Carbon Foam Innovative Processing

Period of Performance: 08/26/2004 - 08/25/2006

$450K

Phase 2 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Touchstone Research Laboratory, Ltd.
The Millennium Centre Array
Triadelphia, WV 26059
Principal Investigator

Abstract

Touchstone Research Laboratory is currently producing carbon foam in its pilot production facility. In the Phase I feasibility study, Touchstone identified opportunities to reduce the production cycle by combining manufacturing processes. The results indicated that a batch foaming process was optimum and the heat treatment step should be converted to a continuous process. This would lead to a significant reduction in the overall manufacturing cycle as well as lower the capital requirement costs for large volume manufacturing. In the Phase II effort Touchstone will perform production-scale foaming tests and optimization and will design and test a continuous calcining furnace on a pilot-scale. A manufacturing plan will be developed on the results of this effort, which will allow rapid transition into the commercialization phase. MDA will benefit from the increases in the production process that will be achieved in this effort, and this will translate into a lower cost and faster delivery for the CFOAM material. CFOAM has shown great promise as a breakthrough material in the composite tooling industry and will ultimately allow cheaper composites to be manufactured for a host of applications within MDA.