Original Date: 01/27/1997
Revision Date: 01/18/2007
Information : Multilayer Materials
Multilayer technology allows engineers to design materials at the atomic level (Figure 3-1). Multilayers, a new class of matter, are fabricated in layers atom-by-atom ranging in scale from atomic to microscopic. Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) has shown that the multilayers exist as fully dense, fine grain, high interface concentration solids and that multilayer laminate component layers can be as thin as two atoms with a strength that nearly approaches theoretical limits.
LLNL has demonstrated potential applications for multilayer laminates such as new manufacturing strategies, short- wavelength optics, high-performance capacitors for energy storage, industrial capacitors, integrated-circuit interconnects, tribological coatings, ultra-high strength materials, and coatings for gas turbine engines. An in- process Cooperative Research And Development Agreement (CRADA) with Pratt & Whitney will address the application of turbine engine use of materials at the limit of theory. This application has enormous potential for increased thrust-to-weight ratio; effective erosion and corrosion barriers; lighter weight turbines for NASA shuttle fights; and operation of commercial airline engines at higher temperatures.
With applications in the Pratt & Whitney CRADA, a solid-state detonator system for arming bombs, material development indicating a diamond-like hardness; and a penetrator program for DARPA, potential for multilayers appears to be unlimited. As the multilayer fabrication techniques improve, the economics of producing these materials will become more competitive. With its research and applications groups, LLNL will continue its leadership role in the development of multilayer technology.
Figure 3-1. Multilayer Technologies
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