Inexpensive Large Scale Manufacturing of High Specific Modulus and Strength Ceramic Fibers
Agency / Branch:
DOD / ARMY
This ARMY SBIR Phase I project will determine the best opto-mechanical approach for massively parallel Laser Chemical Vapor Deposition of ceramic fibers by building on work already performed at RPI, Univ of Montreal, and Free Form Fibers (FFF). Ceramic fibers are typically produced using polymeric precursors, which means that stoichiometrically pure fibers are almost impossible to attain, limiting (usually severely) their potential performance in the severe applications they are intended for in the first place. FFF's direct Laser Chemical Vapor Deposition production of pure fibers produces high purity monofilaments in a single "extrusion microtube" but commercial scale-up requires a sea change in manufacturing approach. This work investigates (in Phase I) creating a massively parallel array of laser beams, via either monolithic laser diode arrays, or a single laser and a high-power diffraction grating, and using this pattern (in a Phase I Option) to create a matching extrusion microtube array so that hundreds of stoichiometrically pure fibers can ultimately be grown at commercial scale via LCVD. Two approaches to the microtube array fabrication will be investigated, and one selected depending in part on the quality of the laser beam array and in part on results of microtube array fabrication experiments.
Small Business Information at Submission:
Free Form Fibers L.L.C.
26 F Congress Street No. 312 Saratoga Springs, NY 12866
Number of Employees: