2.BIR Phase I: Net-Shape Directionally Reinforced Structural Foams with High Temperature Mechanical Properties

Period of Performance: 01/01/2008 - 12/31/2008

$100K

Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Wright Materials Research CO.
1187 Richfield Center
Beavercreek, OH 45430
Principal Investigator

Abstract

This Small Business Innovation Research Phase I project will develop a family of high temperature closed-cell polymer foams from liquid crystalline polymers (LCPs) by a net-shape foaming technique. The proposed low-density LCP composite foams will be processed with directional reinforcements. This innovative material will possess superior structural properties at room or elevated temperatures, and will be fire retardant, moisture resistant, and chemical resistant. Most structural components in aircraft, ground vehicles, and space structures have complex shapes. Currently, they are fabricated in a block form and machined into the desired shapes. The machining cost (over 80% of the total cost) and the material waste are big factors in the overall acquisition cost. The polymer foams used for the sandwich structures are lack of high temperature mechanical properties that are desired for aerospace and numerous high-end applications. Commercial applications of the net-shape LCP foams would include sandwich structures, aircraft and aerospace structures, shock absorbers, landing pads, buildings and bridges, off-shore structures, large vehicle components for trucks (like bumpers, fenders, and side-wall interiors), buses, trains, wind turbine blades, sound barriers, vibration suppression media, off-shore constructions, services vessels and platforms. Specific ground vehicles applications may include padding in doors, behind headliners, knee bolsters and under steering columns for knee impact protection, in the foot well area, and bumpers for pedestrian protection. Specific aircraft applications may