SBIR Phase II: Protective Metal Foam Hybrid Composites
Small Business Information
Main Street, Fort Totten, ND, 58335
AbstractThis Small Business Innovation Research Phase II project will develop a low-cost manufacturing processes for multifunctional composite materials that have specific air and ground transportation applications. Existing materials designed to protect against explosions or impacts tend to be heavy and to be appendages on structural systems. The new materials, which consist of an aluminum foam surrounded by facing plies of resin-infused glass, carbon, or aramid, will be light weight and designed to integrate affordability and functionality. Innovative manufacturing methods, using out-of-autoclave processes that are derivatives of liquid molding approaches, will be developed to incorporate automation to improve quality and decrease processing time. A number of fiber-ply/foam combinations will be fabricated with a focus on manufacturing a container for explosives transport and on a hardened aircraft door. Prototypes will be fabricated for customer testing. The improved processing and unique properties are expected to lead to a variety of other applications. These applications of aluminium foam core composites for making protective structures will meet the national need for materials that provide increased protection and security. The market for protective materials is expected to grow, and is already a sizeable $150 - $200 million per year.
* information listed above is at the time of submission.