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Novel Sacrificial Fibers for Microvascular Composites with Embedded Thermal Management Devices

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Air Force
Contract: FA9550-14-C-0005
Agency Tracking Number: F13A-T09-0038
Amount: $149,891.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: STTR
Solicitation Topic Code: AF13-AT09
Solicitation Number: 2013.
Solicitation Year: 2013
Award Year: 2014
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2014-05-15
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2014-07-01
Small Business Information
Cambridge, MA 02142-1494
United States
DUNS: 604717165
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: No
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: No
Principal Investigator
 Paul Dahlstrand
 Orion Propulsion IPT Lead
 (617) 500-4817
Business Contact
 Scott Hart
Title: Financial Analyst
Phone: (617) 500-4892
Research Institution
 UMASS Lowell
 Christopher Hansen
1 University Avenue
Lowell, MA 01854-5043
United States

 (978) 934-2932
 Nonprofit college or university

ABSTRACT: Aurora will demonstrate on our automated fiber placement (AFP) machine that we are able to lay up composite panels that contain sacrificial fibers that can be thermally decomposed to create a microvascular network of small cavities that allow the panel to act as a heat exchanger. The AFP machine is capable of producing composite parts from mold tools as large as 9"high by 18"wide by 56"long. It lays down an 8"wide swath of composite material at 1500 inches per minute. UMass Lowell (UML) has developed a method to manufacture sacrificial fibers that is 10^5 times faster than prior demonstrations in the literature. These new fibers reduce removal times by 50% and do not require the expensive and toxic chemicals used in traditional manufacturing methods. The UML partners have produced fiber in a wide range of diameters with continuous lengths exceeding hundreds of feet. Aurora and UML will analyze various composite/fiber geometries for thermal and flow characteristics and then fabricate and test those geometries. BENEFIT: Aurora will ultimately have a unique automated capability to design and manufacture heat exchangers embedded within composite structure. Panels could be designed and fabricated as composite aircraft wing skins or fuselage panels that could be used to dissipate aircraft engine heat, payload sensor heat, or avionics heat. These heat exchangers will be lighter weight and lower cost than metallic heat exchangers traditionally used in aircraft. UMass Lowell will have the opportunity to further develop their manufacturing process to produce catalyst-impregnated polylactide filaments in production quantities, allowing their technology approach to be sold or licensed to the fiber extrusion industry.

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

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