Development of Lightweight and Low Cost Advanced Structural Materials for Off-board Surface Vessels (OBVs)

Award Information
Department of Defense
Award Year:
Phase I
Award Id:
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
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Small Business Information
9063 Bee Caves Road, Austin, TX, 78733
Hubzone Owned:
Minority Owned:
Woman Owned:
Principal Investigator:
Chip Beebe
Principal Investigator
(512) 263-2101
Business Contact:
Monte Fellingham
Contracts Administrator
(512) 263-2101
Research Institute:
Ed Robinson
91 Technology Drive Suite 200
Anderson, SC, 29625
(864) 646-4520
Domestic nonprofit research organization
During Phase I, Texas Research Institute Austin, Inc. (TRI/Austin) will develop new materials to reduce weight on Naval Off Board Vessels (OBVs). TRI/Austin will develop a new composite material for internal OBV applications that is lightweight, durable, fire resistant, and economical. The material system will be capable of withstanding appropriate operational loads and environmental exposures while meeting the fire, smoke, and toxic gas emissions, electromagnetic interference, and dynamic shock requirements at a significantly less weight than traditional alternatives such as aluminum and steel. Advanced resin systems and fiber reinforcements will be selected to meet OBV conceptual design requirements, and manufacturing processes will be developed. TRI/Austin will use the material properties to perform a structural analysis of a conceptual OBV structural component. Based on the resulting test data and analysis, the most appropriate material system will be selected. Material coupons and a demonstration conceptual prototype component will be manufactured and tested for strength, stiffness and fire resistance. An economic analysis will be performed to provide a cost comparison with legacy materials. TRI/Austin will team with the South Carolina Research Association (SCRA), ARL Penn State and Lockheed Martin Maritime and Ship Systems, who will perform systems integration and assist with transition.BENEFITS: In addition to U.S. Navy surface ship and submarine applications there are a number of immediate commercial applications for a cost effective fire resistant composite material in the private sector. Aircraft manufacturers, offshore oil and gas companies and the chemical process industry are potential commercial industries that could benefit from the development of a lightweight, low smoke, strong, flame retardant composite material. The fire resistance and low smoke behavior of composites developed for use in Navy Ships could be used for interior aircraft components such as overhead bins, wall structures, ceilings and floors. New fire resistant low smoke composites could save lives in aircraft fire situations. The off shore oil and gas and chemical process industries could use fire resistant low smoke composite materials in the construction of off shore platforms, and onshore plant buildings and processing structures.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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