FEASIBILITY OF THE USE OF FIBER-REINFORCED SHEETMOLDED THER-MOPLASTICS IN WHEELCHAIR COMPONENTS

Award Information
Agency:
Department of Education
Branch
n/a
Amount:
$30,000.00
Award Year:
1988
Program:
SBIR
Phase:
Phase I
Contract:
n/a
Award Id:
7652
Agency Tracking Number:
7652
Solicitation Year:
n/a
Solicitation Topic Code:
n/a
Solicitation Number:
n/a
Small Business Information
2100 W. Broadway, Suite 11, Eugene, OR, 97402
Hubzone Owned:
N
Minority Owned:
N
Woman Owned:
N
Duns:
n/a
Principal Investigator:
SCOTT F. RANEY
DIRECTOR OF RESEARCH
() -
Business Contact:
() -
Research Institution:
n/a
Abstract
CURRENTLY-AVAILABLE GENERAL-PURPOSE MANUAL WHEELCHAIRS TYPICALLY WEIGH MORE THAN 35 POUNDS. THIS COMMONLY CAUSES FATI- GUE AND DIFFICULTY IN MOBILITY FOR DISABLED PERSONS. POLY- PHENYLINE SULFIDE (PPS) AND J-2 THERMOPLASTIC COMPOSITES RE-INFORCD WITH KEVLAR, GRAPHITE OR FIBERGLASS HAVE QUALITIES THAT CAN SIGNIFICANTLY REDUCE PROBLEMS CAUSED BY WEIGHT. PRIMARILY BECAUSE OF A REPUTATION FOR HIGH TOOLING COSTS AND DIFFICULT FABRICATION METHODS, COMPOSITES HAVE NOT BEEN WIDLEY USED IN WHEELCHAIRS. RATHER, THEY HAVE BEEN USED AS SUBSTITUTES FOR SELECTED COMPONENTS IN MOSTLY-METAL WHEEL- CHAIRS, IN AIRCRAFT WHEECHAIRS AND A FEW AVAILABLE MODELS. OUR SBIR RESEARCH IS INTEDED TO SHOW THAT THE 17-POUND COM- POSITE GENERAL-PURPOSE WHEELCHAIR IS NOT ONLY TECHNICALLY BUT ECONOMICALLY FEASIBLE. FROM 1984 TO 1986, FIBERLITE WORKED SUCCESSFULLY WITH DUPONTCORPORATION, PRODUCING TWO PROTOTYPE GENERAL-PURPOSE WHEEL- CHAIRS WEIGHING 17 POUNDS EACH. THIS RESEARCH PROVIDES THEINITIAL DESIGN AND MATERIALS CHOICE FOR THIS STUDY. WE PRO-POSE TO DETERMINE THE TECHNICAL AND ECONOMIC FEASIBILITY OF BUILDING THE TWO MOST SIGNIFICANT COMPONENTS OF A WHEELCHAIRTHE MAIN FRAME AND DISK WHEELS, FROM PPS AND J-2 THERMOPLAS-TIC COMPOSITES REINFORCED WITH KEVLAR, FIBERGLASS AND GRAPH-ITE. OUR UNIQUE DESIGN AND MANUFACTURING METHODS MAXIMIZE THE BENEFITS OF COMPOSITES, INCORPORATING MANY PARTS AND SUBASSEMBLIES INTO SINGLE COMPONENTS. WE BELIEVE THIS WILL ELIMINATE THE COSTLY MANUFACTURING METHODS THAT HAVE PRE- VENTED COMPOSITE WHEELCHAIRS FROM SUCCESSFULLY COMPETING IN THE MASS MARKET.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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