Lafayette, CO, United States

Composite Technology Development, Inc.

www.ctd-materials.com
Lafayette, CO, United States

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Patent
Composite Technology Development, Inc. | Date: 2015-04-08

A system comprising a boom having a first end, a longitudinal length, and a slit that extends along the longitudinal length of the boom; a drum having an elliptic cross section and a longitudinal length; an attachment mechanism coupled with the first end of the boom and the drum such that the boom and the drum are substantially perpendicular relative to one another; an inner shaft having a longitudinal length, the inner shaft disposed within the drum, the longitudinal length of the inner shaft is aligned substantially parallel with the longitudinal length of the drum, the inner shaft at least partially rotatable relative to the drum, and the inner shaft is at least partially rotatable with the drum; and at least two cords coupled with the inner shaft and portions of the boom near the first end of the boom.


Patent
Composite Technology Development, Inc. | Date: 2016-04-22

Some embodiments of the invention include a boom deployment system. The boom deployment system, for example, may include a housing, a spool, a first boom, and a second boom. The spool may be disposed within the housing and configured to rotate around an axis that is fixed relative to the housing. The first boom and/or the second boom may have a cylindrical shape in a deployed configuration, a flattened shape in a stowed configuration, and a slit that extends along the longitudinal length of the boom in the deployed configuration. The first boom and/or the second boom may be stowed in the stowed configuration flattened and wrapped around the spool. The first boom and/or the second boom may transition from the stowed configuration to the deployed configuration as the spool rotates around the axis.


Grant
Agency: Department of Energy | Branch: | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase II | Award Amount: 999.93K | Year: 2014

The U.S. DOE is very interested in promoting on-board vehicular hydrogen storage systems that will enable a driving range of greater than 300 miles while meeting packaging, cost, safety, and performance requirements. State-of-the-art hydrogen storage vessels that meet these requirements are currently very expensive to manufacture due to high carbon fiber costs. This work addresses the need for lower- cost tanks by utilizing recently-developed, low-cost fibers and graded composite designs. The Phase I/Phase II project seeks to reduce the cost of hydrogen storage vessels for fuel cell powered cars by 25% by using low-cost carbon fibers in a graded construction of the vessel wall. CTD performed detailed design iterations using laminate analysis and finite element analysis to optimize the design and minimize the cost of a 700 bar hydrogen storage vessel using a graded construction, demonstrating that a 25% reduction in cost is feasible if suitable lower cost fibers are available. CTD also investigated low cost fiber options developed by Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL). Target areas for improvement, including the need to develop methods for handling large fiber tows and improving fiber and matrix interactions were identified. In Phase II, fiber handling, fiber sizing, and polymer matrix materials will be optimized to provide the best combination of low cost and high performance for hydrogen storage vessels. This work will include the fabrication and testing of composite laminates, as well as burst tubes or small tanks. Commercial Applications and Other Benefits: In addition to optimizing the cost of 700 bar hydrogen storage vessels, low-cost composite structures have application in wind and tidal turbine blades, as well as in automotive and marine structures.


Grant
Agency: Department of Defense | Branch: Navy | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase II | Award Amount: 749.71K | Year: 2015

Carrier aviation is dependent on the ability to recover aircraft expeditiously and safely aboard ship. The system that arrests the aircraft, the Arresting Gear system, utilizes slippers or bearing materials between moving components. A major shortcoming of the current slipper material is its swelling when exposed to ethylene glycol, which causes clearance issues in the operating equipment, resulting in replacement outside of scheduled maintenance, which is undesirable due to the labor-intensive nature of some of these replacements. In Phase I, Composite Technology Development (CTD) demonstrated new composite bearing materials comprised of either glass or carbon reinforcing fibers and a benzoxazine resin chemistry with nano-scale additives incorporated to improve the wear resistance and friction characteristics of the resulting composites. These materials showed significantly reduced swelling in ethylene glycol and excellent wear resistance compared to the current slipper material. During the Phase II program, CTD will optimize the Phase I materials for performance and cost, will develop cost-effective methods of slipper manufacturing, will develop methods for qualifying new slipper materials for arresting gear applications, and will develop a preliminary performance specification that can be used to qualify future slipper materials for the Navy.


