Pultrusion of Damage-Resistant Polyurethane Composite Deck Stanchions

Period of Performance: 11/21/2000 - 11/21/2002


Phase 2 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Kazak Composites, Inc.
Woburn, MA 01801
Principal Investigator

Research Topics


KCI proposes to design and prototype pultruded polyurethane matrix composite stanchions to replace the steel tubing currently used for aircraft carrier safety railings. The key technical challenge is establishment of commercially-robust processing technology that allows routine pultrusion of polyurethane matrix composite structures. Phase II work will center on a unique composite design demonstrated successfully during Phase I. This design was experimentally shown to meet load and deformation requirements of a stanchion used to protect open areas surrounding aircraft carrier elevators. Phase II will investigate alternative matrix materials, perform finite element analyses, develop a pultrusion-based manufacturing process, and fabricate sample parts, first at subscale size and then at full size. Samples will be tested to demonstrate the ability of stanchions to withstand 300 pound tip loads with small deformation, then elastically bend to 30 to 45 degree angles at higher loads before returning to vertical with little or no permanent damage. Phase II will conclude with production and delivery of a full set of sea-ready stanchions, in sufficient quantity to replace metal stanchions currently surrounding an elevator of a fleet carrier. More importantly, KCI will have established new processing technology for making very low cost, highly impact-damage resistant composite hardware. BENEFITS: High cost and poor resistance to impact damage have been two major factors limiting widespread application of composite material hardware. This program simultaneously address both problems by developing and demonstrating a process that combines the superior impact damage resistance of polyurethane matrix materials with pultrusion, the least costly manufacturing process for making constant cross section composite shapes. The technology will benefit many military and commercial applications.