Development of Advanced Stainless Steel for Aircraft Engine and Lift Fan Gearbox Bearings

Period of Performance: 04/25/2012 - 10/25/2012


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Abbott Ball Company
19 Railroad Place
West Hartford, CT 06133
Principal Investigator


Nitinol 60 powder metal is the only known engineering material which combines the attributes of machinibility, superior hardness and wear resistance, and immunity from corrosion from salt water and other commonly encountered corrosive substances. Testing has been done by NASA, Timken, Kamatics and others. Our preliminary results demonstrate the superior corrosion resistance, resistance to wear, and low coefficient of friction in ball bearing applications. Since both Nickel and Titanium are expensive materials, present applications are limited to special needs applications. We noted early on that the material can be easily layered to produce a finished part which has better characteristics than either layered material. By developing a layered, composite material, cost would be substantially reduced and the material would be tougher. Aircraft engine and liftbox bearings will not only have immunity to corrosion and superior tribological characteristics on the working surfaces, but will also be competitive in cost. NASA has seen our preliminary plans for making a layered material and has encouraged us to develop the material. They pledged to characterize the new material and work with us and with Summit and use their test results to help develop the best possible combination of attributes.