Lightweight Nanocomposites for Missile Defense Applications

Period of Performance: 11/01/2001 - 05/31/2002


Phase 1 STTR

Recipient Firm

Mers, LLC
2832 Renfrew Street
Ann Arbor, MI 48105
Principal Investigator
Firm POC

Research Institution

Eastern Michigan University
Coatings Research Institute, 430 W Forrest Avenue
Ypsilanti, MI 48197
Institution POC


The key requirement for nanocomposite formation is dispersion of clay particles at nm length scales in polymer matrices, which is not trivial. Such a molecular-level dispersion necessitates complete exfoliation of clay particles, which occurs sporadically with the fabrication procedures currently in use. Based on a previously demonstrated concept, we propose to develop a novel nanocomposite fabrication method based on elongational flow that is potentially applicable to various high performance resin matrices commonly used in composite fabrication. The primary objective of this proposal is to demonstrate that our novel concept of exfoliation by extesnional flow produces nanocomposites with greatly improved modulus, strength and thermal stability. We intend to fabricate and test several artifacts such as films, coatings and molded articles to get a preliminary idea of their application potential, which is a corollary objective of this Phase I STTR.Polymer-clay nanocomposites possess mechanical properties that set them apart from conventional fiber-reinforced or mineral-filled materials in the sense that property enhancement in nanocomposites occurs at very low clay loadings,