Built-In Damage State Detection and Localization Capabilities for Composite Engine Structures

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Air Force
Contract: FA8650-10-M-2092
Agency Tracking Number: F093-179-1089
Amount: $100,000.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2010
Solicitation Year: 2009
Solicitation Topic Code: AF093-179
Solicitation Number: 2009.3
Small Business Information
Texas Research Institute Austin, Inc.
9063 Bee Caves Road, Austin, TX, 78733
DUNS: 625120902
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Russell Austin
 Principal Investigator
 (512) 263-2101
Business Contact
 Monte Fellingham
Title: Contracts Administrator
Phone: (512) 263-2101
Email: mfellingham@tri-austin.com
Research Institution
Organic matrix and ceramic matrix composite (OMC and CMC) structures used in critical areas such as around engine inlets and exhaust wash structures are known to fail through both hygrothermal and oxidative degradation. Without a reliable means of monitoring the health of these high-temperature composites, degradation can seriously impact an aircraft’s state of readiness. At the same time, time-based maintenance in which parts are replaced on a schedule whether they need it or not is prohibitively expensive, with some structures seeing an expected service life of 100 hours or less. TRI/Austin proposes to develop a structural health monitoring (SHM) solution capable of monitoring the health of these high temperature composites in-situ. In Phase I a prototype SHM system will be built and sample OMCs will be subjected to a damage. The prototype SHM will be used to monitor the samples and its ability to gauge the health and remaining useful life (RUL) will be assessed. BENEFIT: The proposed system permits a shift from conventional time-based maintenance to the more cost-effective condition-based maintenance in which a part is retired only as required. This in turn may extend the service life of composite parts used around engine inlets, exhaust wash structures, and other critical areas. The ruggedization and miniaturization of an embedded health monitor for high temperature applications could be used by fixed wing and rotor wing aircraft, large land vehicles, power generation turbines, and the chemical process industry.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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