Salt Lake City, UT, United States

Materials and Systems Research

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Salt Lake City, UT, United States
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Patent
Materials and Systems Research | Date: 2014-11-04

A method and apparatus for the production of nano-sized silicon particles via a low-temperature chemical solid-liquid reaction between a silicon-containing compound and a reducing agent. Embodiments of the present invention provide a production method that is cost-effective, while producing elemental silicon having purity, particle sizes, and stability suitable for energetics applications including solid propulsion additives, igniters, flares, decoys, and liquid fuel catalysts.


Patent
Materials and Systems Research | Date: 2014-03-19

A method for rapidly adhering thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) material to a void in a metallic surface, the method comprising placing a solid volume of a TPU over metallic surface; directing a laser toward the TPU; applying pressure on the TPU; and irradiating the TPU material until the material melts and adheres to the metallic surface. Some embodiments make use of a hand-held near-infrared radiation laser tool to irradiate the TPU material, the laser tool comprising a laser optics and fiber; a housing for holding said laser optics and fiber and maintaining a desired distance and orientation of the laser relative to the fastener to be filled; electronics for controlling said laser; a collimator; a beam expander; a laser shield; and a conformal dome or a flat pressure head for holding a solid portion of a filler material in place while the beam is used to melt the material and for applying pressure to the melted filler material.


Patent
Materials and Systems Research | Date: 2015-06-05

An apparatus for making and using a fastener suitable for use in airplane manufacture or repair that is coated with a pre-mixed moisture cure sealant. The sealant layer is coated with a frangible moisture barrier that will break apart when the fastener is installed, thus exposing the sealant to a moisture source. Once exposed to moisture, the sealant will begin to cure. Preferred embodiments also provide a premature cure indicator that provides a visual indication that the outer moisture resistant layer has been damaged.


Patent
Materials and Systems Research | Date: 2014-05-22

A 3D food printing system, which can deposit macro- and micro-nutrients in an additive process to prepare a wide variety of different types of food. According to embodiments described herein, a 3D printed food system can be used to rapidly and efficiently prepare meals on demand, rather than in advance, while also allowing nutritional content, flavor, and taste to be customized for individual crew members. In some embodiments, the food can also be prepared in a largely or even completely automated fashion.


Patent
Materials and Systems Research | Date: 2014-06-11

An improved process for applying sealant to the backside of fasteners. Preferred embodiments of the present invention use a novel sealant cap as a mold for applying sealant. Embodiments of the present invention are especially suited for applying sealant to the backside of fasteners used in aircraft production. In preferred embodiments, the sealant caps allow the application of a metered amount of sealant only at the required/desired locations around an installed aircraft fastening element. Embodiments of the present invention thus prevent the over/under application of sealant and reduce the amount of time required to seal a fastener.


Grant
Agency: Department of Defense | Branch: Air Force | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase II | Award Amount: 750.00K | Year: 2015

ABSTRACT: Corrosion is a serious problem affecting the longevity, safety, durability, and affordability of military and commercial aircraft. Despite strict implementation of MIL and ASTM standards for aircraft Outer Mold Line (OML) coatings, corrosion is frequently observed during maintenance partly due to inadequate testing methods representing an in-service environmental exposure; hence, advanced tools are required for more accurate and realistic assessment of these coatings. A programmable accelerated environmental test system that can simulate on-service aircraft exposure of salt-fog, temperature, UV, and corrosive gases can provide immense value to the aircraft industry. Systems & Materials Research Corporation (SMRC) proposes to design and build a programmable chamber that can simulate a realistic environmental exposure of aircraft coatings on representative test coupons. The chamber will use an IR flash thermography technique to monitor corrosion without interrupting the test in progress. The Phase I SBIR effort demonstrated a scaled down prototype of the chamber with software functionality. The Phase II program will focus on developing a full-scale prototype and user-friendly software to control the entire system. The outcome of this effort will be a better assessment tool to qualify aircraft coatings for safe, durable, long-term, and sustainable aircraft operation. BENEFIT: An advanced environmental chamber will provide a necessary tool to Air Force to evaluate next generation coatings. Additionally, SMRCs chamber will provide in-situ corrosion analysis capability to its users by capturing IR images to study corrosion growth mechanisms. Such a system should be able to detect small corrosion pits underneath a coating and allow experts to study its propagation mechanism. If successful, SMRCs system will be able to provide users with an ability to change environmental parameters such as humidity, salt concentration, temperature, UV exposure, and gas concentration to conduct a comprehensive design of experiments and continuously monitor corrosion via IR flash thermography. Additionally, the chamber will be able to incorporate existing and newly developed mechanical test fixtures and additional testing capability.


