Self-repairing Composites for Airplane Components

Award Information
Agency:
Department of Defense
Branch
Air Force
Amount:
$99,998.00
Award Year:
2003
Program:
SBIR
Phase:
Phase I
Contract:
F33615-03-M-3341
Award Id:
62559
Agency Tracking Number:
F031-1888
Solicitation Year:
n/a
Solicitation Topic Code:
n/a
Solicitation Number:
n/a
Small Business Information
1605 Park Haven Drive, Champaign, IL, 61820
Hubzone Owned:
N
Minority Owned:
N
Woman Owned:
N
Duns:
023802098
Principal Investigator:
Carolyn Dry
President
(217) 359-6916
drycementmixer@aol.com
Business Contact:
Carolyn Dry
President
(217) 359-6916
drycementmixer@aol.com
Research Institution:
n/a
Abstract
Composites are used in the F/A 18 which has 50% of its skin in composite material. Other planes with high composite usage are the F-18, the B-1B bomber, F-14A, F-a6 and Navy V-22. The use of composites in airplane components provides significant weightreduction (40%) over metals. Reliability, in an all-composite airplane component, relates to the ability to eliminate damage before it can lead to catastrophic failure. The proposed self-healing technology will successfully repair microcracks, as well asother damages. The only reliable fail-safe mode for response of composite components to damage in airplane composites is to repair instantaneously, where and when damage occurs, before it progresses. The performance improvement of these combinedtechnologies, of self-repairing composite airplane components, will be significant. Natural Process Design will partner with GMI Composites, known for their work on composite components for airplane use, to demonstrate self-repair in an airplane compositecomponents or in the wing area. The use of composite technology with the integration of self healing methods has already been proposed and accepted as a viable premise for airplane component development. It will result in the potential incorporation ofthese technologies for the ground support systems, for the airborne transportation systems and also for some of the current airborne systems. The overall weight reduction is the primary technology advantage for use of composite systems.The obvious benefits of self-repairing technology at the subsystem component level will be in the fail-safe confidence of using self repairing composites to eliminate the potential for microcracking, impact and handling damage and later failures. Also thepayoff in the use of composite technology and self-healing methods for overall system use is the potential for self-repairing composite wing sections.The commercial uses will be in commercial airplanes wherever composites are used. Industries with severe reliability requirements, such as transportation, would benefit from self-repairing technology.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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