A Versatile Biomimetic Approach to Environmentally Friendly and Energy-Efficient Processing of Nanosturctured Composites
Biomimetic processing and structural principles will be adapted towards environmentally friendly and energy-efficient development of hybrid nanocomposites with gradient structures that promise to optimally meet the thermo-mechanical performance requirements in aerospace structures and other applications. Self-assembly processes accelerated by electrical means will be used to build nano-layered composites onto open-cell precursor systems. The process allows for selection and optimum distribution (within and outside critical load paths) of nano-structured materials, with performance characteristics that far exceed those of todayÂ¿s advanced composites. The process can incorporate broad inorganic, metallic, and organic materials into hybrid composites, with substantial control at nano-, micro-, and macro-structural levels. Complex structural systems of large dimensions can be processed with seamless gradient structures. The approach allows harmonious optimization at nano-, micro-, and macro-structural levels, enabling major weight savings in production of load-bearing structures for aerospace and other applications. Technova Corporation has joined forces with the Center for Advanced Materials Processing at Clarkson University and with United Technologies to implement the proposed Phase I research and followup commercialization of the research outcomes. Integrated analytical/experimental research will be undertaken for development, sample-level optimization, characterization, and modeling of the new material system as well as for optimum design and competitive analyses of selected aerospace structural components with the new material system.
The goals of this Phase I research project are to: (1) develop environmentally friendly and energy-efficient biomimetic processing schemes for building hybrid nano-structured composites onto open-cell precursor systems; (2) develop and characterize optimum structural systems of basic geometric configurations and stress conditions; and (3) design competitive environmental, economic, energy, and performance analyses for selected aerospace structural systems embodying the biomimetic processing and structural principles of this approach.
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