Lightweight Composite Launch Fairings with Integrated Damping

Period of Performance: 04/06/1998 - 04/12/1999


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Patterned Fiber Composites, Inc.
1184 East 830 South
Pleasant Grove, UT 84062
Principal Investigator

Research Topics


The objective of the "Lightweight Composite Launch Fairings With Integrated Damping," SBIR proposal is to develop technologies and procedures that merge damping materials with a patent pending wavy composite system, and create lightweight aerospace structures that meet or exceed specified strength, stiffness, damping, and acoustic requirements. Traditional passive noise and vibration control methods for these structures are heavy, bulky and perform only marginally. Based on a design of experiments, panels of highly damped wavy composites will be constructed, staticallu, modally, and acoustically tested and analyzed. Optimized "proof" panels will be built using the results of the experiment and will exceed requirements for weight, stiffness, strength, and damping. Unprecedented improvements in these panel parameters are expected from Phase I funding. This will lead to the design and manufacture of new highly damped space launch vehicle components that exhibit stiffness and strength many times greater than steel at half the weight of aluminum but over 30 times its damping. This research program combines the expertise of aerospace, materials and engineering firms and a university to deliver new methodologies and material systems for the manufacture of improved aerospace vehicles and components.