High-Viscosity Pre-Penetrant Etching Materials
Award last edited on: 4/9/2023

Sponsored Program
Awarding Agency
DOD : Navy
Total Award Amount
Award Phase
Solicitation Topic Code
Principal Investigator
Richard L Fink

Company Information

Applied Nanotech Inc (AKA: Schmidt Instruments Inc~SI Diamond Technology Inc~Applied Nanotech Inc~NNPP~Nano~Applied Nanotech Inc~Applied Nanotech Holdings)

3006 Longhorn Boulevard Suite 107
Austin, TX 78758
   (512) 339-5020
Location: Single
Congr. District: 37
County: Travis

Phase I

Contract Number: N68335-22-C-0329
Start Date: 6/27/2022    Completed: 12/27/2022
Phase I year
Phase I Amount
Fluorescent penetrant nondestructive inspection (NDI) processes are utilized to detect surface-breaking cracks and corrosion in aircraft structures. Most military aircraft structures are made of 7000 series aluminum alloys (with 7075/7050/7085 being most common). The parts are primed and painted to provide protection from corrosion. Removal of paint schemes or corrosion is often performed through mechanically abrasive processes such as sanding, grinding, or machining, which smear small amounts of material over fine cracks and corrosion, making them less detectable with the penetrant inspection method. Chemical etching is used throughout the NDI industry as a method to remove approximately 0.0002 in. (0.00508 mm) of smeared metal prior to penetrant inspections. The etching process typically requires multiple steps, which include precleaning the area, applying an etchant, applying a neutralizer, and applying a desmutting agent. The low- viscosity chemicals (~1 cP, similar to water) are prone to spilling and migrating into crevices in the structures (faying surfaces and fastener holes) near the inspection zone. ANI proposes to develop paste forms of viable etchant materials with paste-like viscosities (70,000 - 100,000 cP) to reduce the hazards of using these chemicals during inspections of parts that are still installed in the aircraft.

Pre-penetrant etch is required before penetrant inspection processes when any mechanical working (sanding, grinding, blasting, machining, etc.) of the part's metal surface during manufacturing or reworking is done. Penetrant inspections cannot be performed on painted parts, so mechanical paint stripping in-service parts requires etching before penetrant inspection can be performed. Penetrant nondestructive testing (NDT) is commonly used in a multitude of industries including infrastructure (buildings/bridges), transportation (auto/rail/ship), energy (oil and gas/hydrodynamic/wind), and space (rockets/payloads). Users of the penetrant NDT process could benefit from a safer etching process.

Nondestructive inspection, Nondestructive inspection, etchant, neutralizer, aluminum alloys, Pre-penetrant, desmutting, High-viscosity, Aircraft

Phase II

Contract Number: ----------
Start Date: 00/00/00    Completed: 00/00/00
Phase II year
Phase II Amount