Grant
Agency: National Aeronautics and Space Administration | Branch: | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase II | Award Amount: 749.92K | Year: 2016

Our present understanding of magnetosphere-ionosphere coupling is limited, partly due to the lack of broad statistical observations of the 3-dimensional (3D) electric field in the altitude region between 300 and 1000km. This understanding is of national importance because it is a necessary step toward developing the ability to measure and forecast the "space weather" that affects modern technology. The high cost of space access and short satellite lifetimes below 500 km make traditional satellites uneconomical for performing these measurements. Therefore, it is desirable to develop smaller and lower-cost sensor/satellite systems, such as CubeSats, so that the largest possible number of distributed measurements can be economically made in this region. The proposed project seeks to develop a 3D vector electric field instrument that can be accommodated in less than half of a 6U (10x20x30 cm) CubeSat. This instrument is enabled by CTD's game changing deployable composite boom technology that provides lightweight, stiff, straight, and thermally stable booms capable of being stowed within a CubeSat form factor. The proposed development will also provide the CubeSat community with the capability to include one or more deployable booms with lengths greater than 5 meters for future CubeSat missions.


Grant
Agency: Department of Energy | Branch: | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 149.97K | Year: 2016

REBCO superconductors are being considered for use in high field magnets for Magnetic Fusion Energy (MFE) due to their potential for reducing facility size and cost. However, the anisotropy of REBCO tapes resulting from the planar nature of the crystals in the material leads to significant losses in expected current as well as leading to non-uniform magnetic fields. Transposition of the tapes in a cable structure (e.g., Twisted Stacked Tape Conductors (TSTC) remains the best means of minimizing these effects. Production of long continuous lengths of these cables will be required in order realize the potential of high field magnets based on these materials. How is this problem being addressed? In this program, Composite Technology Development (CTD), working with the Plasma Science and Fusion Center (PSFC) at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), will develop methods for the production of Twisted Stacked Tape Conductor (TSTC) cables using an insulation scheme developed in prior work for simple stacked cables. The work in this program will enable the production of long continuous TSTC cables and will demonstrate their effectiveness in cable-in-plate configurations that are common in fusion magnet constructions. What is to be done in Phase I? To achieve the goals of the program, CTD will develop plans to modify the design of an existing, pilot-scale reel-to-reel system designed for insulating round wire to accommodate the continuous assembly, twisting, and insulating of TSTC cable. Phase I production work will be done on laboratory-scale equipment with the modifications to the pilot system taking place in Phase II. Cable designs will be developed by MIT, and they will also develop testing methods and verify the function of the insulated TSTC cables produced during the course of the Phase I program. Commercial Applications and Other Benefits as described by the applicant. This technology is expected to enable the production of next generation fusion devices as well impacting other applications including increases in beam luminosity and energy, both of which are planned for the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), the construction of HTS magnets for Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) and Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) systems, Superconducting Magnetic Energy Storage (SMES) systems, superconducting generators for large (10 MW) offshore wind turbines, power cables for industry and utility applications (e.g., data centers and high population density areas), and electric motors for ships and rail systems. Key Words: HTS, superconductor, insulation, high-field magnets, cables, fusion


Patent
Composite Technology Development, Inc. | Date: 2015-01-07

Embodiments described herein include a composite pressure vessel that includes both high performance fibers and low performance fibers. Embodiments also include a method forming a pressure vessel with high performance fibers and low performance fibers. A plurality of the high performance fibers may be found in an inner layer of the pressure vessel and a plurality of the low performance fibers may be found in an outer layer of the pressure vessel.


Grant
Agency: Department of Energy | Branch: | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 149.95K | Year: 2016

