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Efficient On-Aircraft Composite Repair Process Requiring Minimal Support Equipment

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Navy
Contract: N68335-23-C-0004
Agency Tracking Number: N161-017-0384a
Amount: $899,998.00
Phase: Phase II
Program: SBIR
Solicitation Topic Code: N161-017
Solicitation Number: 16.1
Timeline
Solicitation Year: 2016
Award Year: 2023
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2022-10-24
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2024-09-24
Small Business Information
706 Forest Street, Suite A
Charlottesville, VA 22903-5231
United States
DUNS: 142252225
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: No
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: No
Principal Investigator
 Daniel Metrey
 (540) 961-4509
 Daniel.Metrey@LunaLabs.us
Business Contact
 Sean Barker
Phone: (434) 220-1549
Email: Sean.Barker@LunaLabs.us
Research Institution
N/A
Abstract

Currently, the Navy uses a Double Vacuum Debulk (DVD) process to repair damaged graphite/epoxy and fiberglass/epoxy composite components. This process is done by impregnating dry fabric with resin, manually laying up the plies, and debulking in a separate piece of support equipment. The debulked ply stack is then placed on the repair area and cured. This process, which limits the size of the repair, is expensive and creates logistical challenges when repairs are needed on aircraft in small detachments. A Navy SBIR contract was awarded for the development of a repair process that provides repair patches of the same or better quality but minimizes required support equipment and is less labor intensive. Through this SBIR project, Luna Labs has developed a wet layup, co-curing, debulk on-part repair procedure that generates superior repair quality. This advanced single vacuum bag process utilizes a novel breathable, resin barrier (BRB) to fabricate high quality aerospace laminates with <1% void volume directly on-site, while eliminating the size restrictions and complexity of the DVD process.  The proposed Phase II.5 will enable formal technical specification and qualification of the co-curing material system and developed repair process. The co-curing system will be incorporated into the National Center for Advanced Materials Performance (NCAMP) database and the BRB readied for commercial purchase as part of the Navy’s Qualified Products List (QPL).

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

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