Innovative Material (and Application Method) for a Hydrophobic/Oleophobic Coating to an Aluminum-Bodied Heat Exchanger
Navy SBIR FY2018.1

Sol No.: Navy SBIR FY2018.1
Topic No.: N181-019
Topic Title: Innovative Material (and Application Method) for a Hydrophobic/Oleophobic Coating to an Aluminum-Bodied Heat Exchanger
Proposal No.: N181-019-0346
Firm: Texas High Energy Materials, LLC
13581 Pond Springs Road
Suite 125
Austin, Texas 78729
Phone: (512) 670-6182
Web Site:
Abstract: US Navy V-22 Osprey assets are highly susceptible to debris buildup on critical aluminum bodied heat exchangers. Operating in harsh desert or marine environments is the primary causes of debris buildup. A self-cleaning coating technology developed specifically for V-22 heat exchanger units will enable the aircraft to function more efficiently, and extend its operational range. We have identified an emerging Plasma Electrolytic Oxidation aluminum conversion coating process that transforms the metal surface into its own ceramic form. The ceramic state of the aluminum surface is able to receive our novel super-hydrophobic self-cleaning surface coating. Our new duplex coating technology has been evaluated for 3xxx series aluminum heat exchangers, and found to completely eliminate debris build up in harsh environments. In addition, to the delight of our sponsors, our developments also provide greatly reduced costs versus toxic aluminum anodizing and conversion coating techniques. We will provide our patented, environmentally benign, self-cleaning binary coating technology system to address all DoD needs and those of the global community for safer, yet completely effective systems to maintain the surface of V-22 heat exchanger units.
Benefits: Our novel self-cleaning duplex coating technology offers highly attractive economics due to its safe, yet highly effective performance. Immediate savings to the customer will be realized through the implementation of our system. In addition, continuing regulatory restrictions on current toxic aluminum anodizing and conversion coating products will, if they have not already, make them too cost prohibitive for further use. In addition, companies and government organizations carry large financial risks of huge penalties through pending and future legal actions, launched by those injured from exposure to aluminum conversion coating products and processes with known hazards and health risks. Our new ceramic surface layer deposition process, coupled with our non-toxic self-cleaning top-coat product, will provide the Navy with a new level of resistance to buildup of debris on V-22 heat exchangers. Our coating technology will also have widespread use in other commercial aviation, and large exterior corporate, municipal, hospital, and university heat exchanger units that can operate more efficiently if they are not fouled by debris.