New accelerator systems for increasingly more demanding particle physics experiments are pushing the envelope in terms of energy and luminosity. In order to achieve the high energies required, perfect alignment of the accelerator’s superconducting RF cavities is critical. Ground motion and mechanical vibration caused by plant activities can adversely affect the beam alignment, thereby reducing the efficiency of the collider. These motions must be addressed, through a combination of mechanical vibration isolation and feedback systems in order to ensure the high level performance of facilities such as the Continuous Electron Beam Accelerator Facility (CEBAF) as well as at other DOE-sponsored and accelerator facilities. Cost savings can be realized through the incorporation of vibration damping composite structures with added cost savings arising from the improved thermal isolation arising from the low thermal conductivities characteristic of polymer matrix composites. The primary objectives of the Phase I work are to design and demonstrate thermally isolating composite support structure concepts with integrated vibration isolation capability for use in the upgraded cryomodules for the Continuous Electron Beam Accelerator Facility (CEBAF) at the Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility. Designs will build upon existing expertise in the design of cryogenic thermal isolation systems and will incorporate cryogenically compatible systems for vibration isolation. The utilization of advanced composite materials and an optimized structural design will provide superior performance relative to the current metallic supports. The overall goal is to design and demonstrate thermally isolating composite support structure concepts with integrated vibration isolation layers for use in construction of advanced facilities for Nuclear Physics research. The primary emphasis will be placed on developing designs for thermally isolating structures utilizing proven cryogenically compatible systems capable of vibration isolation. Activities contributing to this objective will include requirements verification, structure design and analysis as well as designs validation using experimental data from flat composite panels and full scale prototype structures. Advanced materials and designs will be produced for use as support structures in future nuclear physics research facilities under development by the U.S. Department of Energy. The products of this work will enable the fabrication of reliable systems with reduced operating costs. Commercial Applications and Other Benefits: The primary products of the proposed work are low thermal conductivity, vibration isolating fiber reinforced composite support structures. These structures will provide enhanced performance for both existing and future Superconducting Linear Accelerators in the US and abroad by reducing cryogenic losses and minimizing detrimental system vibrations. This support design, as well as the engineering design methods and materials can be used for similar structures for other nuclear accelerators under development by DOE.


Grant
Agency: Department of Energy | Branch: | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 149.93K | Year: 2016

Advanced facilities for Nuclear Physics research are being constructed that will allow the production of rare isotopes to provide new insights on the forces that hold nuclei together, as well as the chemical history of the universe and the synthesis of elements in stellar explosions. Support structures for the large magnets required for these systems will be required to operate in a high radiation environment and if constructed from metal, their thermal conductivity places an undue burden on the cryogenic cooling system required for magnet operation, thereby increasing operating costs and reducing available time for experimentation. The use of radiation-resistant thermally isolating composite support structures is one potential way to alleviate this problem, substantially reducing the burden on the cryogenic cooling system. The primary objectives of the Phase I work are to design and demonstrate radiation-resistant, thermally isolating composite support structure concepts for use in construction of the planned Facility for Rare Isotope Beams (FRIB) at Michigan State University. Designs will build upon existing expertise in the design of cryogenic thermal isolation systems and will incorporate resin systems demonstrated to have high radiation stability. The overall goal is to design and demonstrate radiation-resistant, thermally isolating composite support structure concepts for use in construction of advanced facilities for Nuclear Physics research. The primary emphasis will be placed on developing designs for thermally isolating structures based on radiation-resistant composite systems. Activities contributing to this objective will include structure design and analysis as well as validation of the designs using experimental data on flat composite panels as well as from a prototype structure. Advanced materials and designs will be produced for use as support structures in future nuclear physics research facilities under development by the U.S. Department of Energy. The products of this work will enable the fabrication of reliable systems with reduced operating costs.


Grant
Agency: National Aeronautics and Space Administration | Branch: | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 125.00K | Year: 2016

Solar arrays that have very high specific power (W/kg) and compact stowed volume (W/m3), while still providing shielding to the solar cell, are an enabling technology for Deep Space CubeSat missions. Current CubeSat and small satellite solar arrays employ either fixed panels mounted directly to the Satellite side-wall(s) or small hinged rigid panels. These arrays generate very low power (4-20W) due to their limited area available for solar cell installation, thereby constraining CubeSat payload capacity, capability and mission applications. Composite Technology Development, Inc. (CTD) proposes to develop an approach for a high-power, flexible and compact deployable solar array for Deep Space CubeSat Applications. The Composite Beam Roll-up Array (COBRA) is a very high specific power solar array that combines the Photovoltaic Assembly with the deployable boom structure into a unified integrated laminated assembly that can achieve >265 W/kg at the array level, including the deployable structure. The integrated structure will also shield the solar cells from the harsh space environment. The objective of this SBIR is to develop a COBRA for a 6U Spacecraft that generates at least 200W for Deep Space Applications. The unique design is also inherently low cost due to the design simplicity and very low part count. Furthermore, the COBRA technology is highly modular and scale-able, and could be easily scaled to provide in excess of 600W for a small satellite.

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