This solicitation is now closed
Innovative Material for Enhancing Landing Gear Life
Navy SBIR 2007.1 - Topic N07-032
NAVAIR - Mrs. Janet McGovern - janet.mcgovern@navy.mil
Opens: December 6, 2006 - Closes: January 10, 2007

N07-032 TITLE: Innovative Material for Enhancing Landing Gear Life

TECHNOLOGY AREAS: Materials/Processes

ACQUISITION PROGRAM: PMA 274; Presidential Helicopters Program

The technology within this topic is restricted under the International Traffic in Arms Regulation (ITAR), which controls the export and import of defense-related material and services. Offerors must disclose any proposed use of foreign nationals, their country of origin, and what tasks each would accomplish in the statement of work in accordance with section 3.5.b.(7) of the solicitation.

OBJECTIVE: Develop and demonstrate innovative low-cost, high-strength, high-fracture-tough, corrosion-resistant metal alloys.

DESCRIPTION: Aircraft landing gear components are subjected to some of the highest stresses on an air vehicle. Common materials used today by the United States Navy (USN) are 4340 steel, 300M, and AerMet 100. AerMet 100 has superior material properties to 4340 and 300M. These landing gear materials are chosen because of their material properties and the austere environment in which USN aircraft operate. The USN air vehicle environment facilitates this need for a high-strength, high fracture toughness, corrosion-resistant metal alloys.

Landing gear components made from AerMet 100 has had success within the USN. However this is an expensive, limited supply material. The USN is interested in pursuing an alternative to AerMet 100 with the development of a high-strength, fracture-tough, corrosion resistant, lower cost metal alloy. The nominal material property values for AerMet 100 are 250-ksi 0.2 percent yield strength, 285-ksi ultimate strength, and 100 ksivin. Modeling and simulation (M & S) technology could be used to develop this material for the USN.

Traditional methods of trial and error to develop new materials are very costly and time consuming. M & S techniques would allow for the creation of a material to fit the specific needs of the USN. Previous projects along these lines have been unsuccessful in providing the corrosion resistance necessary for the USN aircraft. Once the material composition has been refined, a coupon could be produced and tested to verify the M& S conclusions. An alternative landing gear material would reduce life-cycle maintenance and cost for USN aircraft.

Landing gear components produced from these innovative metal alloys could have increased capabilities. With corrosion resistance, plating of the components would not be necessary. Plating involves coating components with expensive toxic materials to prevent damage and/or failure due to corrosion. Corrosion causes rust, cracks, and breaks that can cause failure of landing gear components. Thinner dimensions and lower weight components could be fabricated with these materials. With the increased fracture toughness and strength, fatigue cracks that occurred would have a slower growth rate, thus lengthening the period for detection before critical crack length is reached. In addition, the inspection interval would be decreased.

PHASE I: Develop low-cost, corrosion-resistant, high-strength, high-fracture toughness materials suitable for USN landing gear components. Design the selected alloy using modeling and simulation. Establish feasibility through limited coupon testing.

PHASE II: Optimize the properties of the alloy through an iterative approach that includes modeling, fabrication, and testing. Initiate the development of the material design allowable database for the optimized design,through a coupon fabrication and testing program.. Mechanical property testing should include fracture toughness, ultimate strength, yield strength, and elongation at room temperature. Corrosion resistance testing should include resistance to general corrosion, stress corrosion cracking, and corrosion fatigue in 3.5% NaCl solution.

PHASE III: Fully develop the design allowable database for the material. Demonstrate and validate the performance of the new material through component testing in a service environment.

PRIVATE SECTOR COMMERCIAL POTENTIAL/DUAL-USE APPLICATIONS: A high-strength, high-fracture toughness, corrosion-resistant metal alloy has the potential for transition to the commercial aircraft market for cost reduction and enhanced landing gear life expectancy.

REFERENCES:
1. Metallic Materials Properties Development and Standardization (MMPDS),http://www.cartech.com/products/wr_products_strength_am100.html

KEYWORDS: Landing Gear Components; High Strength; High Fracture Toughness; Corrosion Resistance; Cost Reduction; Modeling & Simulation

** TOPIC AUTHOR (TPOC) **
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