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Additive Manufacturing of PEEK and Fiber-Reinforced PEEK for NASA Applications and Custom Medical Devices

Award Information
Agency: National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Branch: N/A
Contract: 80NSSC18P1982
Agency Tracking Number: 181165
Amount: $124,983.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Solicitation Topic Code: H7
Solicitation Number: SBIR_18_P1
Solicitation Year: 2018
Award Year: 2018
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2018-07-27
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2019-02-15
Small Business Information
310 Rolling Ridge Drive
Bellefonte, PA 16823-8445
United States
DUNS: 791379030
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: Yes
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: No
Principal Investigator
 Roger Bagwell
 (814) 355-0003
Business Contact
 Chris Lahr
Phone: (814) 355-0003
Research Institution

There is a significant gap between the properties of materials that are produced using the current 3D printing processes and the properties that are needed to support critical space systems.  The polyetherimide/polycarbonate (PEI/PC) composite recently demonstrated on the ISS is a significant step forward in development, however, FDM with PEI/PC represents the current practical limits of AM in space due to the temperature requirements to produce other materialsIn this Phase I SBIR, AMI, an ISO 13485-Certified (FDA GMP Compliant) Medical Device Developer and Manufacturer, will partner with PSU professors Dr. Michael Hickner of the Center for Innovative Materials Processing through Direct Digital Deposition (CIMP-3D) and Dr. Benjamin Lear, Associate Professor of Chemistry to develop, test, and commercialize a carbon fiber reinforced (CFR) PEEK composite feedstock with improved deposition and strength through focused photothermal polymerization.  Polymics Inc, a local company with expertise in compounding PEEK, will produce feedstock ready for 3D print.  The project proposed combines three complimentary approaches to achieve additive manufacturing of precision parts with CFR PEEK:

  1. Formulation addition of carbon microfibers to PEEK filament feedstock to increase overall strength.
  2. Modification of carbon microfibers by impregnating/coating gold nanoparticles to enable photothermally-enhanced bonding to the previous layer.
  3. Incorporation of a focused laser beam adjacent to the print head to initiate localized photothermal heating and localized additional heating directly at the extrusion exit point.

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

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