Affordable Reinforced Polymer Composite Structures with embedded electrical interfaces

Period of Performance: 03/06/2013 - 09/06/2013

$100K

Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Taylor & Lego Holdings, LLC / Rapid Comp
34655 State Road 70 E.
Myakka City, FL 34251
Principal Investigator

Abstract

This proposal details inventive ways for developing affordable reinforced polymer structures with embedded electrical interfaces. Recent developments in the use of advanced composites for rapidly fabricating cylindrical missile shells have shown that it is possible to incorporate complex circuitry into the missile skins. Illustrations are provided that demonstrate significant increases in the strength of a missile section by adding power rails, specifically designed to enhance the bend and fracture toughness of the missile shell while providing high current carrying capability. The technology described herein paves the way for producing missile sections that can be attached together in any configuration to construct a uniquely customized system for meeting changing warfighter requirements. The authors of this proposal have designed, developed and demonstrated several new and unique manufacturing methods using thermoplastics that allow pre-consolidated and pre-impregnated materials to be heated within a mold and hot stamped in less than 30 seconds to the final net shape of complex parts. This is presently the fastest continuous fiber molding process in the world. This process can be used to fabricate missile sections and components with embedded electrical traces in a fraction of the time currently required for thermoset materials and with significant cost savings.