NONA Cure of Prepreg Structures

Period of Performance: 05/19/2015 - 05/18/2017

$748K

Phase 2 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Cornerstone Research Group, Inc.
2750 Indian Ripple Road Array
Dayton, OH 45440
Firm POC
Principal Investigator

Abstract

CRG's no-oven, no-autoclave (NONA) cure of OoA or autoclave prepreg materials allows the manufacture of large composite structures without the expensive and energy-intensive capital equipment currently required for fabrication. Qualified autoclave or OoA prepreg tapes can be applied simultaneously with dry unidirectional (UD) tapes in an automated process. The presence of dry fibers throughout the layup before infusion allows improved breathing, removal of volatiles from prepreg, and improved compaction with only atmospheric pressure, mimicking the double vacuum debulk (DVD) process without the equipment. NONA resin is then introduced at ambient temperature to wet out all available contact surfaces and cure itself and the prepreg. The NONA epoxy resin uses its own chemical energy to propel itself through a complete cure with no external heat required. The baseline NONA resin provides good strength, chemical resistance, and thermal performance up to 350F. Pairing NONA resin with a compatible prepreg a cure of both systems is achieved at room temperature. Because the cure occurs at room temperature, the NONA resin locks in its shape near room temperature, thus allowing the use of low-cost tooling materials, typically avoided because of high CTE.