R&D Division Announces 3 Government Contract Awards, showing diverse research interests

Lancaster, PA: Advanced Cooling Technologies, Inc. (ACT) is announcing three Government contract award wins in one week; two Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and one Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) program awards add to the more that 15 SBIR grants earned in 2020 by the ACT R&D group. These three contract awards encompass a wide array of research interests across the Research & Development team at ACT.

  • Phase I STTR program, “Advanced Durable Textiles for Combat Uniform”
  • Phase I SBIR proposal, “Solid Rocket Motors for High Performance Interceptors”
  • Phase I SBIR program, “Advanced Heavy-Duty Diesel Engine Piston”

Phase I STTR program, “Advanced Durable Textiles for Combat Uniform”

This proposal was partly based on an earlier ACT Phase I program with the Defense Logistics Agency to control fabric wettability.

Next-generation uniforms must be robust, highly stretchable, breathable, flame retardant, comfortable and superior in moisture management.  In this STTR program, North Carolina State University, Wilson College of Textile (NCSU-WCT) will work with ACT to develop a novel highly stretchable textile.

Current combat uniforms are very robust for sustaining continuous and repeat abrasion, wear and tear. However, they are not as stretchable, breathable and comfortable as knitted fabrics commonly used in sports, undergarment and performance apparels. In contrast, conventional knitted fabrics are more comfortable but not as durable.  The Army is looking for new textiles that are robust, stretchable, breathable, and provide thermal management, including wicking away sweat.  In a conventional material, the material becomes thinner when is it stretched (think of a rubber band).  In contrast, the advanced auxetic textile that ACT and NCSU-WCT will develop will actually become thicker when stretched.

Phase I SBIR proposal, “Solid Rocket Motors for High Performance Interceptors.”

Funded by the Missile Defense Agency (MDA), ACT will work with two groups from Penn State, one working with nanoparticle passivation and the Penn State High Pressure Combustion Lab.

The Missile Defense Agency is looking to advance the state-of-the-art technology for interceptor missile in order to achieve superior defensive measures against new super and hypersonic attacks. Specifically, interceptor missiles must gain faster lateral and axial accelerations, greater thrust, and higher total impulse. New state-of-the-art designs must also be adaptable to multiple-pulse operations. Realizing these design goals will be accomplished through precision engineering of the solid rocket motor propellant. The MDA is interested in innovative solid propellant formulations and fabrication techniques that enable highly-loaded grains (HLGs), i.e., packing more solid propellant into a fixed volume, to produce the desired interceptor characteristics.

ACT will synthesize different micro-scale particles to harness their kinetic and thermodynamic benefits that produce the desired macroscale effects on burn rate and thrust. Simultaneously, ACT will apply the new fuel formulations to direct casting and pressing fabrication experiments to generate a new thruster system capable of multiple-pulse operations (Current solid rocket engines burn fully to completion once started).

Phase I SBIR program, “Advanced Heavy-Duty Diesel Engine Piston”

FEA Temp. Analysis of Steel Piston w/o (left) and with (right) Two-Phase Cooling

ACT and the Combustion Physics Laboratory at Wayne State University will develop a two-phase cooled, 3D-printed heavy-duty diesel engine piston, that will operate at surface temperatures of up to 600°C, localized heat fluxes of 20 MW/m2, and cylinder pressures of 275 bar. Diesel engine performance is directly proportional to combustion chamber pressures, which correlate with higher thermal loadings on the pistons. Current high-performance diesel engines utilize steel pistons (4140 alloy), which are limited to ~500°C and 200 bar. These pistons are typically cooled by oil jets directed into open galleries within the piston crown. The proposed project will utilize two-phase heat transfer of alkali metals (sodium, potassium, or cesium) in place of oil within sealed galleries.


Innovation is at the core of ACT, and the R&D department continues to lead its product and market diversification effort, shaping the company and solutions we provide to our customers. These three awards won within one week are a credit to the depth of talent and interests found at ACT.

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