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Innovations in Designing Damage Tolerant Rotorcraft Components by Interface Tailoring

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Navy
Contract: N68335-20-C-0881
Agency Tracking Number: N19A-003-0282
Amount: $500,000.00
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): 2020-09-17
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2021-09-23
Small Business Information
3905 Varsity Dr.
Ann Arbor, MI 48103-1111
United States
DUNS: 831529941
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: Yes
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: No
Principal Investigator
 Colin Sageman
 (480) 205-1202
Business Contact
 Henry Sodano
Phone: (480) 205-1202
Research Institution
 Wichita State University
 Waruna Seneviratne
1845 Fairmount St.
Wichita, KS 67260-0007
United States

 (316) 978-5221
 Nonprofit College or University

The performance of a composite material is heavily influenced by the strength and toughness of the interlaminar region, which is the resin rich area between the plies of a fiber reinforced composite.  The interlaminar region generally provides a direct path for crack propagation since no continuous reinforcement is present and is often the cause of failure in materials subjected to cyclic loading such as the composites used in rotorcraft.  Four principle methods exist for the enhancement of the interlaminar strength, namely; interleaves, fiber whiskerization, Z-pinning or stitching and nanocomposite matrices.  However, all existing technologies have limitations that have not facilitated their widespread adoption in commercial composites.  The focus of this research will be to create nanoscale Z-pins located only in the interlaminar region to yield lightweight composites with increased strength and toughness, and ultimately more durable materials.  Unlike existing treatments, the technology proposed here is low cost, environmentally benign, compatible with prepreg processing, can be extended to a production-scale and does not require advanced tooling or resin transfer processes.  In addition to the increased strength offered by the interlaminar treatment, our proposed reinforcement materials could enable multifunctionality by providing embedded strain sensitivity for SHM.

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

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