Quick Release Appliqué Films

Period of Performance: 12/15/2008 - 09/15/2009


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

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


Appliqué films are much more attractive than conventional conformal coatings for current and future aerospace applications. Not only can the appliqué function as a zero VOC top coat, but additional functionality can be built into the appliqué, such as embedded sensors and electronics. A major drawback to appliqués is that their high film adhesion makes removal difficult. Either substantial residue is left behind, or worse, the underlying substrate is damaged. Luna Innovations will build on previous experience in self healing adhesives, multifunctional appliqués, and thermally reversible structural adhesives to create a stimuli reversible adhesive for appliqués. Current materials at Luna exhibit tunable temperature release ranges with very little external heat stimuli. These reversible adhesive formulas, although designed originally for thermal reversibility, will be modified to include removal by electrical current or radio frequency. BENEFIT: Thermally (and other stimuli) reversible adhesive concepts would be directly applicable to thermally repairable composite applications for airframe and space applications, as well as reversible structural adhesives for the transportation, construction, and packaging market. Reversible bonding would also be useful in composite structures where a rapid part interchange is required. These materials would serve as bolts and fasteners in a sense, but eliminate the point stresses caused by using them in a composite or metal structure. Additionally, eliminating metal bolts in any carbon fiber composite or metal structure will eliminate potential for galvanic corrosion.