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High Speed CMC Laser Machining

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Navy
Contract: N00014-06-M-0294
Agency Tracking Number: N064-012-0282
Amount: $99,852.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: STTR
Solicitation Topic Code: N06-T012
Solicitation Number: N/A
Solicitation Year: 2006
Award Year: 2006
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2006-08-21
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2007-06-21
Small Business Information
20 New England Business Center
Andover, MA 01810
United States
DUNS: 073800062
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: No
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: No
Principal Investigator
 John Steinbeck
 Principal Research Scient
 (978) 689-0003
Business Contact
 B. Green
Title: President, R&D Operations
Phone: (978) 689-0003
Research Institution
 Kevin L White
Electro-Optics Center 222 Nort
Freeport, PA 16229
United States

 (724) 295-7019
 Nonprofit College or University

Physical Sciences Inc. (PSI) proposes to develop a high speed laser machining process for ceramic matrix composites. The recent development of high rate, high pulse power lasers and the non-contact nature of the PSI process minimize the damage typical of other laser machining processes. It also enables precise placement of through holes, trenches and identification markings. The goal of the Phase I SBIR is to demonstrate the feasibility of a high speed, low cost laser machining process for ceramic matrix composites that . 1) Can machine features in CMCs with high precision. 2) Leaves a machined surface with a surface roughness less than 5 microns. 3) Increases finishing tool life by 100 times. 4) Does not degrade the mechanical strength of the machined part. 5) Can be scaled-up to cut component machining in half. During the Phase I project we will demonstrate the feasibility of the laser machining process by machining holes, countersunk holes and grooves in ceramic matrix composite panels. We will show that the minimal damage induced in the CMC enables the mechanical strength of the material in the machined component to be the same as that of the as fabricated composite. BENEFITS: The development of a high speed laser machining process for ceramic matrix composites will accelerate the use of CMCs in aerospace systems. The low cost, high speed laser machining process will reduce the overall cost of complex CMC components and make CMCs competitive with nickel superalloys in turbine engine systems.

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

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