A Low Cost Rapid Manufacturing Process for Advanced Composite and Functionally Graded Structures

Award Information
Agency:
Department of Defense
Branch
Navy
Amount:
$70,000.00
Award Year:
2003
Program:
STTR
Phase:
Phase I
Contract:
N00014-03-M-0272
Award Id:
65152
Agency Tracking Number:
N033-0332
Solicitation Year:
n/a
Solicitation Topic Code:
n/a
Solicitation Number:
n/a
Small Business Information
Materials & Electrochemical Research (Mer) Co (Currently Materials & Electrochemical Research (ME)
7960 S. Kolb Rd., Tucson, AZ, 85706
Hubzone Owned:
N
Minority Owned:
N
Woman Owned:
N
Duns:
147518286
Principal Investigator:
Roger Storm
Principal Investigator
(520) 574-1980
rstorm@mercorp.com
Business Contact:
James Withers
CEO
(520) 574-1980
jcwithers@mercorp.com
Research Institution:
PENN STATE
Eric J Whitney
ARL Penn State, P.O. Box 30
State College, PA, 16804
(814) 865-3916
Nonprofit college or university
Abstract
The development of 3D rapid prototyping processes have demonstrated their value in reducing the time required to transition from a design to prototype components. Another significant benefit of the rapid prototyping processes is their capability toproduce tailored microstructures and obtain excellent mechanical properties relative to standard manufacturing techniques. Production of composite microstructures as well as functionally graded layers offers the potential for a dramatic revolution incomponent performance. However the 3D rapid prototyping processes, which generally employ lasers as the energy source, have been found lacking in terms of scale up to manufacturing due to the very high cost of purchasing and operating the laser basedsystems coupled with low build rates. This program will demonstrate plasma transferred arc solid free form fabrication (PTA SFFF) as a rapid manufacturing process that addresses the concerns of high operating cost and low build rates through the teaming ofMER Corporation and Penn State. New composite and functionally graded structures will be demonstrated and characterized. A SPU stator vane will be produced utilizing the PTA SFFF process and its enhanced properties and substantially lower cost will beverified in comparison to the laser forming system. MER has the PTA SFFF equipment and facilities in place to transition from prototype development to rapid manufacturing of advanced composite structures. The low capital and operating cost of thismanufacturing technology has placed MER in a unique position to commercialize component manufacture for both defense and commercial applications.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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