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STTR Phase I: Light-Weight Bio-Based Nano-Enhanced SMC Formulations

Award Information

Agency:
National Science Foundation
Branch:
N/A
Award ID:
88534
Program Year/Program:
2008 / STTR
Agency Tracking Number:
0810682
Solicitation Year:
N/A
Solicitation Topic Code:
N/A
Solicitation Number:
N/A
Small Business Information
3F, LLC
1021 MAIN CAMPUS DR STE 300 Raleigh, NC 27606-5219
View profile »
Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No
 
Phase 1
Fiscal Year: 2008
Title: STTR Phase I: Light-Weight Bio-Based Nano-Enhanced SMC Formulations
Agency: NSF
Contract: 0810682
Award Amount: $150,000.00
 

Abstract:

This Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Phase I project shall utilize a multi-organizational team with uniquely experienced and multi-disciplinary personnel to demonstrate the feasibility of a new family of innovative sheet molding compounds (SMCs) that are partially bio-based and have lower density while having similar performance and cost. Kenaf natural fiber will be blended with glass fiber and combined with commercially available soy-oil based resin and select nano-materials to produce new SMC formulations that will be manufactured and validated experimentally. Innovations include 1) chemistry approaches to address the known problems of moisture absorption and strength retention in natural fiber composites and 2) fiber processing methods that will enable the use of standard fiber processing machines and existing SMC manufacturing equipment. The new lighter weight SMCs will find initial application in off-road farm equipment, automotive trunk floors, wheel wells and other non surface-critical components that currently use metal or heavier SMCs. Multiple companies who currently make SMCs and/or SMC components will license the new material technology through the National Composite Centers (NCC) newly forming SMC consortium. The development team, innovative materials combinations and processing approach have been carefully selected to enable rapid commercialization of the new technology once demonstrated. Innovative materials and combinations of materials have potential to provide cost-effective engineered materials systems that provide significant weight savings for automotive structures, thus leading to higher vehicle fuel economy. Additionally, the full or partial use of bio-based renewable materials will reduce the consumption of and dependence on petroleum based products. The exciting green aspect to this program will assist NCC's educational mission as students have great interest in environmental issues and the use of renewable resources to make a sustainable environment. NCC's cooperative education program may be utilized in support of the proposed work. Positive R&D results may serve as the basis of setting up conferences with high schools through NCC's multi-source video and videoconferencing center. As a lead agency for the effort, NSF's funding of this program will also support President Bush's American Competitiveness Initiative whose goal is to increase investments in research and development, strengthen education, and encourage entrepreneurship and enable America to remain a leader in science and technology. A focus of this research proposal is to develop technology that will enable cost-effective US manufacture of materials and components; thus supporting other Made in America type Federal initiatives.

Principal Investigator:

Larry C. Dickinson
PhD
9193414178
dickinsonl@asme.org

Business Contact:

Larry C. Dickinson
PhD
9193414178
dickinsonl@asme.org
Small Business Information at Submission:

3F, LLC
920 Main Campus Dr., Ste. 101 raleigh, NC 27606

EIN/Tax ID: 202631466
DUNS: N/A
Number of Employees:
Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No
Research Institution Information:
National Composite Center
2000 Composite Dr
Kettering, OH 45420 1493
Contact: Louis Luedtke
Contact Phone: (973) 297-9450
RI Type: Nonprofit college or university