Nanocomposite Inhibitors for Corrosion Resistant Conductive Coating

Period of Performance: 03/28/2008 - 07/28/2010


Phase 2 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Luna Innovations, Inc.
301 1st St Suite 200
Roanoke, VA 24011
Principal Investigator


Conductive coatings, putties and adhesives are used on composite aircraft structures to control electrostatic discharge and provide lightening strike protection. Contact of these metal or carbon filled coatings with alloy components creates the potential for significant corrosion. These corrosion problems have been controlled historically with chromate inhibitor containing primers, but as these materials are eliminated, a need exists to control corrosion of both the conductive metal fillers and the aircraft structure in contact with these coating systems. To address the need for improved protection of aircraft structures coated with conductive coatings, Luna will develop a tailored inhibitor package that mitigates the complex corrosion processes associated with these conductive coatings and aircraft materials. Luna has selected novel nanocomposite compounds and surface treatments as the basic platforms for tailoring inhibitors specifically for this application. The nanocomposite inhibitors can be intercalated with a range of anodic or cathodic inhibitors, permitting significant design latitude for engineering coatings. A further advantage is that the inhibitor release is moderated by an ion exchange process. Finally, since these inhibitors and treatments can be produced with existing processes, using low cost raw materials, they will be competitive to other commercial inhibitors.