Carbon foam developer CFoam (ASX: CFO) has extended its partnership with American Maglev Technology of Florida (AMT), which involves developing a novel cooling solution for aircraft carrier jet blast deflectors.
AMT is a certified contractor to the US Department of Defence and has received a phase II small business innovation research award from the Department of the Navy’s Naval Sea Systems Command to create the novel cooling solution.
Under the partnership, CFoam will provide CFOAM HTC graphite foam, plus other custom materials solutions including phase change materials and technical advice for the project.
This innovation research award follows a successful phase I program that involved AMT and its partners CFoam, Oak Ridge National Laboratory and Eck Industries working on a concept for a novel lightweight surface for the Navy’s aircraft carrier jet blast deflectors.
The conceptualised surface was designed with an aluminium-cerium alloy combined with the CFOAM HTC graphite foam and phase-change material.
Modelling, simulation and thermal-flow laboratory testing during the phase I program demonstrated rapid-cooling capabilities following exposure to an aircraft’s jet blast over multiple sorties.
Refining preliminary design
AMT founder, chief executive officer and president Tony Morris said the novel material has the potential to minimise maintenance and increase the safety factor for these workhorse devices found in all 11 of the US’ aircraft carriers.
“From a payload standpoint, the new materials constitute about a 50% reduction in the weight of the jet blast deflector,” he added.
It is expected the phase II program will take about three years to complete.
During this period, AMT and its team will refine and optimise the preliminary jet blast deflector design through additional modelling and simulation.
Subscale samples will be generated and then undergo materials and corrosion testing as well as thermal cycle analysis.
If successful, full scale jet blast deflector panels will be fabricated and evaluated in a maritime environment during the program’s second and third years.
The contract value of the phase II base program and two initial option years is US$1.7 million.
Mr Morris said the technology could constitute a breakthrough in heat exchangers and heat sinks beyond application in aircraft carriers.
“The lightweight, low-cost surface’s capability to sustain extremely high temperatures over an extended time and undergo rapidly passive cooling could have many other industrial and military applications,” he added.
Although this project has the potential to create new markets and opportunities for CFoam and its partners, at this stage, CFoam does not anticipate the quantity of material it provides for the program will have a material impact on the business.