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Interlaminar Reinforcement of Composite Rotorcraft Components via Tailored Nanomorphologies of Aligned Carbon Nanotubes (A-CNTs)

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Navy
Contract: N68335-19-C-0409
Agency Tracking Number: N19A-003-0012
Amount: $140,000.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: STTR
Solicitation Topic Code: N19A-T003
Solicitation Number: 19.A
Solicitation Year: 2019
Award Year: 2019
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2019-05-31
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2019-12-06
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
 Massachusettes Institute of Technology
 Brian L. Wardle, Ph.D. Brian L. Wardle, Ph.D.
77 Massachusettes Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02139
United States

 (617) 252-1539
 Nonprofit College or University

Composites are often used in aerospace applications due to their superior specific strength and stiffness properties, as well as their resistance to fatigue and corrosion. In particular for rotorcraft, composites offer additional benefits for their versatility in tailoring material properties for such components as rotor blades. However, rotors introduce additional challenges by including multiple composite materials in the laminate with dissimilar thermal expansion coefficients and stiffness, as well as ply drop-offs. Both of these features can lead to interlaminar failure, as they provide a “weak point” at ply interfaces. This SBIR aims to develop a means for interlaminar reinforcement via interface tailoring with aligned carbon nanotubes (A-CNTs). MDC will be partnering with MIT, who has previously demonstrated compelling evidence that properly designed A-CNTs can improve interlaminar (and intralaminar) performance in composite laminates. Now, in the proposed effort, we will extend these improvements to the special cases of ply drop-offs and dissimilar ply fibers relevant to rotor blade applications, utilizing recently developed nano-morphology tailoring of the A-CNTs towards ~10X increase in CNT volume fraction and alternative CNT alignment. During the Phase I effort, prototype components will be manufactured and tested with and without CNT reinforcement to validate the performance benefits.

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

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