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Scalable Manufacturing of Composite Components Using Nanostructured Heaters

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Navy
Contract: N68335-19-C-0080
Agency Tracking Number: N18B-031-0019
Amount: $124,999.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: STTR
Solicitation Topic Code: N18B-T031
Solicitation Number: 18.B
Solicitation Year: 2018
Award Year: 2019
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2018-10-04
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2019-12-24
Small Business Information
205 Portland St 4th Floor
Boston, MA 02114
United States
DUNS: 111487588
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: No
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: No
Principal Investigator
 Seth S Kessler, Ph.D. Seth S Kessler, Ph.D.
 (617) 447-2172
Business Contact
 Seth Kessler
Phone: (617) 447-2172
Research Institution
 Massachusetts Institute of Technolgoy
 Brian L. Wardle, Ph.D. Brian L. Wardle, Ph.D.
77 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02139
United States

 (617) 252-1539
 Nonprofit College or University

Manufacturing of structural composites traditionally employs autoclaves to achieve high quality parts, including high fiber-volume-fractions and low porosity. A laminate comprised of stacked prepreg plies are cured under a vacuum in addition to ~7 bar of pressure to prevent formation of voids, particulalry in interlaminar (inter-sheet/ply) regions. However, manufacturing composites within an autoclave is accompanied by high acquisition and operation costs due to the necessity of specialized heated pressure vessels. Furthermore, these costs increase dramatically as the size of structure increases. The capacity of autoclaves limits the size of parts, and the production rate is primarily affected by autoclave availability. As a result, there has been interest in development of alternative techniques. Out-of-autoclave (OoA) prepreg has been introduced commercially as an alternative to autoclave-cured prepreg, however it still imposes similar limitations due to the need for an oven, plus OoA material does not yet yield the same properties as those cured in an autoclave under pressure. Thus, MDC and MIT have developed a process to manufacture quality prepreg-based composite laminates out-of-oven (OoO) using conductive curing via embedded and/or surface-mounted carbon nanotube networks (CNT) that have been demonstrated at 550C.

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

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