Radiation Shielding Boron Nitride Nanotube (BNNT) Reinforced Metal Matrix Composites

C. Chidiac, T. Dolmetsch
Thaero LLC,
United States

Keywords: BNNT, Al7075, radiation shielding, thermal management, nanocomposite, additive manufacturing, direct energy deposition, cold spray


Thaero LLC, a US-based pioneer in high deposition rate hybrid manufacturing, specializes in aerospace-grade metal-matrix nanocomposites. Our mission is to fortify the nation's defense industrial base through the commercialization of cutting-edge materials. In collaboration with esteemed US universities, National Laboratories, government agencies, and leading equipment manufacturers, we strive to advance frontier technologies. Utilizing scalable supersonic cold spray and solid-state metal 3D printing techniques, we develop innovative, high-temperature nanomaterial-infused alloys crucial for mission-critical components across the defense, space, and nuclear sectors. With an extensive IP portfolio, including eight exclusively licensed patents from FIU, our methods encompass hybrid friction stir additive manufacturing, cold spray additive manufacturing, wire arc additive manufacturing/direct energy deposition, ultrasonic casting, and thermal spray. Thaero's applications span a diverse range, including lightweight structural alloys, terrestrial and hypersonic vehicles, lunar and Martian landers, lightweight ballistic materials, high-temperature alloy structures, high thermal conduction aviation components, and radiation-hardened alloys. A key innovation lies in our integration of Boron Nitride Nanotubes (BNNTs) into lightweight alloys, resulting in a multifunctional, super metal matrix nanocomposite. This unique material exhibits exceptional properties, including radiation shielding, heightened mechanical strength, enhanced ductility, improved wear resistance, superior thermal conductivity, and electrical insulation. Remarkably, these properties remain intact even under extreme conditions, with thermal stability maintained above 900 degrees Celsius in air. Through our relentless pursuit of technological advancement and strategic partnerships, Thaero is poised to revolutionize space manufacturing, providing solutions that not only enhance national defense capabilities but also drive innovation across industries and propel human exploration beyond Earth's bounds.