Innovative Concepts for Low Cost, Light Weight, Highly Durable, Tooling for Composite Structural Component Fabrication

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Navy
Contract: N68335-12-C-0285
Agency Tracking Number: N121-033-0496
Amount: $79,768.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2012
Solicitation Year: 2012
Solicitation Topic Code: N121-033
Solicitation Number: 2012.1
Small Business Information
320 Rutledge Road, Fletcher, NC, -
DUNS: 186976846
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Mark Janney
 Chief Scientist
 (828) 651-9646
Business Contact
 James Stike
Title: CEO
Phone: (828) 651-9646
Research Institution
This project will develop a low-cost tooling system for prepreg composite molding capable of processing epoxy-and BMI- matrix composites at temperatures of 400F (205C). Such a tooling system would be applicable to advanced airframe components including both military applications and commercial applications. We have identified a family of composite materials based on Ultra High Performance Fiber Reinforced Concrete (UHPFRC) that has the potential to fulfill all of the requirements of a tooling system form molding epoxy-and BMI- matrix composites. Most importantly, the cost of the raw materials and of the processing that goes into the fabrication of near-net-shape tools made from UHPFRC is very low compared with the costs for Invar or for carbon fiber composite tooling. We estimate that the cost of UHPFRC composite tooling could be 10 to 20% the cost of Invar and carbon fiber composite tooling. We are confident that once acceptable formulations (based on their strength, stiffness, thermal expansion, durability, and achievable tolerances) are developed, the cost of making UHPFRC tools will be low enough to be a"game changer"regarding how air vehicle composite parts made by lay-up and autoclave curing are developed and fabricated.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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