Improved Electrical Contact Materials for Extremely High Current Sliding Contact Materials

Period of Performance: 05/18/2009 - 05/23/2010


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

IAP Research, Inc.
2763 Culver Avenue Array
Dayton, OH 45429
Principal Investigator


For Naval railgun technology to be a reality launch package armature mass and armature induced rail wear must be significantly reduced. Lighter materials with enhanced electro-thermal properties and mechanical properties equivalent to current aluminum alloys are required. IAP is proposing the development of a powder metal (P/M) magnesium armature material reinforced with aligned carbon nano-tube (CNT) fibers, which will significantly enhance the electro-thermal performance of the armature material. With appropriate alignment of the CNT fibers we expect to achieve armature mass reductions of 15-45% over conventional Al6061-T6 and Al7075-T6 materials. In addition, Magnesium P/M armatures may be beneficial to bore life in that they will not with potential rail surface materials such as steel.