Development of a New Composite Manufacturing Process for Special Forces Maritime Craft
Small Business Information
7705 Technology Drive, West Melbourne, FL, 32904
Ronnal P. Reichard, Ph.d.
AbstractNavy Special Operation Forces have a demonstrated mission need for low observable, lightweight, high performance platforms. Many of these platforms are ideally suited to the use of composite materials. Structural Composites, Inc. is proposing to combine an innovative composite manufacturing technology developed for the Navy with a new preform technology being used by the recreational boat industry to produce integrated framed structures made during a single cure cycle. These structures will be optimized to produce a light-weight, rugged, reproduce-able components that can physically and mechanically withstand the operational environment better than present systems. The proposed manufacturing process will expand Resin Injection Recirculation Molding (RIRM), a closed molding process developed for the Navy to manufacture high quality, dimensionally consistent composite structures in a cost effective manner. This will be achieved through the incorporation of an innovative patented preform framing system called PRISMA into the RIRM process. The preforms are manufactured by casting a fiberglass fabric into shape using an expanding foam. The technology offers a very low cost alternative to sandwich construction resulting in a structure that is more shock resistant and damage tolerant.
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