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Design and Optimization Toolkit for Advanced Tailorable Composites

Award Information
Agency: National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Branch: N/A
Contract: 80NSSC22PA979
Agency Tracking Number: 221523
Amount: $149,977.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: STTR
Solicitation Topic Code: T12
Solicitation Number: STTR_22_P1
Solicitation Year: 2022
Award Year: 2022
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2022-07-22
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2023-08-25
Small Business Information
6820 Moquin Drive NorthWest
Huntsville, AL 35806-2900
United States
DUNS: 185169620
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: No
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: No
Principal Investigator
 Rae Waxman
 (256) 726-4800
Business Contact
 Silvia Harvey
Phone: (256) 715-6918
Research Institution
 University of Dayton Research Institute
300 College Park
Dayton, OH 45469-0101
United States

 Nonprofit College or University

Lightweight, advanced structural materials are needed to enable affordable space exploration beyond lower Earth orbit. Composites have been studied and used for these applications for decades, but are still limited to off-optimal, quasi-isotropic designs. Integration of dissimilar fiber layups and novel matrix materials in the composite structure can lead to significant improvements in material properties and performance. However, there is currently no commercial tool to evaluate and design advanced highly tailorable composites with optimal load paths and minimized thermal expansion coefficients.In the proposed effort, CFD Research and University of Dayton Research Institute (UDRI) will develop a dual-mode finite element method-based composites design toolkit to model and predict material performance based on various input parameters and loading conditions. Relevant material systems and demonstration cases will be selected in consultation with NASA. Complex mesh generation will be performed in Python, and thermo-structural modeling will be conducted in a well-established FEM software. The toolkit will be flexible, modular, and adopt and open architecture to provide insight into the workflow. Two modes of operation will be enabled: manual parameter selection by the user; and an automated optimization mode, that reads in parameters and constraints from the users, and then performs sensitivity analysis and optimization across the design space.In Phase I, we will develop the modeling framework and demonstrate key functionality on a representative case. During Phase II, the team will incorporate a detailed composites processing modeling software for more realistic fiber architectures and to assess manufacturability and processing conditions. We will perform microscale damage analysis, and upscale and homogenize material modeling to capture the component or part scale performance under use conditions as part of the overall design workflow.

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

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