Ultrasonically Assisted Z-Fiber (UAZ) Technology for Widespread Airframe Structure Application

Period of Performance: 04/16/1996 - 05/17/1996


Phase 2 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Foster-miller, Inc.
350 Second Ave.
Waltham, MA 02451
Principal Investigator

Research Topics


A limitation of composite structure is the intrinsic interlaminar weakness of composite laminates. Foster-Miller has developed a solid database on an autoclave assisted z-direction reinforcement process that increases Mode 1 fracture toughness 10 to 30 fold and provides excellent global reinforcement of large areas for improvd damage tolerance. We have demonstrated an adjunct to this process called UAZ (Ultrasonically Assisted Z-Fiber) under a recently completed Phase I SBIR. This process provides the opportunity to introduce high density Z-Fiber reinforcement into localized areas of composites structures such as stiffener webs, radii and flanges. This geometric flexibility provides the opportunity to utilize the UAZ process where tooling complexity would limit the application of the standard process. It also provides an out-of-autoclave insertion process cmpatible with recently resin systems being developed under various Air Force 6.2 and Mantech programs. We propose in Phase II to optmize and scale-up the UAZ device fabricated under this program. Lockheed-Martin and McDonnell Douglas have signed on in support of the UAZ process. Additional commercialization support is provided by Boeing and Aztex.