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00-048

For Release: September 12, 2000


Pamelia Caswell/Lori Rachul
Media Relations Office
(216)433-5795/8806

NASA Glenn Research Garners Technology Awards

Three research teams from the NASA Glenn Research Center, Cleveland, OH, have been named winners of the prestigious R&D 100 Awards sponsored by R&D Magazine. The Chicago Tribune has called these awards the "Oscars of invention," and others have referred to them as the "Nobel Prize of applied research."

The winning entries are the PMR (Polymerization of Monomer Reactants) polyimide extended shelf life technology, gamma-titanium aluminide technologies and GENOA software.

The developers of the PMR polyimide extended shelf life technology are William Alston, U.S. Army Research Laboratory's Vehicle Technology Directorate, located at Glenn; Gloria S. Sivko, OAI (Ohio Aerospace Institute); and Daniel A. Scheiman, Dynacs Inc., all of Cleveland. The PMR technology was developed in the early 1970s for producing large void-free polyimide composites. The winning adaptation of this technology is a chemical technique that significantly lengthens the shelf life of all types of PMR resins by using isopropyl, rather than methyl or ethyl-ester acids. The isopropyl slows down the temperature-aging step without altering the high-temperature polymerization (curing) step. A patent was awarded in August 2000.

The gamma titanium aluminide technologies team members are Paul Bartolotta, Glenn; Gopal Das, Pratt & Whitney, West Palm Beach, FL; Heinrich Kestler, Plansee Aktiengesellschaftnse, Reutte, Austria; and Robert Leholm and John Meaney, BF Goodrich Aerospace, Chula Vista, CA. The technologies they developed are a now commercially available titanium aluminide (TiAl) sheet material, Gamma-met and economical fabrication methods for making high-temperature components. In addition to the TiAl composition, the team devised a sheet rolling technique, a component hot-forming method and material joining approaches.

The members of the GENOA Software team are Christos C. Chamis and Pappu L.N. Murthy, Glenn; Frank Abdi, Alpha STAR Corporation, Long Beach, CA; and Levon Minnetyan, Clarkson University, Potsdam, NY. GENOA, which was a 1999 NASA Software of the Year winner, uses parallel processing to employ existing networks to solve problems with dynamic asset and memory allocation. The software is being used by Boeing and GE Aircraft Engines on the new 777 aircraft and is projected to save $3 million per engine on redesign of blade fabrication processes.

The NASA Glenn Research Center has distinguished itself by winning this prestigious award many times since the early 1960s. Of the110 awards to NASA, 77 of these have been for research and technology development conducted at Glenn.

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