SBIR Phase I: PMC Manufacturing Process
The Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase I project will demonstrate the use of a new carbon/epoxy prepeg formulation and tape placement process to produce a polymer matrix composite (PMC) that meets large aircraft structural compsoite specifications. Conventional carbon/epoxy prepeg and tape placement processing may produce composites with bubble and void defects. Two innovative technologies are integrated to accomplish this proposal. A carbon/epoxy prepeg tape is made by dispersing an infrared absorber into an epoxy resin and coating the resin onto carbon fiber. An infrared radiation unit is used to uniformly irradiate the prepeg tape during layup, minimizing bubbles and voids in the final composite. The proposed work will define the prepeg formulation and radiation processing conditions to form a dfect free composite, evaluate the composite properties and define the requirements for prepeg manufactuing scaleup in a Phase II program. Upon successful demomnstration of the proposed research, the participating prepeg supplier and aircraft parts manufacturer are seeking a rapid scaleup in Phase II and commercialization of the prepeg and automated tape placement process. There is an immediate industry demand for a defect free PMC manufacturing process to replacing the current, less consistent process. Availability of a defect free PMC process will drive expansion of composite use and growth in the aircraft-manufacturing segment and subsequent growth of the total US economy. The new PMC process is broadly applicable in military and commercial aircraft, ground transportation vehicles, marine boats and industrial equipment manufacturing. The proposed research includes support and training for an undergraduate student.
Small Business Information at Submission:
Kubota Research Associates, Inc.
100 HOBSON DR Suite 135, PMB 171 HOCKESSIN, DE 19707
Number of Employees: