Resin Infusion Fabrication of nanostructured PMC

Period of Performance: 06/17/2015 - 12/17/2015

$125K

Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Materials Modification, Inc.
2809-K Merrilee Drive Array
Fairfax, VA 22031
Firm POC, Principal Investigator

Abstract

Polymer reinforced composite parts required for heavy lift launch vehicles are currently fabricated by hand lay-up or automated tape lay-up followed by curing using heat, pressure, vacuum and inert atmosphere. Composite structures for future applications are expected to be larger than 9 meters in diameter and greater than 10 meters in length. Such large composite structures cannot be fabricated by regular autoclaving processes because of limitations of the size of autoclaves and high costs associated with energy consumption. In this Phase I effort, MMI will develop a novel out-of-autoclave processing method for the fabrication of nanostructured polymer matrix composites for fabrication of light weight structural parts of large dimensions. This phase of research will also involve a system analysis of the technology to identify the benefits and target areas of use. A correlation study based system analyses will provide a path to apply the fabrication methods to fabricate large composite parts used in aircraft structures. Phase II will scale up the technology and demonstrate property enhancements. The resin infusion process proposed will be suitable for economical manufacture of large parts. The nanocomposite reinforcement proposed will also afford better mechanical properties to the polymer matrix composite.