SBIR Phase I: Assembly and Repair of Thermoplastic Reinforced Composites
This Small Business Innovation Research Phase I project will develop a new method of radiation welding of high performance thermoplastic reinforced composites without degrading the core fiber material. Conventional methods of thermal welding of this type of composite cause degradation of the composite core fiber and lose of strength at the welding seam. Two innovative technologies are integrated to accomplish this proposal. The first is the development of a multi-layer thermoplastic reinforced composite structure to insulate the core fiber from heat exposure during welding. The second technology is construction of a welding unit that projects selective near infrared radiation throughout the tertiary structure of the composite interface to weld the composites. The broader impacts of this technology could be the commercialization would be weldable composite technology and a welding that could significantly expand applications of thermoplastic reinforced composites (TRC) by providing a high speed assembly and joining process that can meet mass production requirements. TRC based parts that can reduce weight while maintaining strength, be more easily recycled and be assembled using high speed welding technology will create new product uses in military, commercial and industrial applications. New forms of thin sheet TRC are being integrated into the aerospace manufacturing, especially in construction of high altitude airships and balloons. Automobile manufacturers are seeking light-weight composites that are more easily recycled to reduce the weight requirements while maintaining strength in automobiles. Weldable TRC made with a thermoplastic core fiber can potentially meet these needs. Expanded use of TRC recycled parts will benefit the environment. Longer term, the welding process could provide a new competitive manufacturing technology that could drive job expansion and growth in the U.S. economy.
Small Business Information at Submission:
100 Hobson Drive Hockessin, DE 19707
Number of Employees: