SBIR Phase I: Assembly and Repair of Thermoplastic Reinforced Composites

Award Information
Agency: National Science Foundation
Branch: N/A
Contract: 0512869
Agency Tracking Number: 0512869
Amount: $90,879.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2005
Solicitation Year: N/A
Solicitation Topic Code: N/A
Solicitation Number: N/A
Small Business Information
100 Hobson Drive, Hockessin, DE, 19707
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 John Long
 (302) 683-0199
Business Contact
 John Long
Title: Dr
Phone: (302) 683-0199
Research Institution
This Small Business Innovation Research Phase I project will develop a new method of radiation welding of high performance thermoplastic reinforced composites without degrading the core fiber material. Conventional methods of thermal welding of this type of composite cause degradation of the composite core fiber and lose of strength at the welding seam. Two innovative technologies are integrated to accomplish this proposal. The first is the development of a multi-layer thermoplastic reinforced composite structure to insulate the core fiber from heat exposure during welding. The second technology is construction of a welding unit that projects selective near infrared radiation throughout the tertiary structure of the composite interface to weld the composites. The broader impacts of this technology could be the commercialization would be weldable composite technology and a welding that could significantly expand applications of thermoplastic reinforced composites (TRC) by providing a high speed assembly and joining process that can meet mass production requirements. TRC based parts that can reduce weight while maintaining strength, be more easily recycled and be assembled using high speed welding technology will create new product uses in military, commercial and industrial applications. New forms of thin sheet TRC are being integrated into the aerospace manufacturing, especially in construction of high altitude airships and balloons. Automobile manufacturers are seeking light-weight composites that are more easily recycled to reduce the weight requirements while maintaining strength in automobiles. Weldable TRC made with a thermoplastic core fiber can potentially meet these needs. Expanded use of TRC recycled parts will benefit the environment. Longer term, the welding process could provide a new competitive manufacturing technology that could drive job expansion and growth in the U.S. economy.

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

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