment system for low observable aircraft. This SWNT/polyurethane system achieved the desired electrical conductivity at loadings as small as 3 percent compared with 40 percent for current systems, and remained electrically conductive at strains as high as 90 percent compared to current materials which fail at 40 percent strain. It achieved a 72 percent reduction in density and a 90 percent reduction in water absorption compared to the current system. In Phase II, Foster Miller has teamed with key air framers and gap sealant manufacturers to further develop and fully characterize this gap sealant and facilitate its incorporation into Navy LO aircraft.(p00463). BENEFITS: Gap treatments are critical for maintaining the LO characteristics of DoD aircraft. SWNTs allow the development of a novel gap sealant technology that will meet the rigorous electrical and mechanical performance of such systems. This development will benefit the F-18 E/F, F117, F-22, B-2 and the JSF. Other applications will be in the radar cross section reduction of NAVY ship superstructures and helicopters. The technology developed in Phase II will lead to unique nanotube reinforced composites for structural applications, enhanced thermal conductivity, EMI shielding, field emission displays and other multifunctional applications.