Rapid Low-Cost Manufacturing Techniques for Filament Wound Composite Structures

Period of Performance: 05/03/1999 - 04/30/2001


Phase 2 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Technology Development Assoc., Inc.
992 Old Eagle School Road, Suite 910
Wayne, PA 19087
Principal Investigator

Research Topics


Filament wound composite structures are being increasingly used in tactical rocket motorcase applications to reduce weight and enhance system performance Conventional fabrication methods for composite motorcase structures are time-consuming and often require expensive tooling. This Phase II Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) proposal addresses the development and demonstration of rapid, low-cost manufacturing and processing techniques for filament wound composite motorcase structures. Specific areas to be investigated as part of the proposed Phase II technoiogy demonstration include: (I) preimpregnated tow materials, (2) optimization of filament winding/electron beam curing processes, (3) evaluation of low cost tooling materials and (4) back-to-back winding of full diameter opening motorcase structures. Each of these areas will be addressed through material/process development, prototype manufacturing and testing. Representative filament wound pressure vessels and rocket motorcase assemblies will be fabricated and tested to demonstrate the processing advantages and structural performance compared to conventionally wound, thermally cured composite motorcase designs representative of current and near-term tactical missile systems.BENEFITS: The primary application of the proposed research is for filament wound composite rocket motorcases and launch rubes. Many other applications exist for the proposed research, including lightweight composite pressure vessels, fuel tanks, shipping containers, and recreational equipment.