Defense Holdings, Inc. To Supply New Electrical Brush Technology to Sikorsky for Hub Mounted Vibration System
Manassas Park, VA (November 15, 2011) – Defense Holdings, Inc.® (DHi®) has announced that it will be supplying Power and Data Brush Block Assemblies with HiPerCon® brand Metal Fiber Brushes to Sikorsky for its Hub Mounted Vibration System (HMVS) demonstration under the Active Rotor Component Demonstration program. Sikorsky Aircraft is a subsidiary of United Technologies Corp. (NYSE: UTX). The key development team member for the HMVS system is the LORD Corporation of Cary, North Carolina. The effort is jointly funded by Sikorsky and the U.S. Army’s Aviation Applied Technology Directorate (AATD) under Agreement No. W911W6-11-2-0001.
Slip Rings, Electrical Motor Brushes, and Metal Fiber Brushes
Slip rings, also referred to as rotary electrical interfaces, rotating electrical connectors, swivels, collectors, or electrical rotary joints, are electromechanical devices that allow the transmission of power from a stationary object to a rotating object, and are commonly found in electric motors, electrical generators for AC systems, alternators, and wind turbines. Traditionally, slip rings have used carbon brushes (a high resistance, monolithic brush made from graphite, which sometimes has added silver or copper). These electrical brushes abrade over time, creating harmful and conductive carbon dust particles, wearing the surfaces they run on and requiring frequent maintenance.
To solve this problem, Defense Holdings, Inc (DHi), then operating as Noesis, Inc., originally developed Metal Fiber Brushes for use on submarines under the Small Business Independent Research (SBIR) program working with HiPerCon, LLC, the U.S. Navy, and the University of Virginia. Metal Fiber Brushes, which gain their name from the fact that they are constructed of thousands of hair-fine silver alloy fibers running on their tips, offer significant improvement over carbon brushes in both data and current transfer, offering extended brush and slip ring service life of at least twice the service life of carbon brushes, high current capacity of 250 amps/inch2, and significant decreases in service acoustic and electrical noise at sliding speeds up to 70 m/second. These brushes produce 80% less wear debris than solid brushes reducing the need for expensive maintenance and reducing the potential for shorts and grounds. HiPerCon’s silver alloy fibers offer significantly better service life and higher speeds over gold wire slip ring technology at a considerable price advantage.
HiPerCon is the worldwide exclusive licensee for this technology. DHi is HiPerCon’s sole distributor for Metal Fiber Brush and slip ring products including HiPerCon’s line of shaft grounding brushes.
DHi’s Metal Fiber Brush Block Assemblies Will Support Sikorsky’s Hub Mounted Vibration System (HMVS)
DHi will design, analyze, and develop prototype brush block assemblies featuring HiPerCon® brand Metal Fiber Brushes’ (MFBs) electrical brush technology. The intention is to develop a power and data transfer (PDT) unit with increased reliability suitable for Sikorsky’s HMVS. The HMVS system represents a significant improvement in the control of vibration at its source and will enable a smoother helicopter ride with less weight than conventional vibration treatments. DHi has previously developed a main rotor de-icing slip ring for Army AATD and Sikorsky, using HiPerCon’s electrical brushes as a form-fit function retrofit to an existing UH-60 aircraft de-icing slip ring for laboratory and flight testing later this year. DHi and HiPerCon will provide additional power and data brush block assemblies for the aircraft de-icing slip ring which will be used during HMVS testing to transfer power and data to and from the HMVS system. DHi and HiPerCon will work with Sikorsky and the LORD Corporation of Cary, NC to evaluate the technology on the Sikorsky/LORD Active Rotor Component Demonstrator.
Objective is to Develop a New Highly-Reliable Power & Data Transfer Slip Ring Unit Using HiPerCon® Brand Metal Fiber Brush Electrical Brushes
DHi and HiPerCon will improve existing Metal Fiber Brushes slip ring designs, update existing failure modes and effects analyses, fabricate several prototypes to support ground testing this fall, flight testing in early 2012, and perform basic tests on these prototypes.
Rich Martin On Power and Data Transfer Units
Rich Martin, Defense Holdings, Inc’s President and CEO stated, “We strongly believe that our Power and Data Transfer Units (PDTs) using HiPerCon’s amazing Metal Fiber Brush (MFB) technology provide a one-of-a-kind slip ring solution to the combined challenges of high power / high data transfer rates across a rotating interface with low maintenance, long life and high reliability. Our PDTs build on lessons learned from our successes in the application of slip rings featuring Metal Fiber Brushes in nuclear submarines, fixed and rotary wing aircraft, and wind turbines. It is clear that the ability of HiPerCon brand brushes to overcome the limitations of carbon brushes and carbon-metallic brushes is a game-changer for those who require long electrical brush life, high reliability and minimal conductive wear debris.”
Founded in 1994 and originally operated as Noesis, Inc., DHi is a privately-held, service-disabled, veteran-owned, minority-owned, small business. DHi has been ISO 9001 registered since 2003 and has received awards from the federal government for outstanding technical innovation and performance. DHi is based in Manassas Park, VA with other facilities in Charlottesville, VA and Trenton, NC. DHi works with customers worldwide to overcome the limitations of conventional carbon and carbon-metallic brushes and slip ring systems in a wide variety of applications.
Sikorsky Aircraft Corp., based in Stratford, Conn., is a world leader in helicopter design, manufacture and service. United Technologies Corp., based in Hartford, Conn., provides a broad range of high technology products and support services to the aerospace and building systems industries.
The views and conclusions contained in this document are those of DHi and should not be interpreted as representing the official policies, either expressed or implied, of the Aviation Applied Technology Directorate or the U.S. Government. The U.S. Government is authorized to reproduce and distribute reprints for Government purposes notwithstanding any copyright notation thereon.