Energy Savings Processing of Highly Competitive Novel Composite Matrix
Small Business Information
Touchstone Research Laboratory, Ltd.
The Millennium Centre, 1142 Middle Creek Road, Triadelphia, WV, -
AbstractBecause of their high strength-to-weight ratios, engineered polymers are often used as substitutes for structural members in various applications in aerospace markets due to their reduced fuel consumption; however, high materials and fabrication costs make them cost-prohibitive for wide-spread commercial use, where their significant energy savings potential can have an impact. The technology proposed herein utilizes alternative materials and processing methods that will drastically reduce costs but which will also yield some superior product properties. Significant advancements have been made in material development of resins and carbon fibers. The proposed work capitalizes on recent advances in material development in conjunction with innovative processing to yield a superior material.Commercial Applications and Other Benefits: Initial material trials were conducted to determine the feasibility for the commercial aviation industry. This trial was a low-budget effort due to funding constraints and did not incorporate ideal processing technology and, therefore, the material properties of the composite were impacted. However, a material characterization was performed and yielded remarkable properties that would have widespread commercial application across the transportation industry. The novel material can be superior to common metals such as stainless steel, carbon steel, and aluminum when strength-to-weight is important. It is lighter, stronger, and has a lower strength per unit cost. Its material properties approach high-end, autoclave-processed composites but at a small fraction of the traditional cost and energy consumption.
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