SBIR: Innovative Recycled Microballoon Thermoplastic Sandwich Composites

Period of Performance: 01/01/2009 - 12/31/2009


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Fort Totten, ND 58335
Principal Investigator


This Small Business Innovation Research Phase I project applies to material and process development of products from scrap (recycled) thermoplastic composite materials with microballoon fillers. Thermoplastics have superior strength, stiffness, impact energy absorption capacity, low cost and are readily recycled. Sandwich composite materials will be produced with recycled polypropylene syntactic microballoons and power plan derivate flyash microballoons. A sandwich composite is structurally efficient because it comprises a lightweight core that resists shear forces, bounded by stiff/strong facesheets that resist bending forces, and the above constituents will produce structures of superior specific strength and stiffness. The research objectives are to: (a) investigate the processing aspects of microballoon thermoplastics; (b) develop facesheets from recycled and sustainable thermoplastic composite scrap; (c) develop sandwich constructions with the recycled thermoplastic facesheets in conjunction with microballoon core materials, and (d) characterize thermal and mechanical properties of the sandwich composite panels. The results from these finding will establish design-process-performance windows to produce panels and intermediate forms to utilize recycled thermoplastic microballoon materials in semi-structural and structural applications. The ability to process recycled thermoplastic materials, syntactic foams and power plant waste derivative fly ash will create commercial value