Lightweight Sandwich Structure Panels for Space Applications
Small Business Information
Touchstone Research Laboratory, Ltd.
The Millennium Centre, R.R. 1, Box 100B, Triadelphia, WV, 26059
Abstract"The U.S. Navy is striving to find ways to build more ships for the same dollar and at the same time improve performance. This requires lower ship acquisition and life cycle costs. To achieve these goals, the Navy and its shipbuilders have implementedvarious initiatives, many under the domain of "Lean Manufacturing." The goal is to lower Navy ship acquisition and life cycle costs and simultaneously improve American shipyards' ability to compete internationally. The Navy has identified the need for newtechnology and manufacturing/installation methods for joiner panels, the walls that divide spaces on ships. Touchstone Research has developed a new material, carbon foam, which is an ideal replacement for the current steel, aluminum, and graphite epoxywall material. Touchstone will work with Newport News Shipyard to develop new joiner panel concepts using carbon foam and determine the potential material and labor cost savings to the Navy. Initial research indicates carbon foam wall material will be halfthe current acquisition cost. Touchstone's carbon foam may one day be used on Navy ships for radar absorption, EMI shielding, and blast deflectors on Navy ships and commercially in the housing industry. The Carbon Foam lightweight joiner panel researchwill result in lower ship acquisition and life cycle costs through the introduction of this new material technology. The technology will lend itself to improved ship installation practices in
* information listed above is at the time of submission.