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Interlaminar Reinforcement of Composites via Tailored CNT Nanomorphologies

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Navy
Contract: N68335-20-C-0590
Agency Tracking Number: N19A-003-0012
Amount: $1,099,999.00
Phase: Phase II
Program: STTR
Solicitation Topic Code: N19A-T003
Solicitation Number: 19.A
Solicitation Year: 2019
Award Year: 2020
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2020-05-21
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2023-09-14
Small Business Information
205 Portland St 4th Floor
Boston, MA 02114-1708
United States
DUNS: 111487588
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: No
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: No
Principal Investigator
 Seth Kessler
 (617) 661-5616
Business Contact
 Seth Kessler
Phone: (617) 661-5616
Research Institution
 Massachusetts Institute of Technology
 Brian Wardle
77 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02139-4301
United States

 (617) 252-1539
 Nonprofit College or University

The Phase I effort of this STTR aimed to reinforce ply-drop laminates. When laminates taper from a thicker to thinner cross section, the termination of plies locally create resin pockets that can reduce the life of a part due to the lower strength of the resin compared to the fibers, local stress concentrations, and the propensity for voids in these resin rich areas. Thus, Metis Design Corporation (MDC) and MIT have collaborated to demonstrate the use of Carbon Nanotubes (CNT) to solve this problem. During the Phase I STTR effort, MDC demonstrate the use of patterned and buckled CNT layers: NAnoengineered InterLaminar Scaffolding (NAILS). Strategically placed vertically-aligned carbon nanotubes (VA-CNT) in the ply-drop region not only provided strengthening fibers, but prevented adjacent plies from being peeled apart, and helped draw resin into voids through capillary pressure. Flat IM7/8552 specimens exhibited 5-7.5% increase in static SBS strength, while tapered specimen strength increased by 15% with NAILS reinforcement. This translated to a 3x increase in fatigue life of flat specimens subject to dynamic SBS, and a 5x increase in fatigue life for tapered specimens. The goal of the Phase II effort is to mature the NAILS technique such that it can be adopted commercially, with a focus on demonstrating a Navy component, specifically a flex-beam.

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

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