SMP Bladder Tooling for Manufacturing Composites

Award Information
Agency: National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Branch: N/A
Contract: NNX10CF30P
Agency Tracking Number: 094705
Amount: $99,994.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2010
Solicitation Year: 2009
Solicitation Topic Code: X5.03
Solicitation Number: N/A
Small Business Information
Cornerstone Research Group, Inc.
2750 Indian Ripple Road, Dayton, OH, 45440-3638
DUNS: 130020209
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Joel Everhart
 Principal Investigator
 (937) 320-1877
Business Contact
 Stephen Vining
Title: VP Government Programs
Phone: (937) 320-1877
Research Institution
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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