Heated Thermoplastic Fiber Placement Head for NASA Langley Research Center

Award Information
Agency: National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Branch: N/A
Contract: NNL05AA05C
Agency Tracking Number: 034127
Amount: $600,000.00
Phase: Phase II
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2005
Solicitation Year: 2003
Solicitation Topic Code: A4.04
Solicitation Number: N/A
Small Business Information
134 B Sandy Drive, Newark, DE, 19713-1147
DUNS: 960998474
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Mark Gruber
 Principal Investigator
 (302) 369-5390
Business Contact
 Mark Gruber
Title: Business Official
Phone: (302) 369-5390
Email: mgruber@accudyne.com
Research Institution
Reduced-mass polymer composite materials are crucial to the success of aerospace systems for reducing vehicle weight. But, composite material adoption is inhibited because the autoclave consolidation required is prohibitively expensive for the large tanks and skins contemplated in the Next Generation Launch Technology (NGLT) Program. To remedy this, NASA-LaRC has been developing cost-effective, lightweight, high-performance thermoplastic composite materials for years. These materials have the potential to dramatically reduce the cost of large aerospace structures, because they allow processing without resorting to hugely expensive autoclaves. Unfortunately, NASA lacks a robust, cost-effective fabrication process to tape-place these emerging materials into laminates and to build contoured structure, and thus can't evaluate usefulness of NASA materials. This SBIR II program fabricates for NASA-LaRC the automated deposition head successfully designed in the recent SBIR I to complete the tape placement process and in situ consolidation without an autoclave. The composite deposition head, creel, and associated machine and process control system Accudyne will build in Phase II is designed to operate on NASA-LaRC's tape layer. Automated deposition heads can later be sold to industrial companies for existing tape layers and placement machines so that industry can benefit from NASA composite materials by using out-of-the-autoclave thermoplastic tape placement.

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

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