Full Scale Development of a Lightweight Thermoplastic Composite Roadway Surface for Military Bridge Site

Period of Performance: 09/01/1989 - 01/01/1992

$450K

Phase 2 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Advanced Composite Products, Inc.
37 WASHINGTON AVENUE
E. Haven, CT 06512
Principal Investigator

Abstract

A PHASE I FEASIBILITY STUDY HAS DEMONSTRATED THAT THERMOPLASTIC COMPOSITES SUCH AS GLASS/PPS CAN PROVIDE SUBSTANTIAL WEIGHT SAVINGS FOR THE ARMY'S ACCESS/EGRESS ROADWAY SURFACE HARDWARE WHILE ALSO MEETING OPERATIONAL REQUIREMENTS. PRELIMINARY TESTING WAS VERY ENCOURAGING, INDICATING THAT THE SIMPLE, INTEGRALLY MOLDED PANEL DESIGN MET STRUCTURAL AND DURABILITY REQUIREMENTS. THE OBJECTIVE OF THE FULL SCALE DEVELOPMENT ACTIVITY PROPOSED HEREIN IS TO ADVANCE THE COMPOSITE ROADWAY SURFACE HARDWARE FROM THE SUBSCALE FEASIBILITY STAGE, PRODUCTION-READY STATE. THE MAJOR ISSUES TO BE ADDRESSED INCLUDE SCALE-UP OF THE MANUFACTURING PROCESS, DEMONSTRATION/VALIDATION OF A LOW COST, HIGH VOLUME PRODUCTION PROCESS, AND MINOR REDESIGN TO FURTHER OPTIMIZE WEIGHT AND PRODUCTION COST. A TOTAL OF FIVE FULL SIZE (13.1 FEET WIDE X 24" LONG) COMPOSITE ROADWAY SURFACE PANELS ARE TO BE FABRICATED FOR THE ARMY'S EVALUATION.