Grant
Agency: Department of Defense | Branch: Air Force | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 150.00K | Year: 2014

ABSTRACT: Each fastener that is installed during the aircraft assembly requires a hole to be drilled, and those holes filled with either rivets or threaded fasteners. To add difficulty, most fasteners must have sealant applied to the hole, and interference fasteners must be inserted using an inserter hammer. Unfortunately, aircraft manufacture is not conducive to automation, so most of the hole drilling and fastener installing is by hand. The process involves a few different tools the drill, the inserter, and the nut driver - to complete the assembly. Significant time could be saved if the installer used one tool to perform all of the fastener installation steps. SMRC proposes Fasten E-Z, a tool for all fastener installation steps. By merging existing technologies into one tool, Fasten E-Z will dramatically reduce the time required to hand install fasteners. The approach SMRC will take in this project is to combine a drill tool with a fastener inserter and a nut installation tool. The concept is that the tool will drill the hole for the fastener in"drill"mode, and with a quick-change mechanism, the tool will transform into an insertion hammer and then a collar driver to complete the installation. BENEFIT: By merging existing fastener installation technologies into one tool, Fasten E-Z will dramatically reduce the time required to hand install fasteners. The approach SMRC will take in this project is to combine all of the necessary tool required to perform a fastener installation into one. By doing so, a technician can avoid the picking up and putting down of his many tools required to perform a fastener install. By avoiding all discontinuous movements, SMRC estimates that at least 25% of the time to install a fastener can be eliminated. Additional benefits would be reduced fatigue, and reduced repetitive motion injuries. Millions of dollars could be saved over the life of an aircraft"s production. In addition, by automating some of the tasks of fastener installation, quality will also be improved.


Grant
Agency: Department of Defense | Branch: Air Force | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 149.99K | Year: 2014

ABSTRACT: Corrosion is a serious problem affecting the longevity, safety, durability, and affordability of military and commercial aircraft. Despite strict implementation of MIL and ASTM standards for aircraft Outer Mold Line (OML) coatings, corrosion is frequently observed during maintenance partly due to inadequate testing methods representing an in-service environmental exposure; hence, advanced tools are required for more accurate and realistic assessment of these coatings. A programmable accelerated environmental test system that can simulate on-service aircraft exposure of salt-fog, temperature, UV, and harmful gases can provide immense value to the aircraft industry. Systems & Materials Research Corporation (SMRC) proposes to design and build a programmable chamber that can simulate a realistic environmental exposure of aircraft coatings on representative test coupons. The chamber will contain an IR camera system to continuously monitor corrosion without interrupting the test in progress. Such a system should be able to detect even small corrosion pits underneath a coating from its time of origin and allow experts to study its propagation mechanism. If successful, SMRC"s system will be able to provide users with an ability to change environmental parameters such as humidity, salt concentration, temperature, UV exposure, and gas concentration to conduct a comprehensive design of experiments and continuously monitor corrosion via an IR camera. The Phase I SBIR effort will focus on developing a scaled down prototype of the chamber showing the feasibility of using an IR system for detecting corrosion underneath a coating during the test. The Phase II program will focus on developing a full-scale prototype with an integrated IR camera and user-friendly software to control the entire system. The outcome of this effort will be a better assessment tool to qualify aircraft coatings for safe, durable, long-term, and sustainable aircraft operation. BENEFIT: An advance environmental chamber will provide a trade study tool to Air Force and other stake holders to evaluate next generation coatings. Additionally, SMRC"s chamber will provide in-situ corrosion analysis capability to its users by capturing real-time images to study corrosion growth mechanisms. The chamber will be able to incorporate existing and newly developed mechanical test fixtures and additional testing capability.


Grant
Agency: Department of Defense | Branch: Army | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase II | Award Amount: 990.83K | Year: 2014

The U.S. Army has a need for cheap, high quality nanosilicon powder. With similar energy density and better aging effects than nanoaluminum, silicon is an excellent candidate for use a metal nanofuel. In Phase I, Systems and Materials Research Corporation (SMRC) demonstrated a scalable method for production of nanosized silicon. By the end of Phase I, we have demonstrated that a 5kg/day production rate at a cost of $177/kg is possible. By the end of Phase II, SMRC will have demonstrated a continuous flow process that generates >99% pure silicon with a narrow size distribution around 85nm. The as-produced materials will be passivated and be transported as micron sized powders with no hard agglomerates. SMRC will also demonstrate a path to large scale production at a cost nearing $50/kg. We will first commercialize nanosilicon as a propellant additive and green pyrotechnic materials with the help of our scale-up partners ATK and Esterline. As the purity of these materials increases with process and feed stock controls, we will explore uses such as ink-jetable nanosilicon suspensions for low cost, disposable electronics.


Grant
Agency: Department of Defense | Branch: Navy | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 80.00K | Year: 2015

After preliminary safety evaluation for friction, static, impact, ignition temperature sensitivity, additional testing will be performed. By comparing the properties of both aged and un-aged samples, SMRC will be able to suggest additional modifications, if needed, to produce moisture insensitive pyrotechnic formulations.

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