Reduced Cost, Repeatable, Improved Property Washout Tooling for Composite Fabrication

Period of Performance: 07/11/2016 - 05/10/2017

$80K

Phase 1 STTR

Recipient Firm

Nevada Composites, Inc.
PO Box 2174 Array
Dayton, NV 89403
Firm POC, Principal Investigator

Research Institution

University of Nevada, Las Vegas
Institution POC

Abstract

Nevada Composites has developed Green-Aero(sm) toolinglightweight ceramic tooling that is stable under high pressure and long-duration cure cycles and can be washed out with water after cures to 370C (700F). Tools, whether single-sided or washout, have a composite-compatible CTE, provide tight tolerances, are reproducible, are stable to storage under ambient conditions, and are of affordable cost. All steps in the production process are environmentally benign. Tools, particularly washout mandrels, have been provided to several different military and commercial clients for use in processes including hand layup followed by autoclave cure, filament winding, and VARTM.Green-Aero(sm) tools offer both improved performance and cost improvements estimated at about 25% over sand mandrels. Nonetheless, for air platforms the current cost of complex tools is significantly above targeted values, lead time for tooling may be too long, and impact resistance and thermal shock behavior may not be at desired levels.The goal in Phase I is to advance the current TRL of 2 to 3 for reduced cost, etc., for air platform applications to 3, 4 or 5 for various options. At the end of Phase I we will also generate a plan for pursuing the most promising options in Phase II.