Nanotechnology

nanotechnology

The primary objective of this project is to reduce weight and improve the performance and durability of materials , electronics and power systems.

The Nanotechnology Project is focused on the maturation, integration, and component level demonstration of high impact nanotechnologies for future use in NASA missions. Nanotechnology has the potential to significantly enhance mission capability by enabling, among others, the development of materials that are significantly lighter and have mechanical properties and durability superior to those available today; and optimized sensors for use in strain and damage or flaw detection in conventional and carbon nanotube (CNT) fiber reinforced composites.

The goal for the first task is to develop CNT based fibers having tensile strengths 1.5 to 2 times higher than conventional carbon fibers. The use of CNT fibers in lieu of conventional carbon fibers will result in component weight reductions as high as 20%, and a 100% improvement in characteristics associated with damage tolerance. The goal of the second task is to develop strain sensors with 2-times the strain sensitivity (inherent strain monitoring) of conventional surface mounted strain gages and/or structural health monitoring (SHM) sensors with the capability to detect damage (delamination, cracks, etc.) at 50% that of the critical flaw size. Nanoscale strain and damage sensors will be developed using carbon nanotubes orgraphene. These sensors will have a distinct advantage over conventional strain and damage detection systems since they will be less invasive (due to their nanoscale dimensions) and have lower power requirements. To identify and resolve any technical challenges that would be encountered in integrating materials and sensor technologies, panels with fiber layups and embedded SHM sensors will be fabricated and tested under appropriate cryogenic conditions and operating environments. Durability studies will be performed, including thermal cycling, to assess the effect of CNT fibers and nanotechnology derived sensors on structural integrity and resistance to micro cracking.

Principal Technologist Project Manager
Keith Belvin (w.k.belvin@nasa.gov) Azlin Biagi-Labiosa (azlin.m.biagi-labiosa@nasa.gov)


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