Inhibited Electrically Conductive Adhesive for Rapid Aerospace Fastner Preparation

Period of Performance: 04/23/2008 - 04/23/2009

$100K

Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

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

Abstract

Current practices for joining aluminum and composite airframe elements together involves a labor intensive process. Titanium fasteners are hand abraded or grit blasted, installed, coated with a chromated primer, and sealed with an electrically conductive sealer. The process requires both significant labor hours and significant down time, as the chromated primer and conductive sealer must be cured before subsequent coating. The objective of the proposed program is to replace the labor and time intensive multistep fastener preparation process with a single step. Using internal expertise in the areas of corrosion, coatings, and nanocomposites, Luna will formulate a two component adhesive that adheres well to the titanium fastener and surrounding aluminum, prevents corrosion of the metals, exhibits sufficient conductivity, and levels the recess flush to the outer mold line. Through a more complete understanding of the corrosion processes, and a holistic approach to corrosion prevention, the Luna system will be able to save time and costs while removing chromated primers from the preparation process. The proposed material would save direct and indirect cost for the Air Force and be applicable to the commercial aerospace industry as well.