Shape Memory Polymer Bladder Tooling
Agency / Branch:
DOD / NAVY
Cornerstone Research Group Inc. (CRG) proposes to demonstrate the benefits of shape memory polymer (SMP) bladder tooling for fabrication of a composite Navy rotorcraft part. CRG's SMP bladder tooling reduces labor costs and manufacturing time for fabricating complex composite parts. Conventional silicone or latex bladders are not rigid enough to support composite lay-up before custom molding. This process is labor intensive, can produce seams, wrinkles and bridging, and often results in inaccurate part shapes. These drawbacks have led to the theory of an inflatable bladder core used as the mandrel, but conventional bladder cores lack the structural integrity required for accurate composite lay-up. SMP bladders operate both as rigid mandrels and inflatable bladder cores initially providing a rigid, durable surface for composite lay-up, then flexibility and inflatability when the part is formed against the interior of the final mold. Phase I demonstrated SMP bladder tooling feasibility for composite fabrication of a representative part. Phase II will focus on using SMP bladder tooling to fabricate a full-scale composite Navy rotorcraft part.
Small Business Information at Submission:
Cornerstone Research Group, Inc.
2750 Indian Ripple Road Dayton, OH 45440
Number of Employees: