SBIR Phase II: Development of a Selectively Reinforced Aluminum Composite Brake Rotor

Award Information
Agency: National Science Foundation
Branch: N/A
Contract: 1330146
Agency Tracking Number: 1330146
Amount: $487,836.00
Phase: Phase II
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2013
Solicitation Year: 2013
Solicitation Topic Code: NM
Solicitation Number: N/A
Small Business Information
REL, Inc.
57640 North Eleventh Street, Calumet, MI, 49913-3118
DUNS: 829921134
HUBZone Owned: Y
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Josh Loukus
 (906) 337-3018
 josh@relinc.net
Business Contact
 Josh Loukus
Phone: (906) 337-3018
Email: josh@relinc.net
Research Institution
 Stub
Abstract
This Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase II project is focused on developing a one-piece functionally graded hybrid (fiber/particle) reinforced aluminum alloy matrix automobile brake rotor. Composite brake rotors offer increased weight savings, higher braking performance, and increased component life. Current composite rotors on the market have a cost barrier, which limits mass production on high-production vehicle platforms. This project will assist in the deployment of a one-piece, hybrid reinforced rotor. These rotors will utilize functional reinforcement gradient (FRG) technology across the braking surface and macro-interfaces. The technology development work requires addressing challenges related to the development of our squeeze casting process, die and preform design, and controlling the microstructure/properties of the aforementioned surfaces and interfaces. The proposed work will extend the current state of the art one-dimensional FRG technology to a higher-order gradient, specific to a vented one-piece rotor for a vehicle application. The broader impact/commercial potential of this project includes increased mass efficiency in all transportation vehicles. The project findings will address a multi-billion dollar automotive brake market but also can be leveraged across multiple other vehicle platforms. The technology can be also used in both structural and drivetrain applications further increasing fuel efficiency, reducing fuel emissions, and reducing lifecycle costs of vehicular components. Composite components in ancillary markets such as the military and trucking will also benefit from the customizability of material properties with the FRG technology. Increasing the agility of military vehicles for the Warfighter, reduction of in-theatre operating/maintenance costs, and rolling weight reduction in class 8 vehicles are examples of realized project benefits.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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