Shape Memory Polymer Bladder Tooling

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Navy
Contract: N68335-08-C-0227
Agency Tracking Number: N081-030-0307
Amount: $149,987.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2008
Solicitation Year: 2008
Solicitation Topic Code: N08-030
Solicitation Number: 2008.1
Small Business Information
2750 Indian Ripple Road, Dayton, OH, 45440
DUNS: 130020209
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Ernie Havens
 Chief Engineer
 (937) 320-1877
Business Contact
 Stephen Vining
Title: Director, Government Programs
Phone: (937) 320-1877
Research Institution
Cornerstone Research Group Inc. (CRG) proposes to demonstrate the benefits of shape memory polymer (SMP) bladder tooling for out-of-autoclave composite fabrication. CRG’s SMP bladder tooling is a cutting edge technology that reduces labor costs and manufacturing time for fabricating complex composite parts. Conventional silicone or latex bladders are not rigid enough to support composite lay-up before custom molding. Often material must be applied to the inside of a female mold first, an inflatable bladder inserted, the mold closed, and the bladder pressurized and inflated to consolidate the material against the mold surface. This process is labor intensive, can produce seams, wrinkles and bridging, and often results in inaccurate part shapes. These drawbacks have led to the theory of an inflatable bladder core used as the mandrel, but conventional bladder cores lack the structural integrity required for the composite lay-up process. SMP bladders operate both as rigid mandrels and inflatable bladder cores initially providing a rigid, durable surface for composite lay-up, then flexibility and inflatability when the part is formed against the interior of the final mold.

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

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