SBIR Phase II: Innovative Recycled Microballoon Thermoplastic Sandwich Composites
National Science Foundation
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Small Business Information
SIOUX MANUFACTURING CORPORATION
MAIN ST&HWY 57, FORT TOTTEN, ND, 58335-0400
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged:
AbstractThis Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase II project will develop the next generation of lightweight materials by utilizing recycled thermoplastic composites to achieve energy efficiency and impact protection for transportation and residential and commercial building applications. Previous work showed that combining fiberglass and thermoplastic face sheets and syntactic foam produced composite panels with greater impact resistance than plywood with aluminum facing. This work will expand the materials and processing envelope to produce a series of composite panels fabricated from recycled glass-reinforced/thermoplastic face sheets and a syntactic foam core consisting of glass or ceramic microspheres and regrind or virgin polymer. The use of hollow microspheres allows the achievement of both low weight and high impact strength while using low-cost extrusion-compression processing techniques. This configuration can be readily tailored to produce panel applications as varied as truck trailer bodies or for protection against flying debris caused by hurricane-force winds. The broader impacts of this research are the increased use of recycled materials to decrease the weight of commercial transport vehicles, resulting in increased fuel economy and decreased degradation of roadways and bridges. Also, improved systems for impact protection during hurricanes will result in less damage to commercial and residential structures and the loss of fewer lives. The technology of combining hollow ceramic microspheres from the ash of power plants with re-ground polymer waste will produce a material with unique properties that can be applied to a variety of commercial applications.
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