As the proposed technology is matured and qualified throughout the proposed effort, multiple manufacturers and customers will integrate this technology within their designs to help enable all-weather operation of existing and next generation aircraft. The proposed materials are technology enablers for next generation airframe structures and engine components where lightweight, durable materials and low power requirements mandate innovative approaches to not only mitigate ice formation, but to enable measurement of icing conditions that promote unwanted ice formation and to concurrently provide erosion protection. In addition to aircraft, the proposed nanocomposites will be useful for a broad range of commercial rotorcraft and jet engine applications. NanoSonic will work with its Phase I prime partner to identify multiple potential commercial and defense outlets for the technology developed within this effort.
The proposed multifunctional nanocomposites integrate high durability and hydrophobic functionality, which is marketable to an extremely broad range of applications outside of aircraft. Water repellency provides anti-icing functionality useful in nearly any vehicle or structure for missions where icing or the risk of ice formation inhibits progress. Water repellency also suggests minimized water ingress, which is a significant problem in nearly all applications where composites are used for metal replacement. For metallic materials, the proposed materials will reduce corrosion, reducing maintenance and concerns of potential structural integrity damage resulting from corrosion. Similar hydrophobic nanocomposites can also significantly reduce frictional drag, enhancing performance. Commercial applications are nearly limitless for higher performance, cost and energy saving commercial aircraft and automobiles. Because of the dynamic applicability of NanoSonic's nanocomposites, the potential market spans from military to civilian, opening the door to endless possibilities in multiple industries.