Wear and Chemical Resistant Arresting Gear Slipper Material

Period of Performance: 10/09/2012 - 04/09/2013


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Tribis Engineering, Inc.
48597 Hayes Rd.
Shelby Township, MI 48315
Principal Investigator


The arresting gear system on an aircraft carrier utilizes slippers and bearing materials between moving components. Presently, these bearing materials are a phenolic composite reinforced with a cotton textile and friction modified with graphite. The purpose of this proposal is to find a replacement material. The reasons for replacement of the material include: availability of the existing material, swelling from contact with ethylene glycol, wear debris damage to associated seals, and wear life. This application presents several challenges, most notably related to the wide range of pressures and velocities across the various slipper applications. There are nine slipper configurations in the system. Each has its own set of operating characteristics. The surface contact pressure varies from 10psi to 530psi. The contact speed varies from 0 to 540 in/s. The sliding distance can be up to 112 in. The sliding surface finish (Ra) varies between 16 micro-inches and 125 micro-inches. The surface may have any combination of dry, greased, ethylene glycol, and environmental contamination. Using wide spectrum wear testing as a measurement basis, a number of materials, both commercially available and novel, will be compared with the existing bearing material. An alternate, or alternates, will be selected or developed, based on wear life over the spectrum of operating conditions that simulate, as closely as feasible, the field operating conditions.