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STTR Phase I: Lightweight Concrete Interlocking Masonry Blocks

Award Information
Agency: National Science Foundation
Branch: N/A
Contract: 2014964
Agency Tracking Number: 2014964
Amount: $224,999.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: STTR
Solicitation Topic Code: AM
Solicitation Number: N/A
Solicitation Year: 2019
Award Year: 2020
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2020-05-01
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2021-04-30
Small Business Information
1647 S Logan St
Denver, CO 80210
United States
DUNS: 080432019
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: No
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: No
Principal Investigator
 (720) 273-8837
Business Contact
Phone: (720) 273-8837
Research Institution
 University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
 Jian Zhao
P O BOX 340
Milwaukee, WI 53201
United States

 Nonprofit College or University

The broader impact/commercial potential of this Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Phase I project is to improve job-site safety of dry-stacking installation of masonry walls without binding mortar through the use of novel Aerated Interlocking Masonry Units (AIMU). The AIMU multi-component wall system combines the advantages of wood and those of concrete and is potentially applicable for mid-rise multi-family housing, a key component of affordable housing stock in the US and worldwide. These AIMUs can be laid quickly, safely, and accurately, reducing time and labor for cost-effective construction in the US and globally. The proposed construction platform will improve durability and offer lower lifetime costs than standard wood-based wall construction. This Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Phase I project will further develop a construction technology using masonry blocks via dry-stacking without binding mortar. Aerated Interlocking Masonry Units (AIMU) are made of cellular lightweight concrete (CLC) and an activated adhesion. The proposed work will conduct testing to confirm the AIMU's ability to fill incursions and block irregularities, evaluate interfacial shear resistance between the interlocking features, and evaluate the interfacial adhesion activated through pressure or moisture. These fundamental properties are critical to resolving the primary barriers for translation of dry-stack masonry construction technology. The project will also demonstrate rapid outdoor dry-stacking AIMU installation. This award reflects NSF's statutory mission and has been deemed worthy of support through evaluation using the Foundation's intellectual merit and broader impacts review criteria.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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