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Innovative Light Weight Composite Cargo Floor for CH53K – Cost Effective Producibility-Design & weight optimization

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Navy
Contract: N68335-22-C-0024
Agency Tracking Number: N142-103-0343a
Amount: $399,954.00
Phase: Phase II
Program: SBIR
Solicitation Topic Code: N142-103
Solicitation Number: 14.2
Solicitation Year: 2014
Award Year: 2022
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2021-10-12
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2023-04-12
Small Business Information
344 West Penn Street
Long Beach, NY 11561-1111
United States
DUNS: 079414585
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: No
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: No
Principal Investigator
 Joseph Bruno
 (631) 405-9916
Business Contact
 Max Gross
Phone: (516) 543-2184
Research Institution

Weight optimization is a critical aspect of aircraft and rotorcraft performance. The use of light Composite structures in air-vehicles was born as a result of the ongoing quest to improve performance of air-vehicle primary mission disciplines such as increased range, increased payload and reduction in fuel consumptions. The last 40 years have seen a surge in light weight composite structure usage in aircraft and helicopters, to the point that today most new aircraft airframe design consists of 50% to 70% composite structure by weight, in the form of Graphite/Epoxy & Glass/Epoxy materials. However, the application of such materials in highly loaded areas, or/and are subject to high impact-loading remained the domain of metallic design. The advancement in the Thermoplastic resin materials, that have a good impact resistance when used as prepreg material with Carbon and Glass has been applied to aircraft components that were traditionally metallic designs, such as leading edges of wings and control surfaces as well as jet engine intakes (susceptible to bird strikes). Nevertheless, use of Composite materials in heavy impact areas in conjunction with highly concentrated loads remained the domain of the metallic world. SciMax has developed and demonstrated Thermoplastic prepreg materials in a tailored design configuration that enables it to withstand highly concentrated static and dynamic loads in conjunction with extreme impact resistance that will allow its use in aircraft cargo-floor applications, and thereby further reduce the weight of the aircraft, increasing its overall performance. The initial phases of SciMax programs demonstrated excellent performance in panels developed per the CH53K Cargo-Floor performance criteria. The issue today is to optimize the design that allow further weight reduction, through performance validation. The task at hand is to complete the development of a full-scale simulated cargo floor panel made from Carbon/PEEK and Glass PEEK (PEEK=Polyetheretherketone) to Validate its weight savings and integrity via static, endurance & impact loading tests. Following a successful testing period, the effort will move on to development of an actual CH53K floor panel floor that will incorporate, further weight optimization and producibility methodology, that will be geared for future production. SciMax has projected a minimum of 30% weight reduction by switching from the metallic design to TP composite. Our current weight saving projections based on actual fabrication and testing to date is in the 38% to 42% weight savings. This can result in a 350Lb. to 400 Lb. in weight savings per helicopter Another important and critical aspect of the proposed effort is the producibility of the cargo flooring for production. The improved producibility design includes a SciMax developed 3D press process that can be accomplished with standard high temperature 2D Press, this will be demonstrated in Task 2 of Phase-II Base of the program.

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

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