ROBOTIC WINDING IN A PLASMA SPRAY HIGH TEMPERATURE-VACUUM ENVIRONMENT

Period of Performance: 01/01/1987 - 12/31/1987

$50K

Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

ADC Acquisition CO. DBA Automated Dynami
407 Front Street
Schenectady, NY 12305
Firm POC

Abstract

FABRICATION OF ADVANCED COMPOSITES INCLUDES MANY PROCESSES, SOME ARE AUTOMATED, OTHERS ARE ENTIRELY MANUAL. ROBOTIC WINDING SYSTEMS (ROWS) WAS INVENTED BY THE PRINCIPLEINVESTIGATOR IN AN ATTEMPT TO CREATE AN AUTOMATED TECHNIQUE OF LAYING UP PRE-IMPREGNATED MATERIAL AROUND A FORM WITH COMPLEX SHAPE. CONVENTIONAL WINDING EQUIPMENT REQUIRES THE MANDREL TO ROTATE WHILE THE MATERIAL IS DRAGGED ALONG THE AXIS OF SYMMETRY. BY MAINTAINING A STATIONARY MANDREL, FILAMENT PLACEMENT, AS COMPARED TO DRAGGING FILAMENT, IS A MORE PRECISE PROCESS. DURING DEVELOPMENT OF THIS TECHNIQUE FOR PRE-IMPREGNATED THERMOSETTING MATERIALS, THE PRINCIPLE INVESTIGATOR WAS EXPOSED TO AN EXCITING PROCESS AT THE GENERAL ELECTRIC R&D CENTER OF USING A PLASMA-SPRAY MATERIAL DEPOSITION TECHNIQUE IN A HIGH TEMPERATURE VACUUM VESSEL. THE INNOVATION DESCRIBED IN THIS PROPOSAL IS A MARRIAGE OF THE TWO PROCESSES. ROWS OFFERS A METHOD OF REINFORCING STRUCTURAL COMPONENTS WITH SIC AND SI3N4 CERAMIC FILAMENTS WHILE USING METAL MATERIALS PROCESSED WITH RAPID SOLIDIFICATION PLASMA DEPOSITION. THIS PROGRAM WILL ESTABLISH THE FEASIBILITY OF THIS PROCESS BY EVALUATING THE PROCESS PARAMETERS. BY BUILDING A MECHANISM AND DEMONSTRATING REINFORCED MATERIALS BEING WOUND DIRECTLY INSIDE THIS HIGH TEMPERATURE VACUUM ENVIRONMENT, THE INNOVATIVE PROCESS WILL RESULT IN A TECHNIQUE TO FABRICATE COMPLEX SHAPES IN VOID-FREE SPACE UNDER PRECISELY CONTROLLED CONDITIONS.