Nano-Lubricant/Fluid for Improved Weapons System

Period of Performance: 07/26/2011 - 07/31/2013

$730K

Phase 2 SBIR

Recipient Firm

NEI Corp.
201 Circle Drive North, Suite 102/103
Piscataway, NJ 08873
Principal Investigator

Abstract

The use of high performance lubricating grease and transmission oil in the Army’s ground and airborne vehicles can (i) enhance the performance and life of these systems, particularly in hot climates, (ii) reduce the heat signature, and (iii) help reduce the weight of thermal control systems, thereby enhancing the fuel efficiency of the vehicles. In the Phase I program, we began developing a new class of nanocomposite particles that overcome issues commonly associated with dispersing particles in lubricants, thereby leading to exceptional stability. The Phase I program also demonstrated a substantial increase in the thermal properties of transmission oil. A preliminary cost analysis was performed, which showed that the nanocomposite additive technology is economically feasible. The proposed Phase II effort builds upon these findings so that nanocomposite particle-enabled grease and oil (NanoLube) are made ready for implementation in the field. In addition to demonstrating scalability of the process for synthesizing NanoLube, the program involves testing NanoLube under simulated use conditions, and qualifying the lubricant for Army applications by testing using ASTM protocol. One of the largest DoD prime contractors has shown significant interest in the outcome of the Phase II effort. Success in the proposed program can lead to an immediate Phase III effort where NanoLube is qualified for use in a specific Army application.