FN Composites

Period of Performance: 08/01/2006 - 05/31/2007


Phase 1 STTR

Recipient Firm

Systran Federal Corp.
4027 Colonel Glenn Highway, Suite 210
Dayton, OH 45431
Principal Investigator
Firm POC

Research Institution

University of Dayton
300 College Park
Dayton, OH 45469
Institution POC


This research program will investigate new approaches to carbon nanotube functionalization and understand its effects on the mechanical properties of the Carbon Nanotubes CNTs themselves and of the final composite materials. Our research effort will demonstrate the ability to functionalize single wall carbon nanotubes (SWNTs) with functional groups that provide improved bonding with structural resins. We will characterize the degree of functionalization of the SWNTs and correlate this with the mechanical performance of small nanocomposites. Our goal is to find the best functional group compatible with structural resins (vinyl esters and epoxies) and the optimum degree of functionalization without deteriorating the mechanical characteristics of the SWNTs significantly. SFC has assembled a distinguished team to address this proposal. In conjunction with our university research partner, The University of Dayton, we are proposing a novel and innovative approach to meeting the demanding requirements listed in the solicitation. At the conclusion of Phase II, we plan to have a complete characterization of the mechanical properties of these composites and specific recommendations for how these might be best used in Navy applications.BENEFITS: The benefits of this new technology are many. If this research shows that these new composites indeed exhibit the potentially extreme gains in strength over steel, with a companion reduction in weight and density, and can be produced in large quantities at affordable cost-points, then these new composites could revolutionize the production of next-generation ships for the Navy and commercial applications. This technology has very broad application to both commercial and military systems. The military application to Navy ships could be pervasive with ship hulls and structures, replacing most metal parts. The commercial market would also have numerous applications, such as commercial shipbuilding, bridge construction, aircraft structures and wings.