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For release: Aug. 28, 1995

India J. Pinkney
Phone: 804-864-6124

Keith Henry
Phone: 804-864-6124

RELEASE NO. 95-75

MULTI-PURPOSE THERMOPLASTIC RECEIVES R&D 100 AWARD

A NASA Langley researcher's multi-purpose thermoplastic material received an R&D 100 award for one of the 100 most significant new technical products of 1994.

Dr. Robert G. Bryant, a chemical engineer, developed the self-bonding thermoplastic called LaRC-SI. Three electronic technicians, who helped to develop various applications of the thermoplastic, share in the award. The technicians are Robert L. Fox, Nancy Kruse and Sang Tran, all from NASA Langley.

The R&D 100 award (formerly IR-100) is presented annually by Research and Development magazine to the innovators of the 100 most technologically significant new products of the year. Selections are made by a panel of scientists and engineers after studying new technology around the world.

LaRC-SI (soluble imide) is an amorphous thermoplastic, meaning it can be reformed at elevated temperatures and pressure. It is also recyclable. The material has an exceptional combination of properties resulting in a wealth of applications. It can be applied in the form of spray, spin and dip coating.

Potential applications for the thermoplastic include a resin for mechanical parts such as gears, bearings and valves; advanced composites like carbon fiber, and high strength adhesives. It can also be used to make film and self-bonding multilayer flex circuits.

LaRC-SI's properties make it a leader among similar materials on the commercial market. Companies, universities and government labs are studying it to determine further applications.

In the 26 years of NASA's participation in the R&D 100 competition, 101 NASA developments have been selected, contributing significantly to the recognition NASA as a source of technical excellence. Langley has earned 29 of NASA's 101 awards.

This year's R&D 100 winners will be honored at an awards banquet at the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago on Sept. 21. An exhibit of the award-winning products will be on display at the museum from Sept. 18 through Oct. 15.

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NOTE: A photograph is available to illustrate this release.

 

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