Innovative Material and Application Method for a Hydrophobic/Oleophobic Coating
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
Proposal No.: N181-019-1016
Firm: TDA Research, Inc.
12345 W. 52nd Ave.
Wheat Ridge, Colorado 80033
Contact: Jeannine Elliott
Phone: (303) 261-1142
Web Site:
Abstract: Air cooled exchangers are used in the V-22 Osprey and many other platforms where they provide a critical thermal management function. During operation, the outside environment brings in the dust, grime, oil and sand which can foul the heat exchanger surface. Deposits on the surface create an insulating layer that increases the thermal resistance and reduces the process efficiency. Regular maintenance of the heat exchanger is required to clean off the surface, reducing military readiness by the taking aircraft out of the service and consuming funds on maintenance activities that could otherwise go for active missions. In this SBIR project, TDA will develop a hydrophobic and oleophobic surface coating that would repel dirt and fouling to prevent it from building up in the first place. The coating will be applied as a thin film layer, uniformly across the heater exchanger fins in a low-cost industrial process. In the Phase I project, we will demonstrate that the coating has hydrophobic/oleophobic properties, measure heat transfer properties across a coated test panel, and characterize its physical properties.
Benefits: This technology will increase performance of air-cooled heat exchangers used in military, commercial and civilian applications. This technology is applicable not only to aircraft but also vehicles and air-cooled HVAC systems, particularly where the environment is wet or dusty. The new hydrophobic/oleophobic coating would prevent a decrease in the heat transfer coefficient across the heat exchange due to fouling, making the heat exchange more efficient and saving energy. Finally, this technology will save money by reducing maintenance currently required to clean heat exchangers surfaces.