Low Cost Curing and Repair Process for Composites

Period of Performance: 06/02/1997 - 06/02/1999

$741K

Phase 2 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Avpro, Inc.
800 W. Rock Creek Road
Norman, OK 73070
Principal Investigator

Research Topics

Abstract

The use of advanced composite materials in all applications has increased dramatically, but the methods for managing and processing have remained unchanged for thirty years. Advanced multiple sensor technology has been demonstrated to reduce process time and costs. AvPro proposes to develop a single sensor system to provide multiple data inputs. It would be a means to validate models for process control and be a basis for material state specification implementation.Optical fiber sensors have previously been used to measure numerous composite material parameters. Techniques have been demonstrated that validate the chemical composition and cure state of composites. Real time measurement of these parameters provides a technically defensible basis to upgrade process specifications to material state management. AvPro intends to implement single sensor system using small diameter glass fibers placed in the composite part prior to processing and left in place throughout the life of the part. No other sensors would be required. This product would make is possible to directly manage the cure and consolidation of the composite while eliminating the need for extensive tracking of the time/temperature history of the material. This system, in the AvPro control architecture, will generate data suitable for specification development.