Nanostructured Composites for Space-Bound Housings
Current satellites used to monitor nuclear explosions carry excessive weight, and successful weight reduction would result in decreased launch costs and increased maneuverability in space. This project will develop nanostructured carbon composites to substitute for existing metals without compromising the necessary electrical and thermal conductivity properties. Phase I experimentally examined the benefits of incorporating conductive and strength-enhancing carbon nanofibers into aerospace grade resins. Physical tests indicated that the nanofibers significantly improved tensile strength and electrical/thermal conductivity. These nanostructured resins can be utilized to create composite structures and used in satellites where electricity and heat must to be dissipated to protect equipment. Phase II will further develop this technology to ensure it is suitable for a lamination and manufacturing process. Further testing and optimization will be performed to guarantee the best combination of nanofibers, resin, carbon cloth, and molding process. The final product will be a prototype, space-bound housing made of stronger and thermally/electrically conductive composites, which will be approximately 40% lighter than aluminum. Commercial Applications and Other Benefits as described by the awardee: The new composite should benefit the commercial- and military-based aerospace industry for which improved fuel consumption is imperative. Direct substitution of metallic elements within the aircraft with lightweight composites would result in substantial realized fuel savings.
Small Business Information at Submission:
Mainstream Engineering Corporation
200 Yellow Place Rockledge, FL 32955
Number of Employees: