Tucson, AZ, United States

Advanced Ceramics Manufacturing Inc.

www.acmtucson.com
Tucson, AZ, United States
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Grant
Agency: Department of Defense | Branch: Navy | Program: STTR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 80.00K | Year: 2016

Advanced Ceramics Manufacturing (ACM) has developed several generations of proprietary soluble tooling systems that address the composite industrys need for water soluble tooling. These systems have been engineered via a combination of low CTE ceramic fillers soluble binders. ACM and its University research partner (Oklahoma State University) will reengineer the filler-binder system and manufacturing process to reduce the dimensional tolerance by 66% and to reduce the CTE by >60% to better match that of performance carbon-epoxy systems. The new High Tolerance Soluble (HITS) tooling will readily achieve tolerances of +/- 0.005.


Patent
Advanced Ceramics Manufacturing Inc. | Date: 2016-04-18

A method for forming a composite structure, using a mandrel that is later removed from the composite structure, involves production of a mandrel by depositing a particulate mixture, including an aggregate and a binder, into a mold and removing the mandrel from the mold. The mandrel may be treated while still in the mold by heating, curing with an agent, microwave energy, or by some combination thereof. Once finished, the mandrel can be used in manufacturing polymer and/or composite components. The mandrel can also include materials that can be easily removed from the finished composite structure by water, shakeout, chemically dissolving, or by some combination thereof. The mandrel can be a self-expanding mandrel, and can be used in a process or system for the manufacture of composite structures.


Grant
Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: | Award Amount: 179.96K | Year: 2013

This Small Business Innovation Research Phase I project seeks to develop materials and manufacturing processes that enable aerospace composite materials to be produced without an autoclave. To ensure the best material quality and reliability, aerospace composites are processed inside autoclaves that combine heat and pressure to fully bond multi-layered composites. Autoclaves that can accommodate aircraft fuselages and wings now exist. The capital costs, labor costs, and manufacturing times associated with autoclave processing are significant but are a necessary evil to ensure composite quality. A large opportunity exists for Out Of Autoclave (OOA) technology to reduce costs and streamline composite manufacturing operations. The current OOA focus of industry is to develop new resin/fabric systems that can be processed OOA but still yield suitable performance. A better approach to achieve broad-based OOA manufacturing is to compatibilize existing resin/fabric systems. This goal may be achieved through a combination of new tooling materials and manufacturing processes that can self-pressurize and consolidate composites. The results of the Phase I effort will demonstrate a true OOA technique that allows autoclave equivalent composite properties to be achieved in any existing resin/fabric system without the use of autoclave.

The broader impact/commercial potential of this project is to provide the composites industry with an OOA solution that is resin independent. The use of advanced fiber reinforced composites in aircraft has become a necessity to achieve higher performance and greater fuel efficiencies. Boeings 787 and Airbus A350 are two such aircraft that exemplify the push to increase composite content above 50% by weight. A large opportunity exists for OOA technology to reduce costs and streamline composite manufacturing operations. The OOA technology developed in Phase I will have a large impact on the composites industry through cost reduction and manufacturing efficiency gains. It will allow a broader manufacturing base to produce autoclave-like parts. Society will see benefits through the broader use of fuel-efficient composites in air- and land-based vehicles. This effort will also foster collaboration between small business and large aerospace manufacturers as well as offer undergraduate and high school students an opportunity to work on the project.


Grant
Agency: Department of Defense | Branch: Navy | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 149.94K | Year: 2013

Energy storage is an issue for high energy and high power applications. Batteries typically offer high energy densities with low power densities. For capacitors, the energy to power ratio is reversed. Therefore, capacitors have been limited to pulsed power applications that require high charging/discharging rates. Conventional ultra capacitors used in power applications are based on liquid electrolytes and the formation of electric double layers. However, these suffer from temperature limitations and have low energy densities. A high energy density / high power density capacitor would reduce/eliminate dependency on chemical batteries. High performance Ultra Capacitors would be of broad interest for grid storage/stabilization, directed energy weapons, rail guns, commercial hybrid/electric vehicles, space vehicles, and a vast array of portable electronics. Advanced Ceramics Manufacturing (ACM) believes high energy density / high power densities can be achieved by exploiting effective medium design concepts to allow energy densities to approach or exceed those of chemical batteries. If successful, the proposed technology will offer superior safety, lifetimes, and thermal stability compared to electrolyte based capacitors.


Grant
Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: SMALL BUSINESS PHASE II | Award Amount: 784.00K | Year: 2014

This Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase II project will develop materials and processes that enable any composite resin system to be produced Out Of Autoclave (OOA) with excellent inner and outer surfaces. To ensure high quality and reliability, aerospace composites are processed inside autoclaves that combine heat and pressure. The capital and labor costs and manufacturing times associated with autoclave processing are significant but necessary to ensure composite quality. Achieving high-complexity geometries poses additional hurdles. Current methods used in these cases include a small selection of OOA pre-impregnated parts, the use of thermoplastic bladders, or the bonding of autoclaved components. A large opportunity exists for OOA technology to reduce material and labor costs while also enabling one piece, seamless composite structures with extremely complex internal & external geometries, allowing manufacturing of parts which were previously unachievable. The Phase II project will further the development of a self-pressurizing technology that allows OOA processing of any resin system without a loss in quality. The Phase II will expand the operating temperature and pressure window, improve forming processes, and characterize performance on commercially relevant pre-impregnated systems. Phase II results will yield a mature forming process and several tooling grades with verified performance.

The broader impact/commercial potential of this project is the realization of a manufacturing technology that will enable the composites industry to form more complex geometries and allow greater competition throughout the industry. Society will see benefits through the broader use of fuel-efficient composites in air and land based vehicles and smaller carbon waste streams. The use of advanced fiber reinforced composites in aircraft has become a necessity to achieve higher performance and greater fuel efficiencies. Boeings 787 and Airbuss A350 are two such aircraft that exemplify the push to increase composite content above 50% by weight. The proposed technology will impact new aircraft as well as the design and manufacture of other vehicles. Technologically, this project will lead to a better understanding of self-pressurizing materials and their potential applications, as well as advance domestic manufacturing capabilities. Finally, undergraduates at the University of Arizona will have an opportunity to work on the project in conjunction with industrial scientists and engineers.


Grant
Agency: National Aeronautics and Space Administration | Branch: | Program: STTR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 124.97K | Year: 2013

Legacy refractory materials that have origins dating to the original Saturn program are commonly used in current launch facilities. Although they failure to meet the target requirements, they are the only approved material. Our research team proposed to develop an ultra high temperature refractory system that uses a non-cement binder, a high temperature macro aggregate, and reactive nano aggregates. The developed binder system will exhibit substantial improvements in strength and have functional limit of 4000F.


Grant
Agency: National Science Foundation | Branch: | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase II | Award Amount: 750.00K | Year: 2014

This Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase II project will develop materials and processes that enable any composite resin system to be produced Out Of Autoclave (OOA) with excellent inner and outer surfaces. To ensure high quality and reliability, aerospace composites are processed inside autoclaves that combine heat and pressure. The capital and labor costs and manufacturing times associated with autoclave processing are significant but necessary to ensure composite quality. Achieving high-complexity geometries poses additional hurdles. Current methods used in these cases include a small selection of OOA pre-impregnated parts, the use of thermoplastic bladders, or the bonding of autoclaved components. A large opportunity exists for OOA technology to reduce material and labor costs while also enabling one piece, seamless composite structures with extremely complex internal & external geometries, allowing manufacturing of parts which were previously unachievable. The Phase II project will further the development of a self-pressurizing technology that allows OOA processing of any resin system without a loss in quality. The Phase II will expand the operating temperature and pressure window, improve forming processes, and characterize performance on commercially relevant pre-impregnated systems. Phase II results will yield a mature forming process and several tooling grades with verified performance. The broader impact/commercial potential of this project is the realization of a manufacturing technology that will enable the composites industry to form more complex geometries and allow greater competition throughout the industry. Society will see benefits through the broader use of fuel-efficient composites in air and land based vehicles and smaller carbon waste streams. The use of advanced fiber reinforced composites in aircraft has become a necessity to achieve higher performance and greater fuel efficiencies. Boeing's 787 and Airbus's A350 are two such aircraft that exemplify the push to increase composite content above 50% by weight. The proposed technology will impact new aircraft as well as the design and manufacture of other vehicles. Technologically, this project will lead to a better understanding of self-pressurizing materials and their potential applications, as well as advance domestic manufacturing capabilities. Finally, undergraduates at the University of Arizona will have an opportunity to work on the project in conjunction with industrial scientists and engineers.


Grant
Agency: National Science Foundation | Branch: | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 149.97K | Year: 2013

This Small Business Innovation Research Phase I project seeks to develop materials and manufacturing processes that enable aerospace composite materials to be produced without an autoclave. To ensure the best material quality and reliability, aerospace composites are processed inside autoclaves that combine heat and pressure to fully bond multi-layered composites. Autoclaves that can accommodate aircraft fuselages and wings now exist. The capital costs, labor costs, and manufacturing times associated with autoclave processing are significant but are a necessary evil to ensure composite quality. A large opportunity exists for Out Of Autoclave (OOA) technology to reduce costs and streamline composite manufacturing operations. The current OOA focus of industry is to develop new resin/fabric systems that can be processed OOA but still yield suitable performance. A better approach to achieve broad-based OOA manufacturing is to compatibilize existing resin/fabric systems. This goal may be achieved through a combination of new tooling materials and manufacturing processes that can self-pressurize and consolidate composites. The results of the Phase I effort will demonstrate a true OOA technique that allows autoclave equivalent composite properties to be achieved in any existing resin/fabric system without the use of autoclave. The broader impact/commercial potential of this project is to provide the composites industry with an OOA solution that is resin independent. The use of advanced fiber reinforced composites in aircraft has become a necessity to achieve higher performance and greater fuel efficiencies. Boeing's 787 and Airbus' A350 are two such aircraft that exemplify the push to increase composite content above 50% by weight. A large opportunity exists for OOA technology to reduce costs and streamline composite manufacturing operations. The OOA technology developed in Phase I will have a large impact on the composites industry through cost reduction and manufacturing efficiency gains. It will allow a broader manufacturing base to produce autoclave-like parts. Society will see benefits through the broader use of fuel-efficient composites in air- and land-based vehicles. This effort will also foster collaboration between small business and large aerospace manufacturers as well as offer undergraduate and high school students an opportunity to work on the project.


Grant
Agency: Department of Defense | Branch: Defense Logistics Agency | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 99.99K | Year: 2015

A new approach to manufacturing is needed to streamline the logistics of maintaining legacy aircraft. Recently, Advanced Ceramics Manufacturing (ACM) developed a water soluble tooling technology (FastCore) that can reduce the cost of Fiber Reinforced Plastics (FRP) composite components. The FastCore family of products allows ACM to rapidly create water soluble mandrels for composite manufacturers. The challenge is to transition to high rate production. ACM can manufacture production or replacement parts within a very short lead time, provided we can improve our manufacturing processes that involve water removal. The objective of this Phase I proposal is to determine the technical and commercial feasibility of using microwave technology to cure tooling in minutes instead of days, significantly increasing our throughput capacity dramatically reduce cost. This will allow discrete composite parts to also achieve faster production rates and reduced cost.


Grant
Agency: National Aeronautics and Space Administration | Branch: | Program: STTR | Phase: Phase II | Award Amount: 749.99K | Year: 2014

Legacy refractory materials that have origins dating to the original Saturn program are commonly used in current launch facilities. Although they fail to meet the target requirements, they are the only approved material. Our research team has demonstrated a baseline system during the Phase I effort that combines a non-cement binder, a high temperature macro aggregate, and reactive nano aggregates to produce an Ultra High Temperature Refractory (UHTR). Our UHTR system has sustained short term exposures to 3000C in a laboratory test and excellent resistance to environmental aging. The Phase II effort will optimize the mechanical and thermal behavior based on rocket plume exposure testing.

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