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SBIR/STTR

Non-Lubricated Diamond-Coated Bearings Reinforced by Carbon Fibers to Work in Lunar Dust, Phase II

Completed Technology Project

Project Introduction

Non-Lubricated Diamond-Coated Bearings Reinforced by Carbon Fibers to Work in Lunar Dust, Phase II
In Phase I, we made prototype sliding bearings from functionally-graded, diamond-coated carbon-fiber reinforced composite. In dry-sliding experiments, the friction of the diamond-coated composites against lunar dust simulant was low and the wear was so small that it could not be detected. In contrast, all other tested materials experienced rapid abrasive wear. These tests demonstrate that diamond-coated composites are ideal materials for non-lubricated bearings, designed to operate in a lunar dust environment. The primary thrust of Phase II will be a fabrication of sliding, journal and ball bearings and testing them in low temperature vacuum chamber that corresponds to the parameters of the Moon's surface. To implement technology transfer, DMI will partner with established bearing companies. Hence, NASA will have qualified suppliers of different types of precision diamond-coated composite bearings. More »

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