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A Low Cost Rapid Manufacturing Process for Advanced Composite and Functionally…

Award Information

Department of Defense
Award ID:
Program Year/Program:
2003 / STTR
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
Solicitation Topic Code:
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
Materials & Electrochemical Research (MER) Corp.
7960 S. Kolb Rd. Tucson, AZ 85756-9237
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Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No
Phase 1
Fiscal Year: 2003
Title: A Low Cost Rapid Manufacturing Process for Advanced Composite and Functionally Graded Structures
Agency / Branch: DOD / NAVY
Contract: N00014-03-M-0272
Award Amount: $70,000.00


The development of 3D rapid prototyping processes have demonstrated their value in reducing the time required to transition from a design to prototype components. Another significant benefit of the rapid prototyping processes is their capability toproduce tailored microstructures and obtain excellent mechanical properties relative to standard manufacturing techniques. Production of composite microstructures as well as functionally graded layers offers the potential for a dramatic revolution incomponent performance. However the 3D rapid prototyping processes, which generally employ lasers as the energy source, have been found lacking in terms of scale up to manufacturing due to the very high cost of purchasing and operating the laser basedsystems coupled with low build rates. This program will demonstrate plasma transferred arc solid free form fabrication (PTA SFFF) as a rapid manufacturing process that addresses the concerns of high operating cost and low build rates through the teaming ofMER Corporation and Penn State. New composite and functionally graded structures will be demonstrated and characterized. A SPU stator vane will be produced utilizing the PTA SFFF process and its enhanced properties and substantially lower cost will beverified in comparison to the laser forming system. MER has the PTA SFFF equipment and facilities in place to transition from prototype development to rapid manufacturing of advanced composite structures. The low capital and operating cost of thismanufacturing technology has placed MER in a unique position to commercialize component manufacture for both defense and commercial applications.

Principal Investigator:

Roger Storm
Principal Investigator

Business Contact:

James C. Withers
Small Business Information at Submission:

Materials & Electrochemical Research (Mer) Co
7960 S. Kolb Rd. Tucson, AZ 85706

EIN/Tax ID: 860530946
Number of Employees:
Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No
Research Institution Information:
ARL Penn State, P.O. Box 30
State College, PA 16804
Contact: Eric J. Whitney
Contact Phone: (814) 865-3916
RI Type: Nonprofit college or university