SBIR Phase I: Fast Cycle Mfg Process For Advanced Composites

Award Information
National Science Foundation
Award Year:
Phase I
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
Solicitation Topic Code:
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
Global Composite Solutions, Inc.
100 W. Big Beaver Rd, #200, Troy, MI, 48084-5283
Hubzone Owned:
Minority Owned:
Woman Owned:
Principal Investigator:
Nippani Rao
(313) 982-1435
Business Contact:
Nippani Rao
(313) 982-1435
Research Institution:

This Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase I project will develop a non-autoclave, fast manufacturing process for multi-layer advanced composites. The process is suitable for low to medium volumes under 50,000 units per year in broad based manufacturing. The process fills the gap between low volume RTM (Resin Transfer Molding) and high volume SMC (Sheet Molding Compound) from the productivity standpoint. Glass, carbon or other reinforcing fibers can be used with this process, providing higher mechanical properties than conventional RTM. The proposed C3M process will provide lower manufacturing costs for a number of industries where cost, weight and strength are all critical factors. Applications for the C3M process cross several different markets. The success of this project will speed the introduction of lightweight structural composites into the broad spectrum of transportation vehicles (air, train, auto, truck) as well as energy alternatives (windmills) by lowering costs through shorter cycle times, lower energy consumption for carbon fiber products and improved performance for glass fiber products. The commercial potential of this project is a breakthrough technology for the volume market production of light weight interior and exterior structures across all sectors of the transportation, defense, alternative energy and other industries. It will increase the competitiveness of the US composite manufacturing and transportation industries. The process can be used to produce many components now made with RTM and RTM like processes, leading to significant energy and cost savings. The process reduced scrap will reduce landfill usage and help to maintain a cleaner environment. Lighter more fuel efficient cars, electric cars, lightweight rail systems, and mass transit highlight the opportunities for more efficient, cost effective manufacturing processes for advanced composites. In the automotive industry, it is generally agreed that a 10% weight reduction improves fuel efficiency by 5-7%. Even a 1% reduction of a vehicle by the proposed process will translate to an average of 600,000 million gallons per year or energy savings of 6.9 trillion Btu/year, providing cost savings of $1.3 billion/year at $2.50/gallon plus less dependence on oil and fewer CO2 emissions. This process is considered a paradigm shift in the industry which will help companies design and produce components not possible before.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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