SBIR Phase I: Self-Reinforced Materials for Rapid-Prototyping of High-Integrity Components

Award Information
Agency:
National Science Foundation
Branch
n/a
Amount:
$99,937.00
Award Year:
2001
Program:
SBIR
Phase:
Phase I
Contract:
0060707
Agency Tracking Number:
0060707
Solicitation Year:
n/a
Solicitation Topic Code:
n/a
Solicitation Number:
n/a
Small Business Information
Mississippi Polymer Technologies, Inc.
Port Bienville Industrial Park, Bay St. Louis, MS, 39520
Hubzone Owned:
N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged:
N
Woman Owned:
N
Duns:
n/a
Principal Investigator:
Robert Gagne
(228) 533-0825
rgagne@MSPolymers.com
Business Contact:
Robert Gagne
President
(228) 533-0825
rgagne@MSPolymers.com
Research Institution:
n/a
Abstract
This Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) Phase I project focuses on rapid prototyping processes involving organic materials that are among the most advanced of such techniques due to the ready processability of resins and polymers. Unfortunately, organic polymers typically do not offer mechanical performance competitive with materials such as metals or ceramics and, therefore, cannot be utilized to directly fabricate high-integrity components. The company has developed unique thermoplastic, self-reinforced polymers (SRPs) with exceptional mechanical strength and stiffness rivaling that of metals and composites. Development of suitable SRP formulations will enable fabrication of low-density, high-integrity components by rapid-prototyping techniques for a variety of relatively low-volume applications including launch vehicles, spacecraft, aircraft, custom commercial products, etc. The focus will be on the development of SRP powders that can be processed by laser sintering techniques into such components. The research will entail preliminary optimization of resin composition (e.g., molecular weight and distribution, melt rheology, additives, etc.) and powder characteristics (e.g., particle size and distribution, bulk density, etc.) to enable effective sintering with high retention of mechanical properties. Initial test coupons will be fabricated at the University of Texas at Austin for evaluation and verification of the proposed innovation. High-performance polymeric powder materials will enable fabrication of low-density, high-integrity components by cost-effective rapid-prototyping techniques for a variety of relatively low-volume applications including launch vehicles, spacecraft, aircraft, custom commercial products, etc. The same resin materials, albeit in pellet rather than powder form, can also be utilized to fabricate similar parts in higher volumes by more conventional extrusion or injection molding techniques.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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