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SBIR Phase I:Fast and low-energy manufacturing of high-performance, fiber-reinforced composites
Phone: (917) 515-7345
Phone: (917) 515-7345
The broader impact/commercial potential of this Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase I project will establish the thermal and mechanical limits of novel, fiber-reinforced, plastic composite materials (FRPs) and pioneer a fast-manufacturing process for these FRPs. FRPs have the potential to achieve significant lightweighting and subsequent greenhouse gas emissions reductions by displacing steel and aluminum in many industries including aerospace, automotive, construction, infrastructure, marine, and wind energy. However, difficulties in their processing and slow production have made FRPs too expensive for widespread adoption. If successful, the proposed project will enable FRP adoption in more price-sensitive industries such as automotive and infrastructure for widespread greenhouse gas emissions reductions. A shorter-term market that can be addressed with this technology is the FRP mold market. FRP molds are used to make FRPs but are also themselves made of FRPs. Cheaper FRP molds with shorter lead times are a major need for manufacturers. The domestic market for mold making was estimated to be $21.6 billion in 2020. As the FRP market continues to grow, the mold making market is expected to grow in kind. _x000D_
The intellectual merit of this project includes new, fiber-reinforced, plastic composite materials (FRPs), associated manufacturing processes, and methods of optimization thereof. The core innovation is resin chemistry with a unique form of low energy, rapid curing. This project will be the first critical step in developing new manufacturing processes that exploit this curing phenomenon for faster, cheaper FRP fabrication. This Phase I research is split into three stages. In stage 1, the effect of different resin components on the final thermal and mechanical properties of the FRP parts will be evaluated. In stage 2, a prototype system will be developed for fast fabrication of large test specimens. Common failure modes will be understood, and optimal processing conditions will be determined. In stage 3, different form factors of fiber fillers will be used. This project will establish the fundamentals and common failure modes of a novel, more efficient FRP manufacturing process._x000D_
This award reflects NSF's statutory mission and has been deemed worthy of support through evaluation using the Foundation's intellectual merit and broader impacts review criteria.
* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *