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Research Spending & Results

Award Detail

Awardee:SURFTEC, LLC
Doing Business As Name:SurfTec, LLC
PD/PI:
  • Samuel Beckford
  • (479) 263-6922
  • sam@surftec-engineering.com
Award Date:09/20/2017
Estimated Total Award Amount: $ 750,000
Funds Obligated to Date: $ 750,000
  • FY 2017=$750,000
Start Date:09/15/2017
End Date:08/31/2019
Transaction Type:Grant
Agency:NSF
Awarding Agency Code:4900
Funding Agency Code:4900
CFDA Number:47.041
Primary Program Source:040100 NSF RESEARCH & RELATED ACTIVIT
Award Title or Description:SBIR Phase II: Low friction and high durability PTFE nanoparticle composite coating for bearings
Federal Award ID Number:1738528
DUNS ID:080059944
Program:SMALL BUSINESS PHASE II
Program Officer:
  • Debasis Majumdar
  • (703) 292-4709
  • dmajumda@nsf.gov

Awardee Location

Street:700 W Research Center Blvd
City:Fayetteville
State:AR
ZIP:72701-7175
County:Fayetteville
Country:US
Awardee Cong. District:03

Primary Place of Performance

Organization Name:SurfTec, LLC
Street:700 W Research Center Blvd
City:Fayetteville
State:AR
ZIP:72701-7175
County:Fayetteville
Country:US
Cong. District:03

Abstract at Time of Award

This Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase II project will demonstrate compatibility of a novel polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) composite coating with metal-polymer bearings currently on the market, scale up the coating deposition process, and implement pilot processing lines. Currently, there is a need for a method to improve adhesion at the PTFE/metal interface while also reducing corrosion, friction, and wear. The implementation of this technology will aid in the transition from traditional lubricants to solid lubricants in manufacturing and has significant implications for the US economy and the environment. Currently, annual lubrication-related maintenance costs are as high as $1 trillion, and consumption of petroleum-based lubricants is estimated to reach 43.78 million metric tons as of 2016. The effective implementation of this technology will reduce maintenance costs and downtime by eliminating premature bearing failure. This project will serve as a proof point for the adoption of nano-coating technologies for reducing friction and wear in mechanical systems. It will also reduce barriers to entry for these coatings in industries dominated by outdated lubrication practices. The total applicable market size for metal-polymer bearings is estimated to be $1.0 billion, and a substantial near-term revenue opportunity for the proposed technology in this sector will be the focus of this effort. This beachhead opportunity serves as an industry validation point for the proposed technology and an entry point to other industrial and manufacturing applications. The intellectual merit of this project is based on improving the adhesion and mechanical properties of PTFE liners in metal-polymer bearings using an adhesive biomimetic polymer. This technology increases the wear-life of PTFE coatings, allowing for applications from which they have historically been precluded due to high wear and delamination. During Phase I, the proof of concept was established through demonstration of strong adhesion, 40% reduction in friction, 80% reduction in wear and elimination of susceptibility to corrosion in current metal-polymer bearings. The focus of Phase II will be in tailoring the coatings for specific product applications and implementation. The proposed SBIR Phase II work will overcome the remaining technical hurdles and validate the use of this technology as both a solution for improving the adhesion between PTFE and substrates and as a replacement for current PTFE liners in metal-polymer bearings. The execution of this project will allow the realization of critical proof points needed by industrial partners and speed the adoption of this technology into product lines.

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