Define/Demonstrate Beryllium (Be) Substitute Material

Period of Performance: 06/24/2003 - 12/24/2003


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

M Cubed Technologies, Inc.
33 Corporate Drive, Suite 1110
Trumbull, CT 06611
Principal Investigator


An extremely capable team of M Cubed Technologies and Fraunhofer USA is proposing to replace high cost, toxic Be-based metals with innovative, Mg metal matrix composites (MMCs) in stiffness critical structural applications. In short, the program will evaluate processing of Mg MMCs via both pressureless infiltration and squeeze casting. Variables to be studied will include processing parameters, Mg alloy composition, and reinforcement type (e.g., B4C, SiC and Al2O3). In all cases, the reinforcement will be particles (i.e., not fibers) to provide attractive economics and isotropic composites. After fabrication, the novel composites will be characterized and their utility as replacements for Be-based metals will be analyzed. The strengths of the team members will be utilized, such as M Cubed's expertise in developing, characterizing and commercializing advanced materials; and Fraunhofers's expertise in designing new materials and working with an international network of Universities and labs to understand material behavior and optimize performance. The Phase I program will demonstrate the feasibility of producing low cost, high performance Mg MMCs as replacements for Be-based metals. In a subsequent Phase II program, processing parameters will be optimized, a full compliment of property data will be generated, and a full-scale demonstration component will be fabricated for MDA. Military and commercial applications for cost effective, light weight, high performance materials to replace Be-based metals abound, including space structures, airframe components, mirror supports, and stages for semiconductor manufacturing.