Innovative Siloxane Nanocomposite Elastomers as Blast/Fire Resistant Polymer Coatings

Period of Performance: 07/07/2006 - 04/07/2007


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

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


The objective of this Phase I SBIR program is to develop low-cost, elastomeric nanocomposites as blast resistant coatings with exceptional fire resistance. The novel copolymer systems would be synthesized from the chemical modification of a number of siloxane templates with silsesquioxane and phosphine oxide moieties. NanoSonic researchers believe a synergistic balance between the flame resistant qualities of silsesquioxane / phosphine oxide groups and the flexibility of siloxane elastomers may be realized to afford novel nanocomposites capable of blast/fire mitigation. Moreover, siloxane coatings afford a promising alternative to traditional organic polymer coatings (epoxy, polyurea, and polyurethane) as they possess superior corrosion resistance, weathering characteristics, abrasion resistance, and thermal stability. During Phase I of the proposed program, researchers at NanoSonic would work to synthesize a family of low-cost, siloxane elastomers molecularly tailored for blast/fire mitigation, investigate the mechanical properties of candidate systems, and supply qualified samples to the Navy for evaluation. The potential technological advantages of NanoSonic s novel elastomeric composites lie within their ease of fabrication, economic cost of synthesis, and outstanding flame resistance coupled with flexible mechanical properties. Equally important, NanoSonic s protective elastomeric coatings will be chemically tailored for negligible smoke toxicity.BENEFITS: NanoSonic believes it may combine the promising flame resistance properties of silsesquioxane and phosphine oxide moieties with the structural flexibility of siloxane copolymers to molecularly engineer flame resistant elastomeric coatings capable of elongations greater than 400% without rupture. Moreover, the proposed copolymer systems may be deposited onto an assortment of substrates via spray, solution cast, and painting techniques. The proposed elastomeric nanocomposites may be employed to retrofit existing building structures or applied directly to steel plating to impart blast / fire resistance. Due to the foreseen ease of fabrication and deposition, NanoSonic anticipates its innovative siloxane composite materials will have utility with numerous naval ship and commercial transportation (aircraft and automobile) structures requiring explosion / fire resistance.