A Kenaf Fiber Based End-Grain Sandwich Core Material for Composites

Award Information
Agency: Department of Agriculture
Branch: N/A
Contract: 2002-33610-11879
Agency Tracking Number: 2002-00421
Amount: $79,600.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2002
Solicitation Year: N/A
Solicitation Topic Code: N/A
Solicitation Number: N/A
Small Business Information
1001 Chalkstone Drive, Mitchell, SD, 57301
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Dale Ryan
 (605) 996-3903
Business Contact
 John Sij
Title: Professor of Research
Phone: (940) 552-9941
Email: j-sij@tamu.edu
Research Institution
The high cost of core material in the composites industry remains a significant barrier to expansion. Composite projects, designed to replace metal, concrete, or wood, especially large projects such as bridge decks, regularly fail when it comes to cost analysis. The composites industry, for fifty years, has relied upon end-grain balsa wood core, due to its strength and low weight, as the material of choice. Balsa average 9 lbs/cubic foot density whereas other woods are 30 lbs. cu. ft. and up, the kenaf inner fiber is seven to eight lbs/cubic foot and a fraction of the price of balsa. A Kenaf-based core provides "balsa-like" inner fibers, and when the sticks are pressed and borded they become a very strong "end-grained" block. The resulting core appears to be stronger than balsa in compression and "core-shear" due to the smaller diameter sticks. Core shear is the all-important test when one evaluates the dynamic behavior of a composite sandwich cored structure, and load-carrying ability in compression determines the overall strength of the sandwich-cored part. The proposed project shall demonstrate the feasibility of this material as a composite sandwich core.

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

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