Lightweight FRP Composite Ladders

Period of Performance: 03/10/2006 - 03/09/2008


Phase 2 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Luna Innovations, Inc.
301 1st St Suite 200
Roanoke, VA 24011
Principal Investigator


Luna Innovations will be developing lightweight, flame retardant composite inclined ladders for use aboard naval vessels. The proposed program involves 1) designing composite based ladders suitable meeting Navy specifications for shipboard use 2) producing environmentally sound flame retardant, fiber reinforced polymer (FRP) composites for use as inclined ladders 3) making FRP composite prototype ladders for shipboard evaluation. The flame retardant FRP composites of this proposal are based on a novel method of imparting fire resistance. The proposed FRP resins have been shown to be self-extinguishing in preliminary tests. The proposed flame retardant offers advantages of being environmentally sound with minimal off-gassing of toxic compounds during combustion. In addition, the proposed flame retardant resins are expected to have comparable mechanical properties with potential improvements in toughness compared with commercial non-flame retardant resins. Luna has also identified a thermoset resin with thermal stability to meet high temperature load requirements. This development will contribute to the Navy s goal of producing improving shipboard safety while reducing weight and costs.