Lighweight Foamed Composites with Superior Flame and Impact Resistant Properties

Period of Performance: 05/22/2003 - 02/22/2004


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Wright Materials Research CO.
1187 Richfield Center
Beavercreek, OH 45430
Principal Investigator


Fiber reinforced composites have many applications in both the military and civil sectors that require lightweight structure, fuel efficiency, and environmental durability. Some military applications have additional requirements that the materials must be impact and ballistic resistant in addition to the need for flame and moisture resistant characteristics. Metals and ceramics are recognized to have good ballistic properties, but their densities are too high for applications that require mobility. Conventional polymeric foam cores are designed to enhance bending stiffness of structures. Although current foamed structures normally have good impact properties, they do not have the required properties for severe impact (like ballistic) and flame resistant properties. In this Phase I research we propose to develop a new class of microcellular foamed composites from a fire retardant polymer and fibers. This microcellular foamed composite can be processed in one step. They should have superior impact, flame, and moisture resistant properties. They are lightweight and are excellent for applications that require mobility. Additional features include high mechanical properties, ductility, and the ability to resist fragmentation from neighboring components. If successfully developed, the proposed materials would have an immediate and large market in the military and law inforcement sectors. Potential applications of the proposed microcellular foamed composites include: portable protective shields for soldiers and policeman; infrastructure of buildings; bridge decks and piers; high performance, high speed racing sport and civilian transport vehicles; temporary runways and parking lots for aircraft; floor panels and decks of ships and boats; acoustic dampening; flame-resistant firewalls for racing circuit and passenger cars, truck and train components, and air vehicles.