SMP Bladder Tooling for Manufacturing Composites

Award Information
Agency:
National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Branch
n/a
Amount:
$99,994.00
Award Year:
2010
Program:
SBIR
Phase:
Phase I
Contract:
NNX10CF30P
Award Id:
95587
Agency Tracking Number:
094705
Solicitation Year:
n/a
Solicitation Topic Code:
X5
Solicitation Number:
n/a
Small Business Information
2750 Indian Ripple Road, Dayton, OH, 45440
Hubzone Owned:
N
Minority Owned:
N
Woman Owned:
N
Duns:
130020209
Principal Investigator:
Joel Everhart
Principal Investigator
(937) 320-1877
everhartjj@crgrp.com
Business Contact:
Stephen Vining
VP Government Programs
(937) 320-1877
viningsd@crgrp.net
Research Institute:
n/a
Abstract
CRG's shape memory polymer (SMP) Bladder Tooling is a cutting-edge manufacturing technology that can meet the manufacturing needs of the Ares launch vehicles. This process provides labor savings, weight reductions, and reliable manufacturing results for fabricating complex composites. SMP bladder tooling eliminates the transferring process by operating as both a rigid lay-up mandrel and an elastic bladder. Initially, the tooling is a rigid, durable surface for composite lay-up, then when heated during the cure cycle the tooling transitions to a flexible bladder to provide consolidation force. The tooling can then be easily removed from the cured composite while in the elastic state, reformed, and reused for the next part. In addition to increased part quality, SMP bladder tooling can present a significant cost reduction over current manufacturing processes. When comparing SMP bladder tooling with a silicone bladder over a foam insert for manufacturing of an Environmental Control System (ECS) duct, there is a 46% savings over the first three parts and 80% savings over twelve parts. A second cost saving example is the comparison of SMP bladder tooling with washout tooling for the same ECS duct. Cost saving for the first three parts is 40% and 79% over twelve parts.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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